How to become a lighting technician: Peter's story

Meet Peter, 23, from Birmingham, and find out about his life as a lighting technician at the Royal Opera House in London. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

I had never lived on my own before my apprenticeship but I had amazing teachers who encouraged me to go for it.

  • Peter's mum took him to the theatre all the time when he was younger and he spent all his pocket money going to gigs
  • He was always looking up at the lights rather than watching the bands on stage
  • Peter was more interested in things he could learn outside of the classroom
  • He studied a technical theatre course at college which led him to apply for the Technical Theatre Apprenticeship at the Royal Opera House.

Peter's career path

What to expect if you want to become a lighting technician

  • Lighting technician salary: Variable ranging from £15,000 to £40,000
  • Lighting technician hours: Variable ranging from 40 to 44 hours per week

What qualifications do you need to become a lighting technician?

  • Typical route: To start a technical theatre and lighting advanced apprenticeship like Peter’s, you’ll usually need 5 GCSEs or equivalent at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and Maths. Other options include: a university degree such as Performing Arts (Production), volunteering or gaining work experience in theatres or broadcaster training schemes. You could also qualify as an electrician first and then get practical experience in production lighting.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

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