Planit


Lighting Technician

Job Profile Image

A lighting technician sets up the lights on stage, in a film or broadcasting studio or on location outdoors. They control the position, strength and colour of lighting during the production.

The Work

You could be:

You would usually specialise in film and TV or theatre and live events. Depending on the size and type of production, the lighting technician may also have responsibility for sound (see the Sound Technician job profile).

Pay

The figures below are only a guide. Actual salaries may vary, depending on:

Most lighting technicians are freelance and earnings can vary widely depending on the job. The BECTU (Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union) website has details of recommended freelance pay rates.

Rates vary depending on the type of production you work on. The minimum rate is £360 for a 10-hour day working on a TV drama or low budget film; and £417 for working on commercials. The rates for working on a major feature film is £392.06 for a 10-hour day, and £436.13 for 12 hours (BECTU January 2019).

Conditions

Workforce Employment Status

LMI data powered by LMI for All

Getting In

Traditionally, you get in through the route for an electrician (see Electrician). However, many entrants now do specialised training in lighting design or include the subject as part of a more general theatre studies course.

There are jobs with theatre, film and broadcasting companies in towns and cities, but vacancies are scarce and competition is fierce. You may have to move around for work.

Workforce Education Levels (UK)

LMI data powered by EMSI UK

Job Outlook Scotland

Employment

Unemployment

Percentage of workforce registered as unemployed (Scotland)

LMI data powered by EMSI UK

Job Outlook Scotland and UK

  Scotland
2019
20259
0.2 %
RISE
2024
20308
  United Kingdom
2019
194079
1.2 %
RISE
2024
196363

LMI data powered by EMSI UK

What Does it Take?

You need:

Training

Getting On

More Information

The Network scheme is run in connection with the Edinburgh TV Festival, where young people get the opportunity to work behind and in front of the camera and to make useful contacts in the industry. Find information on the next programme on the Edinburgh TV Festival website.

The Creative and Cultural Skills website has a careers section called Creative Choices which covers careers information, jobs and opportunities in the theatre and music, including lighting work and working as a lighting designer.

Video

Courtesy of ScreenSkills

Contacts

The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT)
Tel: 020 7242 9200
E-mail: office@abtt.org.uk
Website: http://www.abtt.org.uk/
Twitter: @theabtt

BECTU Scotland (Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union)
E-mail: info@bectu.org.uk
Website: http://www.bectu.org.uk
Twitter: @bectu
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BECTUOfficial

Edinburgh TV Festival
Tel: 020 7278 9515
E-mail: info@thetvfestival.com
Website: http://www.thetvfestival.com
Twitter: @EdinburghTVFest
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsEdinburghTVFestival

Scottish Drama Training Network
Tel: 0141 270 8349
Website: http://sdtn.org/
Twitter: @SDTNtweets
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sdtnofficial/

ScreenSkills
E-mail: info@screenskills.com
Website: https://www.ScreenSkills.com
Twitter: @UKScreenSkills
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UKScreenSkills

ScreenSkills (formerly Creative Skillset) works with the UK’s screen-based creative media industries to develop skills and talent from classroom to boardroom.

Was this article useful?
Please help us improve Planit by rating this article.

Career Sectors

Advertising, Marketing and PR

Journalism

Media and Broadcasting

Publishing and Writing