Lighting Technician

Set up lights for movie, TV, and theater sets.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$17,000 – $40,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Lighting Technicians do?

Lighting Technicians oversee the set up and operation of electric lights in performance venues such as film, television, theater, and concerts.

Your daily tasks as a Lighting Technician depend upon what point you are in the production. Before a show starts, you follow the design oversight of a Lighting Designer in arranging the lighting around the stage. At this point as the Lighting Technician, you might need overhead rigging, large platforms, or other partitions and you work with stage hands, Grips, or construction crews to get these things put up. After that you aim and focus your lights, make sure all the wiring is in place, and hook up the lights to dimmers or whatever special effects equipment you need.

During the show you operate the lights in a specified design, which could involve changing the colors, following an Actor, or altering the brightness to suit the mood. After a production is finished, you disassemble and store the lights.

Different industries require you to work more at some times than others. In concerts, for example, a lot of your work comes during the performance as the light design is a show unto itself. In a television production, however, a lot more work comes before the filming starts in setting up the lights at the right angles, getting the right brightness, and so on.

Should I be a Lighting Technician?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • Also known as: Building Services Technician, Electrician Technician, Facilities Technician, Light Rail Signal Technician See More

    How to become a Lighting Technician

    Most Lighting Technicians have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9paaaa&chl=no+college+%2879%25%29|certificate+%2820%25%29|associate%27s+%281%25%29|||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,79,79
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