Alternate careers for current installer? - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 13 Old 10-02-2012, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
NorcalMSPtech's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Hello everyone. This is my first post on the forums, though I have come here for advice on issues that I have had in the past. The advice has always been helpful.

So, I have worked as an AV installer for the past 5 years. I have worked for 2 smaller companies and seen how the owners have put in a ton of time and money to make things work....some endeavors worked out and others not so much.

What I would really like to know is what career options are out there down the road?

I do not want to be doing installations forever. Project manager would be good, but the pay will eventually top out. Owning my own company is a big project that I may not want to undertake. Consulting is basically running your own company.

What types of careers have people gone on to after being an AV installer?

Likely it will be something in the AV field like working for a manufacturer or being very specialized in one area.
NorcalMSPtech is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 13 Old 10-03-2012, 08:24 PM
Senior Member
 
BRAD S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mason City, Iowa
Posts: 202
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 15
You could always consider being a "BIG Shadow" or "Shadow of BIG".
BRAD S is offline  
post #3 of 13 Old 10-03-2012, 08:33 PM
HOME THEATER CONTRACTOR
 
BIGmouthinDC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 21,498
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 574 Post(s)
Liked: 738
Big makes about enough to buy health insurance for two adults with pre-existing conditions.
You want the real money, model yourself after Dennis. He flies his own plane.
BIGmouthinDC is online now  
post #4 of 13 Old 10-04-2012, 05:04 AM
AVS Club Gold
 
Dennis Erskine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Near an airport
Posts: 9,143
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked: 47
Dennis teaches people how to fly so Dennis can afford to fly. smile.gif

Dennis Erskine CFI, CFII, MEI
Architectural Acoustics
Subject Matter Expert
Certified Home Theater Designer
CEDIA Board of Directors
www.erskine-group.com
www.CinemaForte.net
Dennis Erskine is offline  
post #5 of 13 Old 10-04-2012, 05:47 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Bigus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: The South
Posts: 4,258
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 51
lol, interesting thread and question. This is me speaking outta my @$$ and not from experience, so take that with all the salt you can stomach.

Assuming you are talking about doing something that doesn't require going back to college for, then we are looking at stuff you can do by building on where you are now. You mentioned the owning your own business, consulting, etc. Up to you to decide whether you want to do that or not. Sounds like you don't want the hassle of managing other people, HR headaches, maybe the paperwork hassle, etc.? Consulting as a one man show would be much better in that regard than running, say, and AV installation company that does a mix of work, including high volume low profit stuff that keeps the lights on. Doubtful you'd ever get so good at something working for someone that they would pay you highly for it. May be fulfilling though.

So consider the consulting thing. Consulting in what, as a one man show? Well, this is the outta the @$$ part, but I'd look at stuff that wealthy people want now or are likely to want in the future that will require specialized knowledge in the field to provide, and get good at that. Really, really good. Maybe related to home automation, maybe the next big thing, whatever that may be. Become indispensable either to the client directly or to other companies, installers, contractors, whoever that don't have someone that can do what you do.

I think that advice is worth about... oh, maybe a pinch of salt. But it looks pretty on the screen. smile.gif

Bigus is offline  
post #6 of 13 Old 10-04-2012, 05:48 AM
HOME THEATER CONTRACTOR
 
BIGmouthinDC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 21,498
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 574 Post(s)
Liked: 738
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorcalMSPtech View Post

What types of careers have people gone on to after being an AV installer?

One thing to consider is to pursuing a career in a well paying field, then doing Home Theater work as a second career in your retirement. It may take an investment in education but in 20 years you would be ahead of the game. Think beyond just leveraging your AV experience.

One career field that will contiunue to have increased demand is healthcare, The baby boomers are getting old, and getting old means healthcare issues.

http://www.thebestschools.org/blog/2012/01/29/10-highest-paying-healthcare-jobs/
BIGmouthinDC is online now  
post #7 of 13 Old 10-04-2012, 08:21 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Bigus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: The South
Posts: 4,258
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 51
Big speaks the truth. That's the route I chose. Helps that I love what I do now too. Big sacrifice to get the education though.

Bigus is offline  
post #8 of 13 Old 10-04-2012, 02:04 PM
Senior Member
 
BRAD S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mason City, Iowa
Posts: 202
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 15
"One thing to consider is to pursuing a career in a well paying field, then doing Home Theater work as a second career in your retirement. It may take an investment in education but in 20 years you would be ahead of the game. Think beyond just leveraging your AV experience.

One career field that will contiunue to have increased demand is healthcare, The baby boomers are getting old, and getting old means healthcare issues."


