What they do
Lighting technicians prepare, install, operate and maintain lighting rigs for live productions, film and television productions and events such as theatre, music and corporate functions. They work in conjunction with lighting and production designers and directors to decide on the type of lights that will be used for a production, their placement and the way in which they will be used. They also wire up lighting systems, position lights on metal scaffolding and undertake maintenance and repairs on broken lights and lighting equipment. They also operate lighting desks, including filters and reflective screens, during filming or live productions or performances and may be responsible for transporting lighting to production locations.
Lighting technicians work in theatres, on the set of film and television productions, at venues that host corporate functions, and award ceremonies and at outdoor events. When working outdoors they are required to work in most weather conditions. They are often required to work at heights. They work irregular hours, including evenings, and on weekends and public holidays. They are often required to travel to the location of productions on which they are working.
Tools and technologies
Lighting technicians use lighting rigs, including metal scaffolding and cabling, a range of lights such as spotlights and floodlights, filters, and reflective screens. They also use lighting control desks, and hand and power tools. They use ladders, and when working at heights are often required to wear protective clothing such as harnesses and hard-hats.
How do I become one?
Education and training
You can work as light technician without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a formal qualification in screen, film, media, live production or other related areas.
The Certificate III, Certificate IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media are offered at TAFE colleges throughout Western Australia.
It is possible to study a degree in media, film or screen production. Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.
You can also undertake a traineeship in live production, theatre and events (level II). The traineeship takes 12 months to complete.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.
You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
Required registration and licensing