What does a Lighting Technician do?

A theatre Lighting Technician (LT) prepares and operates the lighting system for a production. They make the lighting effects for live theatre productions based on the designs created by the Lighting Designer (LD). The work of a Lighting Technician can vary depending on the production.

What are the main responsibilities of a theatre Lighting Technician?

  • Communicating with the Lighting Designer and making sure you understand their lighting plan and you are able to produce what is asked for
  • Rigging and operating necessary lighting equipment
  • Taking direction and cues from the Stage Manager
  • Use manual and computer-controlled lighting systems during the show
  • Keeping lighting equipment in a good and safe working condition
  • Electrical maintenance duties when needed
  • Keeping updated with new technology within the theatre industry

Search opportunities for Lighting Technicians here and find jobs with The Stage Jobs here. 

What qualifications do I need to work in lighting?

You do not need a degree for this role and most training takes place on the job. Additional training throughout your career is essential to keep your knowledge up-to-date. You can gain qualifications in any subject related to lighting design and technology such as:

  • Art & Design
  • Technical Theatre
  • Performing Arts
  • Performing Arts (Technical Theatre)
  • Electrical/Electronic Engineering
  • Lighting Design and Technology
  • Theatre Lighting Design

Find training opportunities to be a lighting technician here.

What skills do I need to be a Lighting Technician?

Some skills are essential to be a candidate for a Lighting Technician role, including:

  • Excellent colour vision
  • Good communicator
  • Work well under pressure to tight deadlines
  • Creative
  • Technical ability

What does a career in lighting look like?

You can start as a Stagehand before assisting the Lighting Crew if you get experience at organisations who produce shows. You can start as an Assistant at a lighting hire company as they are often involved in productions and there is potential to get your foot in the door this way. Some people go on to work as Lighting Designers after working as a Lighting Technician. Have a look at our vlog with Lighting Designer and Technician Rajiv Pattani.

How much can a theatre Lighting Technician earn?

Lighting Technicians at the start of their career can expect to earn around £150 per day minimum rising to £225 with more experience.

If there were any words in this blog you weren’t sure of see our All Things Theatre Dictionary here. 

Find theatre vacancies with The Stage Jobs here


Photo: Alex Brenner

Published: 29 May 2019

Get personalised theatre opportunities

From an organisation? Share your opportunity

You can list your training, outreach or funding opportunities for free and within minutes. Set up an account now and we’ll start helping you reach the people you need…
Read me aloud