7 Audio-Visual Certifications and How To Get Them

Updated March 10, 2023

The audiovisual industry covers a variety of media platforms, ranging from films to church services. To gain more specialized training in a specific area, such as lighting, you can earn an audiovisual certification. Understanding the different audiovisual certification programs you can earn can help you determine which one would best advance your career or expand your knowledge. In this article, we explain what an audiovisual certification program typically covers, discuss how to complete one and provide a list of several audiovisual certifications to consider earning.

What's included in an audiovisual certification program?

An audiovisual, or AV, certification program typically covers foundational information about the industry. This includes learning about the hardware and software of recording technology, including software and networking systems. Students often learn through a combination of lectures and demonstrations. They also gain experience using professional audio equipment. Depending on the program you pursue, you may also learn about an organization's specific technologies and how to use them in an audiovisual role, such as an audiovisual technician. Other areas that audiovisual certification programs may cover include:

  • Audio engineering

  • Video production

  • Troubleshooting

  • Audiovisual sound

  • Project management

  • Teamwork skills

  • Safety

  • Music business

  • Networking systems

  • Recording technology

  • Lighting

  • Camerawork

  • Audio equipment

Related: 16 Careers You Can Pursue in Music Production

How can you get an audiovisual certification?

To earn an audiovisual certification, consider first researching which ones are available. Try to decide whether you want a general foundational one or if you are looking for something more advanced and specific, such as the Avid Certified Operator: Pro Tools program. Once you find which certification program best matches your needs, you can apply online to take your exam. During this process, you can gather your background information, such as your work experience, graduation dates and professional references.

After you submit your application and the organization approves you for their program, you can schedule a time to take your exam. Before the exam day, you can review your material to help you feel ready for your test. The certifying organization can then grade your exam and provide you with feedback in a few weeks. Those who pass the minimum requirement score are eligible to earn an audiovisual certification.

Related: How To Become an A/V Technician

7 audiovisual certifications

The following are some audiovisual certifications to consider earning:

1. Certified Audio Engineer (CEA)

A certified audio engineer certification recognizes people who are knowledgeable in the audio industry. The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE), which is the organization granting this certification, tests people on operating practices, theory, problems, safety and basic electronics. Those who earn this certification can use the SBE certified logo on their websites, business cards and resumes. Requirements to earn the CEA certification include:

  • Gain at least one year of professional work experience in audio/visual engineering or related technology, depending on your level of education

  • Pay the $183 non-member application fee or the $73 SBE member application fee

  • A minimum of three professional references

2. Certified Technology Specialist (CTS)

A Certified Technology Specialist certification shows employers someone can perform general technology solution tasks and is knowledgeable about the industry. This verifies a person can create, operate and service audiovisual solutions. The Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA) created the CTS exam based on major duties a professional in this field may perform. These include creating, implementing and servicing audiovisual solutions. Requirements to earn the CTS certification include:

  • Pay the $490 non-member certification fee or the $390 AVIXA member certification fee

  • Agree to the terms and conditions in the CTS application

  • Agree to the CTS code of ethics and conduct

Related: What Are Certifications? Definition, Benefits, Types of Certifications and Examples

3. Extron AV Associate

An Extron AV Associate certification program trains individuals in the fundamental audiovisual technologies and Extron products. Students can complete these online modules at their own pace. This program focuses on helping those looking to advance their knowledge of audiovisual design, system technology and configuration. Requirements to earn the Extron AV Associate include:

  • Complete online training

  • Pass the online certification exam

  • Agree to the Extron terms and conditions

4. Avid Certified Operator: Pro Tools

An Avid Certified Operator: Pro Tools certification shows an individual's expertise as an Avid user, instructor, developer or support representative. In this program, students receive official training on Avid's suite of audio products to become proficient in operating these tools. Requirements to earn the Avid Certified Operator certification include:

  • Complete all courses, projects and exercises

  • Pass each course competition exam

  • Pass the Pro Tools Worksurface Operator certification exam

5. SynAudCon's Course 50: How Sound Systems Work

SynAudCon's Course 50: How Sound Systems Work is a foundational certification program for those wanting to learn about audio. Throughout the 35 instructional videos, participants learn terminology and principles of sound systems. Video clips also explore the signal chain, microphones, wiring the sound system and common systems problems. Upon completion of this program, people earn a certificate and one-year SynAudCon membership. The requirements to earn the SynAudCon's Course 50 certification is to pay the $229 course fee.

Related: What Is Recording Engineering?

6. Commercial Audio Technician (CAT)

A Commercial Audio Technician certification prepares people for a role in designing, installing and troubleshooting speech and music sound systems. The Electronics Technicians Association (ETA) International manages this program, which ensures technicians are knowledgeable in microphones, speakers, acoustics, sound and measurements, troubleshooting, codes and standards, safety and wiring. Requirements to earn the CAT certification include:

  • Pay the $80 exam fee

  • Score at least a 75% on the certification exam

7. Certified Apprentice Lighting Technician (CALT)

A Certified Apprentice Lighting Technician certification recognizes people with qualifications in professional lighting. The interNational Association of Lighting Management Companies (NALMCO) tests participants on incandescent lighting, high-intensity discharge lighting, fluorescent lighting, LED lighting, service basics, lighting controls and safety codes. Requirements to earn the CALT certification include:

  • Pay the $175 course fee

  • Take the CALT exam within 180 days after enrolling in the course

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.


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