How to Become a Home Entertainment Equipment Installer and Repairman

For as long as radio waves have enveloped the earth and transmitted news and entertainment to every household with a receiver, there has been a fellow with a toolbox, jumpsuit, and nametag (usually “Bob”) whose express purpose is to fix that device whenever it breaks down. Though the day of the radio is long past and the televisions of the day are becoming more and more like computers with each passing generation of technology, the same general idea holds true.

Once America had a taste of the plentiful, canned entertainment presented by television and radio, it became a national obsession that spawned an entire support industry single-handedly. What’s more, given the persistent nature of this addiction to on-demand entertainment, the job outlook remains stable into the immediate future and beyond.

Becoming a Home Entertainment Equipment Installer and Repairman
$32,940
Certification
None
None
36,800
14%
5,100
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

A home entertainment equipment installer and repairman is responsible for both the initial installation of large pieces of home theatre and stereo equipment, as well as the repairs of said equipment when it breaks down. Some individuals in the field go further by providing education to end consumers regarding the proper use and maintenance of their latest purchase.

Due to the business model, maintenance is typically not performed by the professional. This is because repairs are much more profitable and the equipment in question is in the hands of end consumers and not businesses. Given the throwaway nature of American consumer culture, the repair portion of this career path is in jeopardy, particularly for those attached to electronics. Comprising over 30% of the total hiring pool for home entertainment equipment installers and repairmen, the electronics industry has long since realized that technology advances so rapidly that it’s just cheaper to toss the device if it breaks while under warranty and hand the consumer a new one.

Education

Given the home entertainment equipment installer and repairman’s role is that of a skilled laborer without any need of advanced mathematics or hard sciences, the career falls into a particularly nebulous realm. Though a prospective new hire qualifies by simply having a high school diploma or GED, this competitive economy causes employers to expect a bit more than that from incoming recruits. To that end, many new home entertainment equipment installers and repairmen receive journeyman-level certification with the Electronics Technicians Association International or associates-level certification with the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians shortly after, or even before, hiring. Once hired, continuing education in the field is typically done through experience in the job itself rather than through any credit acquisition system as is found in medicine.

Advancement

Advancement within the profession continues to focus upon the skills groomed as the home entertainment equipment installer and repairman gains experience. For this reason, it is highly unlikely to find such an individual in an administrative role – the skills gained are simply too valuable when actively being used to cause advancement to go in that direction.

To this end, somebody in this career can simply expect to receive raises commiserate with the value his experience brings to the company. While the median income in the field is $32,940 annually, the top 10% of earners find that they make $53,500 annually, meaning there is significant room to grow in the field for those who enjoy it enough to stick with it and become highly efficient.

To stimulate such growth, many employers place commissions on each job as an incentive for repairmen to do their jobs quickly and efficiently. This incentive teaches them to quickly run through the most common failures of a particular piece of equipment when triaging the problem, resulting in a drain of creativity in the work.

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