A bachelor’s degree in theatre and entertainment technology combines art, design and technology to empower students with the skills they need to succeed in the entertainment industry. The program covers several integral topics, including lighting and sound technology, music mixing, costume technology, art history and stage management. Many holders of this degree typically work behind the scenes, significantly contributing to the success of theater, music, film and television productions.
Below are some of the U.S. universities offering bachelor’s degree programs in theater and entertainment technology:
- Michigan Technological University, Michigan
- Brenau University, Georgia
- University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada
The United States Institute for Theatre Technology is one of the few professional associations that offer memberships to theatre and entertainment technology practitioners.
So, which job titles are associated with this degree?
#1 Lighting Designer
In theatre, lighting designers create lighting effects for production projects. If a film scene calls for joyful mood, it is the job of these designers to determine how light can be manipulated into evoking this mood. Although some universities offer degree programs in lighting design, theatre and entertainment technology programs also produce competent lighting designers. They can work for design studios, theatre companies and film production companies. According to payscale.com, lighting designers earn an average annual salary of $53,794 per year.
#2 Studio Sound Engineer
Also known as audio engineers, studio sound engineers are involved in the production of music, films and television programs. They manipulate, mix and reproduce sound, so that the volume levels meet the production’s requirements. And if you didn’t know who is responsible for the acoustic sound that wafts through the interior of a recording studio, now you know! Their job also involves installing sound equipment in studios. The median annual salary for audio engineers is $44, 599, according to Payscale.com.
#3 Costume Technician
Another job you can get with a bachelor’s degree in theatre and entertainment technology is that of a costume technician. In this role, you will use your design and technical skills to build costumes of for actors and other entertainment artists. If you don’t fancy the job, then you can easily move to costume design since the degree offers both costume design and technology courses. Apart from performing arts companies, costume technicians can also be hired by industrial manufacturers of costumes. Simply Hired reports costume technicians earn an average annual salary of $32,000.
#4 Theatre Stage Manager
Theatre stage managers organize and coordinate a theatrical production. They ensure lighting technicians, set designers and other members of the production crew work as a team. In short, they work to ensure the stage is well-set and ready to accommodate production projects. Beyond having a bachelor’s degree in theatre and entertainment technology, it takes vast experience to land this job. You may start out as a crew member, before working your way up through position such as assistant stage manager. On average, theatre stage managers make $44,000 a year, Simply Hired notes.
#5 Stage Automation Engineer
With modern technology advancing, theatre companies are relying on stage automation engineers to develop and implement systems that control a range of stage operations. For example, instead of having technicians on standby to manually operate stage illumination equipment, automation engineers can easily automate the task. With Indeed reporting an average annual average salary of $84,000 for these engineers, it is safe to conclude it one of the top-paying jobs.
Hopefully, this article has shed more light on the career paths you can follow with a degree in theatre and entertainment technology. These careers require different levels of artistic and technical abilities, so choose wisely!