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Educators & SkillsUSA

What is the Audiovisual Technology Competition?
A career in the audiovisual (AV) industry is one that offers the numerous benefits of a high-tech career, multiple types of jobs, and opportunities to advance in an industry that is strong financially. The AV Technology Competition gives students a chance to begin to develop the skills they need to be successful in this industry. During the competition, a team of three students competes against other teams to install a working conference room audiovisual system. Following the completed assembly, the students demonstrate the system operations and explain their work to the judges. (Prior to building the system, the students complete a written exam.)

What core topics does this competition include?
• Basic electricity
• Basic electronics
• Soldering
• Basic audio theory
• Basic video theory
• Electronic systems assembly

What vocational programs are appropriate for the competition?
Two areas that address many of the skills needed for the competition are electronics technologies and electrical and electronic applications. However, theatrical arts and media technologies programs have also competed successfully. The competition is a good match for students who are studying audio and video production. Some schools have had success selecting team members from across the curriculum such as electronics, media technologies and animation.

What kind of student might be well suited to this competition?
The student with an interest in electronics, one who likes to troubleshoot problems with visual display or sound equipment, or who has an interest in home theater or a passion for stereophonic sound… Perhaps he or she is drawn to TV production but hasn’t really found a niche there. These students and others can become winners in this competition.

What resources are available to help me prepare students for the competition?

  • Free courseware — The International Communications Industries Association, Inc.® (ICIA) is offering at no charge two of its online courses — Essentials of the Audiovisual Industry and Installation School Online — for teachers and student teams preparing for SkillsUSA competitions. Instructions and materials for download are provided on the right. Please note These downloads are intended for SkillsUSA Advisors. Please contact Lou Nanni, Director of Certification and Workforce Development, prior to downloading the files for more information.
  • Help identifying mentors — ICIA will strive to connect your team with an ICIA member firm in your area who may be of assistance in donating equipment, helping you locate equipment at more favorable pricing, providing direction on where to purchase equipment or providing mentoring and other technical support to your team. 

Why should students participate in this competition?

  • Scholarships — The winners at the National SkillsUSA Competition in Kansas City may be eligible for scholarships.
  • Job opportunities — One unique feature of this competition means that all the competitors can be winners: direct interaction with judges. Students defend their work to the judges, which not only puts their communication skills to the test but also offers an opportunity for students to make a positive impression on people in the industry and possibly create connections that could lead to future job opportunities. The audiovisual industry is a growing and exciting field with many career pathways available for students. Students with the skills demonstrated in this competition are in demand for jobs that are well paid, challenging and interesting.

Where can I go for more information?
Contact Lou Nanni, Director of Certification and Workforce Development, at the International Communications Industries Association, Inc. at 1.800.659.7469 or


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