Lighting Technician, Lighting Grip, Electrician, Spark

What you do in the job?

Lighting Grip, Electrician, Spark
Erects lights, checks power supplies and safety and assists the lighting cameraman with both illumination and creative lighting of images for shooting. This will be both for daylight and interior or night scenarios. Available light is often not the most attractive. Reflectors will sometimes be used outdoors to fill and soften sunlight.

Apprentice Lighting Technician (Electrician/Technician/Operator, Lighting Assistant or Trainee Lighting)

An apprentice or trainee is learning to become a fully qualified technician and must become familiar with all the lighting equipment, how it works, and how it is used and maintained. Apprentices are taken on by specialist lighting companies and are generally moved from one section or department of the company to another, getting to know electrical maintenance, batteries, electronics and dimmers, as well as the electrical installation of the building. Their work involves such tasks as: testing machines and faultfinding; cleaning, repairing, and maintaining equipment; fixing distribution boards and boxes, and lights; and wiring dimmers and circuit boards.

An apprenticeship usually takes three years to complete, involving four days per week working in a lighting company, and one day per week on day release attending a college course.

Apprentices always work under the close supervision of fully qualified technicians for the first two years of their apprenticeships. Each section or department of a lighting company has its own Head who helps to train the apprentices. Health and Safety legislation and procedures are of vital importance when dealing with electricity, and apprentices must be aware of their implications, and must take responsibility for themselves, and act responsibly towards other members of the team.

What qualities are required?

Lighting Grip, Electrician, Spark
Qualified and experienced electrician, with film location experience. Knowledge of safety requirements.

Skills for Apprentice Lighting Technician
The role of Lighting Technician is physically demanding, the hours are long and the work is very hands-on. Manual dexterity is essential, as is the ability to work comfortably at heights. In addition to the practical work, a considerable amount of paperwork must be completed involving, sometimes complex, mathematical calculations.
Apprentices can expect to be making calculations at "A" level standard by the time they reach the end of their training. A good memory is required, as many complex formulas are used in order to calculate the requirements for different types of cables. Good listening and communication skills are needed, plus the ability to work with others as part of a team. It is useful to obtain a driving licence as soon as possible - eventually an LGV or HGV licence may also be required.

How you start and where you can go with it?

Lighting Grip, Electrician, Spark
From junior electrician to best boy, to supervisor or gaffer.

Apprentice Lighting Technician
Lighting companies usually expect applicants to have reached a Grade "C" GCSE in English, Maths and I.T. before starting their apprenticeship. Apprentices and trainees work for 3 years in total to gain their qualifications, 2 years for Part 1, and 1 year for Part 2 City and Guilds 2330 Certificate in Electro-technical Technology, plus City & Guilds 2381 Certificate in the Requirements for Electrical Installations, which requires an extra 4 days training. Lighting Technicians undertake further training throughout their career, in order to keep up to date with new equipment and changing regulations.

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