STAGE TECHNICIANS install and operate lights, sound equipment, and scenery; and erect stages for plays, concerts, musicals, and other stage productions. Stage technicians are also known as sound technicians, lighting designers, lighting equipment operators, carpenters, riggers, electricians, and prop makers. They work in theaters, arenas, stadiums, studios, and other places of entertainment. Technicians also set up equipment for radio, television, video, and film productions. Stage technicians read stage layout specifications and blueprints. They meet with stage managers to determine the type and location of sets, props, scenery, lighting, and sound equipment needed for a specific event.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $46,500 average per year ($22.25 per hour)
- A medium occupation (29,300 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow slowly (0.4% per year)
Most employers look for experienced STAGE TECHNICIANS. A high school diploma or its equivalent is usually required, and experience working in regional theaters or in summer stock is an asset. A general understanding of stagecraft and the theater is desirable. Courses in stagecraft, carpentry, blueprint reading, electricity, electronics, and machine shop, offered in some technical and vocational schools, will be helpful. No special licensing or certification is required for stage technicians. Stage technicians who join a union will probably have to take a written test and participate in a three-year apprenticeship.