Concert Lighting Design Training and Education Program Information

In live lighting programs, students gain the skills necessary to set up and design lights for concerts and stage shows through traditional coursework and direct-experience internships.

Essential Information

Associate of Applied Science in Entertainment and Live Lighting programs teach students how to light entertainment venues, as opposed to incorporating lighting into architectural plans. Through hands-on practice and classroom training, participants get an understanding of the technical and creative issues involved with lighting a stage for a concert or musical show. Coursework covers lighting layouts, instruments, computer applications and lighting, equipment maintenance and new technologies. Direct experience is gained through an internship at a local entertainment venue. These programs are sometimes paired with a live audio production associate's degree and are typically offered by community colleges and universities. Admission requirements vary by institution, but a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) equivalent is the most common mandate. Some schools expect prospective enrollees to pass a placement exam before taking core courses.

  • Program Fields: Live audio production.
  • Prerequisites: Varies by institution, but a high school diploma or GED is the most typical requirement.
  • Other Requirements: Completion of an internship for graduation.
  • Online Availability: Courses and programs are not typically offered online.

Associate of Applied Science in Entertainment and Live Lighting

Courses in these programs are very specific and refined. Some core subjects include:

  • Lighting design
  • Technical production issues
  • Light programming
  • Intelligent lighting
  • Rigging
  • Scenic design and construction

Popular Career Options

Graduates can go on to work for independent lighting companies, concert venues or tour plays. Some lighting professionals even travel with bands to perfect the lighting for one specific show. Other possible job roles are:

  • Concert lighting technician
  • Stage lighting designer
  • Lighting programmer
  • Automated lighting specialist
  • Road hand

Employment Outlook and Salary

Lighting engineers are included with sound engineers and audio/video equipment technicians in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports. Employment for sound engineers is predicted to grow at a rate of 9% over the 2012-2022 decade. The mean annual wage of audio/video equipment technicians was $46,040 as of May 2014.

Certification Options

Certification isn't typically required to work in the field. However, the International Association of Lighting Management Companies (NALMCO) does offer two related certifications: the Certified Apprentice Lighting Technician (CALT) and the Certified Senior Lighting Technician (CSLT) designations.

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