Stage manager

Stage managers makes sure the sets, equipment and props are ready for the opening of a performance.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter


£45,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays away from home

How to become a stage manager

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • working towards this role


You could take a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in stage management, or a related subject like:

  • performing arts production
  • theatre practice
  • technical theatre

You'll often need practical backstage experience to apply for a course.

You can get relevant experience from:

  • student, amateur or community theatre
  • working as a casual stagehand in local theatre venues

Entry requirements

  • 1 or 2 A levels for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

More information


You could do a college course, for example:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Production Arts
  • Level 4 Professional Diploma in Technical and Production Practice

The skills you'll learn on these courses could help when you look for a trainee assistant manager job with a stage or production company.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course
  • 1 or 2 A levels, a level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a level 4 or level 5 course

More information


You may be able to move into stage management after training as an actor. You could also work your way up if you have several years' experience as a backstage theatre technician.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You can join the Stage Management Association for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a stage manager from the Stage Management Association and Creative Choices.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • business management skills
  • leadership skills
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • maths knowledge
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • making sure crew and performers are in the right place at the right time
  • organising rehearsals
  • working with staff to plan wardrobe, set design, scene changes, sound and lighting
  • managing props and set dressing
  • keeping the ‘prompt copy’ of the script, which notes what’s happening in each scene
  • liaising with theatre managers and front-of-house staff
  • supervising the 'get in' and ‘get out’ – the times when sets and equipment are set up and taken down
  • giving cues for the performers to go on stage
  • cuing sound and lighting effects

Working environment

You could work at a TV studio, at a film studio or in a theatre.

Your working environment may be noisy, you'll travel often and physically demanding.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could manage a theatre company, become a theatre producer, or move into TV production.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a stage manager right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Production Arts

  • Provider: Rutlish School
  • Start date: 02 September 2020
  • Location: London

JobsIn the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Skills assessment

Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

Get help using this service

Call 0800 100 900 or use webchat

8am to 10pm, 7 days a week

More ways to contact us

Is this page useful?

Yes No