How to become a prop maker
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- applying directly
You could take a foundation degree or degree in:
- prop making
- scenic arts
- production arts
- art and design
The Federation of Drama Schools has information on performance-based higher education courses in UK conservatoires that include production arts.
You'll usually need:
- a foundation diploma in art and design
- at least 1 A level, or equivalent, for a foundation degree
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
You can do a college course that may give you some of the practical skills needed in this job. Course examples include:
- Level 2 Diploma in Art and Design
- Level 2 Certificate in Carpentry
- Level 3 Certificate in Creative Craft
- Level 3 Diploma in 3D Design and Crafts
- Level 3 Diploma in Technical Theatre
You may need:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
You could do a props technician advanced apprenticeship.
The apprenticeship takes 18 to 24 months to complete as a mix of workplace learning and off-the-job study.
You'll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
You could start by working in a theatre as a props assistant or technician. In film and TV you would start as an art department trainee.
Practical experience is usually essential to get an assistant job.
Volunteering for student productions, festivals and amateur theatre is a good way to get experience and make contact with people working in the industry, which could help when looking for jobs.
Your creative talent and model-making skills will often be as important as formal qualifications.
You can create a portfolio of your work to show your range of skills.
You can find out more about working in props from Get Into Theatre.
You can also get more information on working in the creative industries from Discover Creative Careers.