How could I start a career in home theater? - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 11 Old 02-26-08, 09:43 PM
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How could I start a career in home theater?


I am currently looking for a new job and I thought the best route to go would be with one of my growing passions. I am definitely a novice when it comes to home theater, but I absolutely love electronics. I love to learn about new technology, hook up entertainment centers for maximum performance, and advise others on what to buy. Only a couple years ago I had almost no clue what high def even meant and now I have an increasing obsession! I would really love to find a career in this field, but I just don't know where to start. It seems as though I need a job before I can train to become certified. I have tried contacting local companies, but to no avail. Does anyone have a suggestion? If so, please let me know. It would be greatly appreciated.

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post #2 of 11 Old 02-27-08, 12:52 AM
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Re: How could I start a career in home theater?

There is a thread here about various ways to learn about HT, there may be something there that interests you.
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post #3 of 11 Old 02-27-08, 01:37 AM
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Re: How could I start a career in home theater?

Thanks for that link I think I should read it also.
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post #4 of 11 Old 02-27-08, 06:15 PM
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Re: How could I start a career in home theater?

Thanks, I'll head over there.
post #5 of 11 Old 03-13-08, 07:21 AM
Mr. Mike
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Re: How could I start a career in home theater?

A word of caution. Once you begin to do what you love for a living, the passion may decrease.

Ever wonder if a pro golfer can just play a round for fun? Likely not.

If you want to make your living from home theater, be prepared for the possibility that you may not want to enjoy your home theater when you get home from work. This isnt a given by any means, but I have seen it happen many times.

Best of luck.

post #6 of 11 Old 03-16-08, 03:12 AM
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Re: How could I start a career in home theater?

Never make a business of your hobby, in my younger days I wanted to get into Hi-End Audio sale and service but didnt want to loose the fun. Are you talking about sales? *Huge pain in the butt and can be make you bitter quick dealing with tire kickers and the stupid customers over and over and over.
Are you talking about install? *Hard to make even a living wage being a hook-up guy, very feast or famine career choice with few benefits and many potential lay-offs and probably not as much fun as you think, hooking up gear and giving advise to friends and family is fun, dealing with folks who look down at you and have paid you money is another story all together.........your not much different then the Landscaper.
Goin into business yourself? *far too many beat you to it and they are always a bad month or two away from folding plus it takes years of experience and alot of cash you should be prepared to loose, not to mention the Internet has changed the rules for everyone and most all Brick and Mortar stores struggle.
All in all I just dont think you are going to enjoy this as much as you think you will but hey what do any of us know? Dont let anybody tell you that you cant do something you really want to do, if you fail atleast you have tried! No matter what you end up doing I wish you all the luck in the world
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-01-08, 01:52 PM
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Re: How could I start a career in home theater?

I am also interested in HT as a profession. The idea of talking/doing HT all day gets my blood flowing.

Now of course the business side of business is what has stopped me from jumping all the way in, so for now, I would love to do HT as a "side-hustle" (a little slang for ya). But overall, I can see myself being able to grin and bear any business issues if it means being excited about going to work each day. My current career is cool, and it doesn't give me any grief...but the thought of my own HT mind you, outweights any issues I may have answering to a customer.
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post #8 of 11 Old 04-08-08, 08:29 AM
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Re: How could I start a career in home theater?

That's really good info. Are only choice for HT hookup hear in Maine is BB.
post #9 of 11 Old 04-08-08, 08:48 AM
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Re: How could I start a career in home theater?

I am a custom installer, but just as a side business. I am fully employed as an engineer 40+ hours a week.

As a side job, it isn't bad. There's no pressure to market, no worries about paying the bills, no need to cut corners to extend profit margins, etc. Granted, in a good year, I stand to make maybe $5k doing this, but overall, I enjoy it.

It also allows me to invest in tools that I otherwise could not justify. Crimpers for Canare cables, audio test equipment, wall-snake/fishing tools, room optimization software (CARA), and so on.

So overall, I'm glad I did it. Now, I already had 10 years+ doing this stuff for hobby, friends, and family -- so I was ahead of the game in experience and education. Reading is good, doing is much better. Sadly for a hobby style business like this, you almost need to just start treating it as an advanced hobby, break stuff, buy stuff, try something beyond your skill set just to get the experience. Of course, that ends up costing you, but the experience is worth it.

Another thing to watch out for is trade laws in your area. As of now, in my market, HT installer is not a licensed trade. You don't need to apprentice or take a test like an electrician or plumber. However, there are still local codes for low voltage wiring, so learning some of the electrical aspects from the pros would not hurt. Also, if you do a certain amount of business, regardless of type, you need to be a "generic" licensed contractor in some locales. Of course, this is more if you go into business for yourself, but it's important to keep in mind.

Finally, the Machiavellian method to learning the business would be to work for an installer company that you may or may not despise (Firedog, BB, etc), get some experience and training (and insurance) on their dime for a few months/years, then start your own company and do it better. That's actually how a lot of contractor/construction companies form.

Good luck and keep us posted. we're all happy to help here.

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post #10 of 11 Old 04-16-08, 07:44 PM
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Re: How could I start a career in home theater?

I agree with Mr.Mike, it's almost impossible to make your passion your work unless you own the company. I left a career that I was successful in for home theater and ended up working for a miserable company. There is so much competition and companies go out of business every day. If you can get in with an established company that treats their people good then good luck.

I have a new career and couldn't be happier, I have more time with my family, normal work hours, and more time and $$$ for my love of two channel audio. I don't miss the retail side of audio one bit and enjoy it as an enthusiast more than ever.
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