Lighting Technician
Careers New Zealand
New Zealand
4d ago

Pay for lighting technicians varies depending on experience and type of industry. Many lighting technicians are freelancers and work can be hard to find.

Lighting technicians working on films, television series and commercials usually work 10 hour days.

  • Lighting assistants usually earn between $36 and $40 an hour.
  • Generator operators / electricians usually earn between $40 and $45.
  • Best boys / girls usually earn between $50 and $52.
  • Gaffers usually earn $55 and $70 an hour.
  • Pay for lighting technicians working for lighting companies at events varies with experience.

  • Entry level event lighting technicians usually start on $17 an hour.
  • Experienced event lighting technicians can earn up to $27 an hour.
  • Source : The New Zealand Film and Video Technicians' Guild, 2017.

    This information is a guide only. )

    What you will do

    Lighting technicians may do some or all of the following :

  • select and set up the lights and equipment
  • light each scene in television, film and theatre productions
  • operate the lights during performances
  • maintain and repair equipment
  • set up frames and scaffolding for lighting rigs
  • consult with the event manager, director and camera operator to assess what lighting is required for an event, show or scene.
  • Skills and knowledge

    Lighting technicians need to have :

  • knowledge of lighting special effects, and the qualities of light and colour
  • knowledge of heath and safety requirements and procedures
  • technical skills, including electrical knowledge
  • an understanding of the environment they are working in
  • knowledge of the filming process, particularly different camera techniques if working in film or television.
  • Lighting technicians :

  • may work long and irregular hours, including evenings, weekends and public holidays
  • work in theatres, on television and film sets, and at a variety of venues for corporate functions, outdoor events and concerts
  • may travel between venues and locations depending on the type of work they do.
  • Entry requirements

    There are no specific entry requirements to become a lighting technician. Skills are usually learned on the job as an assistant lighting technician.

    However, a tertiary qualification in television, video or film may be useful.

    Secondary education

    There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a lighting technician. However, English, maths, physics, design and visual communication (graphics) are useful.

    Personal requirements

    Lighting technicians need to be :

  • practical and accurate
  • well organised, with good planning skills
  • able to work well under pressure.
  • Useful experience

    Useful experience for lighting technicians includes :

  • working backstage in theatres
  • working for a lighting hire and supply company
  • computer or electrical work
  • photography
  • work in the entertainment industry
  • production work in film or television.
  • Physical requirements

    Lighting technicians need to be reasonably fit and strong as they often work long hours with few breaks, be able to climb up rigging and carry heavy equipment.

    They also need to have good hearing and normal colour vision.

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