Stagehand

Alternative titles for this job include Stage technician, backstage crew member

Stagehands help to get things ready on set for performances in the theatre, at concerts and in TV and film studios.

Average salary (a year)

£19,000 Starter

to

£30,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

40 to 50 variable

You could work

freelance / self-employed away from home

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Stagehand

You can get into this job through:

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

University

You can do a foundation degree or degree in a subject like:

  • stage and production management
  • sound engineering and production
  • theatre and production arts

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • at least 1 A level, or equivalent, for a foundation degree
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information

College

You can take a college course, for example:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Technical Theatre - Sound, Light and Stage
  • Level 3 Diploma in Production Arts
  • T Level in Media, Broadcast and Production

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

Entry requirements

You'll usually 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
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T Level

More Information

Apprenticeship

You could apply to do a Creative Industries Production Technician Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship.

This can take around 2 years to complete and is a mix of workplace learning and off-the-job study.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information

Work

You may be able to start in a theatre or venue as a member of the casual backstage staff and work your way up.

You can contact a theatre's resident stage manager or master carpenter to find out about possible opportunities.

Volunteering

Any backstage experience you have from school, college, amateur or fringe productions will be helpful.

More Information

Career tips

You may have an advantage if you've got skills and experience in carpentry, electrical work, sound or lighting.

Further information

You can find out more about working and training as a stagehand from Get Into Theatre and the Association of British Theatre Technicians.

You can get more information on working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of building and construction
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a stagehand, you could:

  • load and unload stage equipment
  • help carpenters build and put up scenery
  • follow production plans to set up stages and rigging
  • control a fly system to hoist and lower lighting and scenery during rehearsals and performances
  • programme and operate sound, video and visual effects equipment
  • maintain and repair technical equipment

Working environment

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

Your working environment may be physically demanding, cramped, noisy and at height.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could lead a crew of stagehands and scene builders. You could also take further training to become a production carpenter, sound or lighting engineer. You could do a creative industries production manager degree apprenticeship to become a stage manager.

You could also work freelance for theatre venues, TV or film studios, touring theatre companies and large-scale concert tours.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Live Events Technician Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £18,720 a year Annually
  • Location: BILTON INDUSTRIAL ESTATE, BILTON ROAD, BASINGSTOKE

Courses In England

BA (Hons) Stage Management & Technical Theatre

  • Provider: CHICHESTER COLLEGE GROUP
  • Start date: 16 September 2024
  • Location: Worthing

Technical Theatre

  • Provider: THE OLDHAM COLLEGE
  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Oldham

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