When we asked AV industry demographics questions for our 2019 State of the Industry Report, we have an idea of what the answers will be: the AV industry is still made up of mostly older dudes.
This is despite the earnest focus so many firms have given to diversifying their employee rosters; despite the dedication from NSCA with its Ignite program and AVIXA with its grant initiative to adding a youth infusion to pro AV industry demographics.
AV Demographics for 2019
- A whopping 86 percent of survey respondents are male, and only 15 percent are under 35 years old.
The sweet spot in terms of age range is 45 to 54 years old with 29 percent of the industry. Chugging along right behind them with 28 percent is the 55-to 64-year-old group.
- Add in the 10 percent who are 65 or older and you realize that 38 percent of the industry is over 55 — very close to traditional retirement age.
Why is this a problem?
“I’m always disappointed when I see that,” says NSCA’s Chuck Wilson, referring to the demographic results in the survey.
“We have a lot of programs in place and we’re trying to do more with that — recruiting, bringing in younger people including young women.”
Meanwhile, our demographics analysis also digs into the size of the companies where the individuals who take the survey work.
Interestingly, the largest group, with 28 percent, work for companies with over 100 employees. That percentage inched up from 24 percent in last year’s survey.
It follows the trend that, with so much merger-and-acquisition activity in the AV integration market over the last several years the companies that remain would naturally be larger.
“We average about a member a week getting acquired by a larger company that is, fortunately, also a member,” says Wilson.
“It’s a dramatic shift and these numbers speak to that. We have fewer and larger companies right now.”