Sound and Lighting Technician Jobs on Cruise Ships

By Michelle - August 24, 2010 

Sound and lighting technicians on cruise ships have the same duties as land based technicians. Sound and lighting technicians, also called “sound engineers,” are responsible for setting up and operating audio and lighting equipment. These professionals are also responsible for maintaining the equipment, keeping track of it, and in some cases, they also assist with purchasing.

Cruise ships have many opportunities for sound and lighting technicians. Depending on the size of the cruise ship, the vessel may house movie theaters, entertainment venues such as nightclubs, theaters (stage performances), lecture halls, and more. This means, a skilled sound and lighting technician will have his or her pick of exciting jobs aboard any given cruise ship. Even smaller cruise ships feature a number of entertainment venues. Although on a smaller scale, small ships still require the expertise of a seasoned technician.

If you are interested in becoming a sound and lighting technician on a cruise ship, formal training is a must. Aspiring technicians should complete a technical training program at a technical school, specialty school, or four-year college. Although an associate degree is acceptable for most entry level positions, many employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree or an associate degree plus several years experience.

You may gain valuable experience by completing an internship or working as an assistant. You may also work in your school’s AV and/or theater department to gain experience. Although many internships are unpaid, assistant positions offer an hourly wage. If your position with your school’s AV or theater department is not part of an internship program, chances are, these positions will be paid as well.

Sound and lighting technicians on cruise ships may earn anywhere from $19,500 per year($1,625/month) up to $55,400 per year or $4,616 per month. It is important to note that, technicians on the higher end of the pay scale typically have 7-10 years of experience in the field and they usually work aboard the world’s top mega-ships or some of the world’s most exclusive luxury cruise ships. These individuals usually have the responsibility of handling elaborate productions and complex facilities.

In addition to a competitive salary, cruise line jobs also offer a number of perks. Cruise line employees also receive free accommodations and meals, health insurance, and free air travel to and from the ship. Cruise line employees are also entitled to special discounts on services and at retail shops aboard the ship.

If you think you have what it takes to become a sound and lighing technician on a cruise ship, all you have to do is jot down several cruise lines of interest. You can find official web addresses and contact information for cruise lines around the world at www.shipsandcruises.com. Once you have located several cruise lines that appeal to you, visit the website and click the employment or jobs tab. If the site does not list jobs in your field, no worries. You may send a polished cover letter to the cruise lines human resource department. The Human Resources Department is typically located at the cruise line’s headquarters. This information is usually listed on the cruise line website. It is important to include the position of interest. This way, your resume is sure to make it to the appropriate department manager.

Other Ways to Apply for Sound and Lighting Technician Positions

There are several other ways to find cruise ship jobs. You may visit a cruise job website or sign up with a placement agency. Cruise Ship Jobs features a downloadable cruise ship employment guide. Here, you can read through cruise line profiles, find out which ships are hiring and for what positions, and you can apply for a cruise ship job right online. Please note that this website charges a fee.

If you decide to sign up with a placement agency, the agency will do all of the work for you. The trick is getting your foot in the door at the agency. You must prepare a polished resume, have an excellent employment history and references, and you must ace the initial interview. Many agencies also require several written “tests” before acceptance.

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