Lighting technicians are employed by:
- Television stations, networks and cable companies
- Film and motion picture production companies
- Theatre, opera and dance companies
- Concert and festival promoters
- Trade shows
- Lighting equipment manufacturers, suppliers and rental companies
- Architectural lighting companies
- Museums, theme parks and cruise ship companies
- Post-secondary schools
In motion picture and theatre lighting, employment may be seasonal or short term. Even experienced workers may experience periods of unemployment. Some worksites may require union membership to participate.
Experienced lighting technicians in large organizations may advance to supervisory positions, such as head electrician, lighting director or gaffer. Further advancement generally requires further education, which may be acquired through specialized workshops and seminars. Because this field is so specialized, advancing from technician to the position of lighting designer needs related post-secondary education. A bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in fine art with a specialization in theatre design is recommended.
Lighting technicians are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 5226: Other technical and co-ordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting and the performing arts. In Alberta, 90% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:
The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:
- Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
- Trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
- Location in Alberta
- Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
- Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
- Size of the occupation
In Alberta, the 5226: Other technical and co-ordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting and the performing arts occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.6% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 39 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.
Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.