I would second what Big stated. 20-25 years ago I was very eager to learn and just absorbed everything consumer electronics...was actually involved as one of the original hires when Circuit City opened up in 5 south Florida markets. Later managed the electronics department for a mom and pop store in the midwest...tv's, vcr, camcorders, stereo, beta, vhs and then these new dvd players. Lots of gumption, lots of time, not much for a budget to do anything.

Been in a different industry now for 15+ years, now I think I still have the gumption, know I don't have any time, and I actually do now have a budget to do something.

I would caution you in being too specialized...you will likely need to appeal to a broad base until you build up a clientel or portfolio which represents your work.

Good luck!
BRAD S is offline  
post #9 of 13 Old 10-04-2012, 04:29 PM
Advanced Member
 
weaselfest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Home of the Hawkeyes
Posts: 546
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked: 33
one word: diversify. Phone, data, cable TV, satellite installation, HVAC controls, elevator controls, pipe fitting, sheet metal bending, tax preparation, it doesn't matter, jump on the opportunity to learn a skill, even if there isn't a salary involved....hang out late, ask smart questions at the right time.....everybody wants that MacGyver type guy on staff that can noodle through the break down of the day. Make yourself indispensabale.
Majority of first time CTS certification test takers at this year's Infocomm were either coming from the residential install business or the IT department.
There are thousand of classrooms and conference rooms across the country either needing to update their systems or install new ones.......Smartboards, lecture capture, video conferencing. There is a lot of work out there, it just isn't as sexy.

underachiever extraordinaire
weaselfest is offline  
post #10 of 13 Old 10-05-2012, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
NorcalMSPtech's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thanks everyone for the responses. Figure I should consider a long term career sooner rather than later.

I get the sense that there is not a high earning future in the A/V industry without starting your own install or consulting company. And even if I do start a company, I may not see great rewards compared to what I have to put into it.

I definitely agree with the diversifying part of the conversation - the more I can do, the more indispensable I will be to an employer. And to keep busy, I must take on a large scope of projects. Nice way to put it weaselfest - "Phone, data, cable TV, satellite installation, HVAC controls, elevator controls, pipe fitting, sheet metal bending, tax preparation"

Does anyone know an A/V employee that makes more than $75,000? $100,000? I know they exist, just wonder if they are doing something besides being VERY knowledgeable in almost all areas of installation/programming.

For the people here that do own their own company - would you be willing to PM me so that I could ask a few questions?
NorcalMSPtech is offline  
post #11 of 13 Old 10-05-2012, 01:39 PM
AVS Club Gold
 
SierraMikeBravo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Topeka, KS
Posts: 1,602
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 88 Post(s)
Liked: 65
It isn't so much about diversification, but diving into fields where there are very few experts...usually the really hard stuff. Find a mentor. I would seriously consider becoming an IT specialist. CISCO certified, etc. A crestron programmer and things along those lines. You need to be willing to put in serious, serious hours of study. Most of the "experts" in this field, you will find, do other things as well as theater stuff. Dennis likes to fly paper airlplanes (he makes some pretty good ones I hear), and I work full time in a field unrelated to the industry. Lots of people do different things, but theater is their passion. smile.gif As with anything, you get out what you put into it.

Shawn Byrne
Erskine Group
CEDIA Certified Professional EST II - HAA Level III Certified -THX Certified Professional

Design-Video & Audio Calibration Information

The original Pro Theater Layout
SierraMikeBravo is online now  
post #12 of 13 Old 10-05-2012, 02:45 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Bigus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: The South
Posts: 4,258
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 51
I think what I was trying to say mirrors smb's point. Since there are two conflicting lines of advice going (along with the always sane advice to just go to a field guaranteed to have good pay and security), I'll add another perhaps worthless thought. Becoming a jack of all trades is a great way to increase job security with employers but it isn't likely yo make you rich. It is wise for an employer to hire someone who can wear many hats, which certainly has added value for the employer, but those hats tend to all be somewhat commodity reimbursed level hats, not something highly profitable for your employer (and thus not highly profitable for you). What I and smb suggested, finding a niche where there are few experts and well healed customers/clients, gives a bit more flexibility in the price you commmand. Its also the riskier path. I have a friend whose was computer engineering trained, and after first working rather mundane IT jobs for first a bank and then another company, he realized how few people are seriously good at intrusion detection and prevention. He took the plunge, quit his job, gathered all the knowledge he could, and put himself out there as a consultant. He makes bank now. But he was eating dry cereal and peanut butter before landing that crucial first gig.

Bigus is offline  
post #13 of 13 Old 10-05-2012, 06:19 PM
Advanced Member
 
weaselfest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Home of the Hawkeyes
Posts: 546
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked: 33
some of us fall on the ball and are grateful for the turnover, and some of us snatch the thing up and run for the end zone..............who you gonna be?

underachiever extraordinaire
weaselfest is offline  
Reply Dedicated Theater Design & Construction

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off