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How do I Become a Stage Technician?

Pursuing a career as a stage technician involves gaining hands-on experience in theater production, studying technical theater or a related field, and honing skills in lighting, sound, and set construction. Internships and apprenticeships can provide valuable industry insights and networking opportunities.
Jill Gonzalez
Jill Gonzalez

If you want to become a stage technician, you will need to be a high school graduate or have a GED. These positions do not usually require applicants to have a college degree. With the majority of these jobs, you will need to have a clean criminal background and successfully pass a pre-employment drug screening and physical exam.

To become a stage technician, candidates should plan on being knowledgeable about rigging practices on the stage, especially safety procedures. You might also want to be familiar with various systems that are used on stages, such as lighting and sound. If you also have knowledge of electricity basics and staging, it will probably go a long way towards helping you find a job in this field.

A stage technician must be knowledgeable of all stage operations in a theater.
A stage technician must be knowledgeable of all stage operations in a theater.

Some experience working in the theater is generally required for anyone who wants to become a stage technician. Many jobs require applicants to at least have two years of prior work experience. In some cases, you might be able to substitute unpaid internships or volunteer experience for traditional employment. The number of years of experience that you will need to have will more than likely vary between employers.

In order to become a stage technician, many companies will require you to have basic computer knowledge. It may be necessary for you to send and receive email, or look up information that will help you to get your work done on a particular job. You will probably also need to be adept at using a variety of different tools. In addition, you could be asked to climb to certain heights while installing or fixing components of a stage, so it can be helpful if you have an adventurous spirit.

Some stage technician jobs will require applicants to have a solid grasp of state or federal employment safety guidelines. This is particularly true in supervisory or management level positions. There are some stage technician jobs that will involve supervising the work of others, even if you do not have the official title of being a supervisor or manager. You could also be asked to help design or build sets for the stage, so if you have an educational or work background in architecture or engineering, you will more than likely have an advantage.

You may want to be prepared for having the responsibility of handling props and taking care of assignments that might actually be the responsibility of someone else. Stage technicians routinely have to act in a back-up type of position for other theatrical personnel. You should have the ability to be flexible and deal with rapid change, as this will likely help you throughout your career.

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    • A stage technician must be knowledgeable of all stage operations in a theater.
      By: James Harris
      A stage technician must be knowledgeable of all stage operations in a theater.