Tips for getting a tech job in the entertainment industry


As technological advances continue to enrich our lives in many different ways, so one of the most exciting developments has been within the entertainment industry, where technology has made a huge impact. Whether you want to work in the film and video production sector, music and audio recording, or backstage in the theater, you will find that many of the traditional techniques have been supplanted by contemporary systems that are digitized and highly sophisticated. Here are a few tips for getting to know some of the entertainment industries and understanding what you need to achieve in order to work as a technician in them.


Perhaps the most obvious branch of entertainment technology is that concerned with developing new computer video games and virtual reality experiences. Among the most recent gaming evolutions are glasses that use eye tracking, head tracking, and active shutter 3D to give gamers the ultimate interactive virtual reality adventure. To keep up to speed with developments, it’s worth checking out some of the top tech news sites such as TechNewsWorld. Here, you can get regular updates on emerging gaming technology and familiarize yourself with the top developers in the field.

Film and video

If movie making is the niche that inspires you, then focusing on the sector will help you learn what is needed in terms of skills. For example, special visual effects (VFX) can be an intriguing and rewarding branch of the business and demands creativity as well as technological expertise. If you look closely at the teams working on VFX in the top echelons of movie making, you will find that these include scientists and computer technology experts in collaboration with artists. First jobs in VFX tend to be junior tech directors, who combine knowledge of computer languages with 3D design skills, or junior match movers, who handle a considerable amount of camera tracking. You can check out careers websites to gain more information about desirable qualifications. Sites such as VFX Jobs provide useful guides to writing your résumé and to specific requirements for different types of jobs.


Backstage in professional theaters is unrecognizable from just a few decades ago. While scenery is still designed and constructed, the whole process is very hi-tech with scenery automation and computerized lighting now standard in most places. Sound and video are also part of modern-day stagecraft, and animatronics are increasingly introduced into more sophisticated theater projects. A variety of jobs are posted on sites such as, and most potential employers state what qualifications and/or experience is needed. Some technicians give themselves a head start by helping out at a local amateur theater so that they get to understand the practical side of the work.

Music and audio

In this field, entertainment technicians work across a range of disciplines, including audio recordings, performing arts (dance, theater, and music), broadcasting, film, and advertising. There are a number of specialist roles focused on recording, amplifying, mixing, or enhancing sound. When looking for a job in this field, you should be sure to check out alternative job titles such as sound recordist, sound assistant, and sound supervisor. Often, individuals opt to get involved in either production teams or post-production teams, depending on their specific skills and preferences.

Computing skills

Once it was the case that if you hung around the theater, recording studio, or movie lot doing odd jobs, you might eventually be taken on in a more senior, paid role. Today, this is less and less the case – if at all – and so it’s worth taking the time to figure out what kind of tech education will serve you best in your chosen field. It’s important to get this right because even if you’re one of those self-taught tech wizards and think you can do a job without schooling, you may find employers aren’t willing to take that risk.

Computing skills are essential in every entertainment tech industry sector, and you will benefit most if you opt to learn cloud computing, data analysis and management, network and cyber security, and information systems management. This will offer you a broad base of knowledge and skills upon which to build, and allow you to experience what each area has to offer, the better to make an informed choice about your chosen entertainment industry field.

It’s best to identify a course of training that will equip you for a range of tech challenges, preferably a Master’s of Science in Technology (MSIT) degree program that will teach you how to adapt to new technology as this is introduced. Flexibility is key, and these days you can even take your MSIT Degree online.

Job search

During your course of study is a great time to survey the entertainment industries with a view to deciding where you’d like to focus your job search. In addition, short internships, mentoring programs, and apprenticeships within your chosen sector will teach you more about what to expect, as well as give you a potential network of useful contacts to kickstart your career after you have graduated. To keep your skills sharp, consider setting up one or more side projects that will stretch your capabilities and allow you to demonstrate what you can do, the better to impress a prospective employer.

Finally, when checking out the jobs boards, it pays to be alert for those quirky positions that could lead to greater things. For example, you might want to consider applying to be an entertainment stage technician at Walt Disney World or a technician who can handle one or more of audio, automation, lights, and video for the entertainment events promoted by one of the many cruise lines. It’s important to keep an open mind as in “show business” of any kind, you need to be able to learn as you go and to be willing to try out new things.