Lighting engineers work in the entertainment industry, contributing to creating the visuals for theatre, television, or film performances by lighting the scenes. They create lighting effects to change the mood of the set by operating lighting boards.
You will be an important member of the crew, responsible not only for controlling lights, but hanging and rigging them as well, moving them to the appropriate position. You will select the right temperature and intensity of the light necessary to create the desired effects. You will have to know how to apply shades and covers to spread or direct light in any way the director wishes. Your creative input will be necessary as well, and you will be there to give advice on best practices and solutions.
People in this profession typically learn their craft working the job. Working as an apprentice in a theatre or a local arena is a great way to start. Passion is the most important asset you can have here on a personal level, as is often the case with careers of a creative nature. Once you find your way into the industry, you will be able to make $84,000 on average per year.
There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a lighting engineer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $39.36 an hour? That's $81,873 a year!
Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 2% and produce 8,000 job opportunities across the U.S.
There are certain skills that many lighting engineers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed initiative, speaking skills and writing skills.
When it comes to the most important skills required to be a lighting engineer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 24.3% of lighting engineers included a/v, while 22.3% of resumes included special events, and 16.3% of resumes included technical aspects. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.
When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the lighting engineer job title. But what industry to start with? Most lighting engineers actually find jobs in the manufacturing and hospitality industries.
If you're interested in becoming a lighting engineer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 48.8% of lighting engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 8.2% of lighting engineers have master's degrees. Even though most lighting engineers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.
Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a lighting engineer. When we researched the most common majors for a lighting engineer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on lighting engineer resumes include high school diploma degrees or master's degree degrees.
You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a lighting engineer. In fact, many lighting engineer jobs require experience in a role such as audio engineer. Meanwhile, many lighting engineers also have previous career experience in roles such as internship or sound engineer.