stage technician stage crew
Performing arts and media

Career outlook for stagehand

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would work behind the scenes with props, scenery and special effects in theatres, concert halls and TV/film studios.

Your knowledge of exactly where and when to move objects and scenery would be an important part of any performance.

You would:

  • Load and unload equipment
  • Help carpenters to build and put up scenery
  • Go to rehearsals to get to know every scene change
  • Move scenery, furniture and heavy equipment during performances
  • Open and close theatre curtains between acts
  • Operate manual and automated scenery-moving machinery
  • Clear the stage or studio and backstage area at the end of the performance

You would work as part of a team managed by a master carpenter, technical manager or stage manager.

It would be important for you to have a good understanding of health and safety rules.

Working conditions


Your hours would vary according to the needs of the show. Most theatre performances take place in the evening, but you would also work in the afternoons during rehearsals or matinee shows. In film and TV most of the work is in the daytime.


You might work in one venue, or travel to different venues when on tour. The work can involve heights and some heavy lifting. You would wear black clothing during performances, for making scene changes in the dark.


Some travel could be involved if your production were to go on tour.

UK employment status





Self employed


Create a qualification route

We've found some examples of the qualifications that could help you get this job.

Discover my route

Search course options

Thinking about your future? There are lots of courses available that could interest you. Use our course search to explore course options.

Find courses

Search job opportunities

If you're looking for your new career our job search can help you. Discover interesting opportunities and decide your next steps.

Find a job

Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Resilience
  • Positive attitude
  • Time management
  • Attention to detail
  • Cooperating
  • Building relationships
  • Creative
  • Problem solving

Skills Explorer

Your skills can help you choose the career that's right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

Our Skills Explorer tool will help you understand what skills you have and match them to jobs that might suit you.

Use the Skills Explorer tool

Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


There are no set qualifications required to enter this role but many stage hands have a background in technical theatre or practical crafts such as joinery, metalwork or painting and decorating.

Most employers value a good general education and qualifications at SCQF level 4/5.

You can enter Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma courses (SCQF level 8) with National 4/5 qualifications and one to two Highers or equivalent qualifications. 

To enter a degree (SCQF level 9/10) usually requires National 5 qualifications and a minimum of three Highers or a relevant HNC/HND.

You can enter some Technical Theatre National Certificate or National Qualification courses (SCQF 2-6) with no formal qualifications but most courses ask for National 4/5.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • Practical technologies
  • Drama
  • Media

You will also need

To be fit and strong, as it is a physical job.

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that show practical skills such as Skills for Work Construction Crafts (SCQF level 4/5) and a strong interest in theatre, television and film.