AAS in entertainment and live lighting programs teach students how to light entertainment venues. 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 prerequisite. Some schools expect prospective enrollees to pass a placement exam before taking core courses. Direct experience is gained through an internship at a local entertainment venue, and these internships are often required for graduation. Because of the hands-on nature of these programs, they are not typically offered online.
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Associate of Applied Science in Entertainment and Live Lighting
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. Courses in these programs are very specific and refined. Some core subjects include:
- Lighting design
- Technical production issues
- Light programming
- Intelligent lighting
- Scenic design and construction
Popular Career Options
Graduates can go on to work for independent lighting companies, concert venues or touring plays. Some lighting professionals even travel with bands to perfect the lighting for one specific show. Possible job titles include:
- Concert lighting technician
- Stage lighting designer
- Lighting programmer
- Automated lighting specialist
- Road hand
Employment Outlook and Salary
Lighting engineers are included with broadcast and sound engineers and audio/video equipment technicians in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports. Employment for broadcast and sound engineering technicians is predicted to grow at a rate of 7% over the 2014-2024 decade. The mean annual wage of audio/video equipment technicians was $46,630 as of May 2015.
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.
By earning an AAS in entertainment and live lighting, students develop the stage lighting expertise and technical skills they need to design and implement lighting schemes for concerts and other shows.