Lighting Tech

In a film or television production setting or within a theatrical production company lighting technicians work together with lighting designers lighting directors and electricians to set up lights that will be used during performances or film shootings. According to the main purpose of lights during a performance is to evoke a mood and not to be noticed by the audience. Lighting technicians must be experts at setting up the lighting so that it is not in the way of the camera or so that the audience cannot see wires and hanging equipment. Lighting technicians are sometimes called “gaffers” and some of their main job responsibilities include setting up the lighting equipment for each scene that will be shot placing appropriate filters over lights to create a desired effect and rigging wires and other equipment so it cannot be seen by the audience or the filming cameras. Because lights must sometimes be placed in precarious situations lighting technicians must be comfortable climbing tall ladders and also lifting items that weigh up to 50 pounds or more. According to lighting technicians need either an associate’s degree in the field of theatrical production plus at least two years of on-the-job training or a four-year degree in a related field. Depending on the specific employer some lighting technicians can substitute four years of on-the-job experience for a formal education. The website reports the average salary for a lighting technician is usually between $27933 and $45672. However because productions often take place at night and filming often takes place for more than eight hours per day lighting technicians often earn a large percentage of their pay based on overtime rates.

Education Required: Associate's Degree
Avg Salary: $36802.5
High Salary: $45672
Low Salary: $27933
Tasks: Sets up lighting for various scenes.
Hangs lights per the instructions of the lighting designer.
Ensures the electrical capacity of plugs used for lighting.
Understands electrical safety.
Also Called: Gaffer
Theater Technician
Lamp Operator
Light Controller
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