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Posted by: Paul Weatherhead



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How can you assure you won’t be constantly staving off a slow season as an AV freelancer? The answer is simple: expand your skills, and by extension your offerings to companies. Businesses of all sizes have come to terms with digital transformation as a process, and not a one-and-done matter. Technicians are more needed than ever, but only if they’re able to deliver diverse AV solutions.

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How do you make sure you have the skills buyers are looking for? There are different brands and certifications to become proficient in, after all. No worries, this isn’t a trick question, it’s more of an issue of focus. Many of your clients will be seeking technicians who are certified in industry-standard technology.

Nowadays, there are quite a few industry-standard AV manufacturers offering training options for freelance technicians like yourself. Browse our list below to find out how flexible, affordable, and practical these options are.

1. Extron

One of the leading AV brands globally, Extron specializes in products that integrate computer and AV into presentation displays for corporate, education, and many other markets. Being able to present certifications for their “AV Associate” or “Control Specialist” programs will certainly give your job profile a boost. There’s even a continuing education option in the form of a “Publications Review,” which offers reviews and testing on Extron publications. 

Extron training is available via online courses. These courses are delivered in instructor-led video format and can be accessed 24 hours a day. Many manufacturers offering training realize freelance technicians lead busy careers and want to make certification more accessible. 

Extron’s options also offer renewal units (RUs), vital for maintaining any AVIXA CTS certifications you might have. 

2. Chief

Although industry-standard skills are an important qualifier for training options, it’s equally important that you seek options for essential AV components as well. Chief is known for manufacturing high-quality mounting equipment for both flat panel and projector displays. Training for such products can only fortify your foundational knowledge of AV systems design. 

Online webinar and in-person training for Chief (and several other related projection product brands) is offered by Milestone’s AV University. Technicians who register with the AV University online have access to free courses that can be tailored to their schedules, are self-guided, and can be tracked for progress. AVIXA RUs can be earned through this program as well, killing two birds with one stone.

3. Digital Signage Expert Group

Digital signage is fast becoming a specialization that differentiates freelance technicians’ offerings in a significant way. Commercial, corporate, and media organizations are very invested in implementing high-quality LED signage. It’s a specialization that can be difficult to train for, however, since there are many interconnected technologies that drive successful digital signage.

While there are great training options offered by world-class brands like BrightSign, technicians will want to look into the Digital Signage Expert Group’s (DSEG) certification program as well. DSEG focuses on “impartial, agnostic, and vendor-neutral training,” giving you a broader understanding of the market’s technologies.

Becoming a Digital Signage Certification Expert (DSCE) isn’t free like other options discussed above, but it’s well worth the price to gain comprehensive knowledge of this booming market.


Last but not least, you should consider training with the Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association (CEDIA), perhaps the largest AV trade association next to AVIXA. CEDIA will give you all the skills you need to provide AV solutions for the home market, which is booming just as much as digital signage.

Its program offers members free lessons, self-paced e-courses, and webinars that will give you all the installation and automation skills you need to offer the home AV market complex custom solutions.

The means of getting steady work is right at your fingertips with these manufacturers’ training options.


Paul Weatherhead

Paul Weatherhead

Prior to founding AV Junction Inc., Paul worked for a tier one AV systems integrator in an operational management capacity for 10 years. His knowledge and experience have helped him oversee hundreds of system integration projects in a variety of industries. Paul’s leadership skills as matched by his sense of humour and easygoing nature. When he’s not at work, you can find him outdoors, exploring new places or spending time with family and friends.

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