Stagehand

stage technician stage crew
Support

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

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

Hours

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.

Environment

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.

Travel

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

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Working as part of a team
  • Following instructions
  • Being physically fit
  • Coping with pressure

Build your skills

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.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

Keep track of your skills in your account and find the jobs, opportunities and courses that suit you.

Click here to view / add your skills

Getting in

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

Qualifications

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.