What they do
Ushers collect tickets or admission passes and assist patrons to their seats at a show or sporting event. Ushers may also sell admission tickets, promotional material and snacks and drinks to the public prior to the show or event. If working in a cinema, ushers are also expected to check on sound and picture quality during the film and, if necessary, let the projectionist know if there are any problems. These workers will also prepare the venue before an event, clean up after patrons and may also lock up premises afterwards.
Working conditions depend on the type of venue you are working in. If there is a sold-out show or sporting event, ushers can be put under pressure to work fast and efficiently to ensure all patrons are cared for. Sometimes these workers may find they need to deal with angry or upset patrons, if there has been a booking error for example. At licensed venues ushers may also have to deal with intoxicated patrons. Most ushers are expected to wear a uniform.
Most ushers work in casual and part-time positions, and may be expected to work evenings and on weekends.
Tools and technologies
Ushers use cash registers and EFTPOS machines when handling transactions with patrons. These workers may also use a torch when checking the cinema during the film and to ensure patrons are comfortably seated. They may also use a 2-way radio to communicate with supervisors and other staff members. They will also use ticketing machines, and possibly seating allocation software. Ushers at some venues may also use barcode readers to check ticket authenticity.
How do I become one?
Education and training
It is possible to work as a ticket collector or usher without any formal qualifications and get training on the job.
You can also complete a traineeship in entertainment - front of house (level 2). The traineeship usually takes 12 months to complete and is available as a school-based traineeship.
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