Theater Tech

Setting the Stage for a Future-BUILT Theater Career

From Hamilton on Broadway all the way down to the local junior high school production of Oklahoma!, live, theatre-based entertainment is an energizing and enduring part of our culture. With the Los Angeles/Orange County region bursting with career opportunities for professionals with hands-on technical theater training, it’s an industry that won’t be seeing its final act anytime soon.

For those who have always dreamed of a job in show business, but would rather set the stage than perform on it, Golden West College’s Technical Theater program is perfect for the part!

Scenic, Lighting and Projection Design Technician Certificate students at Golden West College follow a course of study that prepares them for entry-level positions as technicians in a variety of public and private theater venues.

Classes are taught by industry veterans, and focus on the art and craft of preparing a stage for a production. Students not only learn about such things as color theory, scenic painting, stage lighting, and stagecraft, but also how to construct scenery, execute projection designs, operate mixers and projectors, perform fundamental image and video editing, and more.

GWC’s proximity to Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the world, means that students have even more opportunities to set the stage for a rewarding and stable career in the live entertainment business.

Program Details

Theater Tech Degrees & Certificates

Golden West College’s Technical Theater program gives students the practical skills they need to transform their passion for the theater into a practical and high-paying career. Currently, GWC offers one certificate in this field:

  • Technical Theater: Scenic, Lighting and Projection Design Technician – Certificate of Achievement:
    Students prepare for technical careers in the theatrical arts as scenic, lighting, and/or projection design technicians, while laying the foundation for further studies in theater and related fields.
  • Technical Theater: Costume Production and Wardrobe Technician – Certificate of Achievement:
    Students prepare for technical careers in the theatrical arts as costume production and wardrobe technicians, while laying the foundation for further studies in theater and related fields.
  • For additional program details, see the Theater Tech Program Main Page or the Golden West College Catalog.

Why Golden West College?
  • Students in Technical Theater courses and certificate programs work closely with GWC’s award-winning Performing Arts program to offer numerous hands-on opportunities to develop technical skills for various dance, music, and theatrical productions.
  • Our knowledgeable and accessible faculty are chosen for their real-world industry experience. This ensures that GWC Technical Theater students learn the latest in techniques, technology and industry philosophy.
  • Be inspired. Be empowered. Be transformed. Golden West Cares! GWC is an energetic and welcoming community of learning, committed to supporting your higher education aspirations. Learn more about Golden West College’s student services and support resources by clicking here.
Golden Opportunities in Theater Tech

According to O-NET Online, Set and Exhibit Design positions are projected to grow at 10% or higher rate by 2026 – well above the national average across all sectors. Golden West College Technical Theater graduates will continue to encounter bold opportunities, in these occupations and more!

  • Display Coordinator
  • Exhibit Designer
  • Lighting Designer
  • Make-Up Artist
  • Production Designer
  • Producer
  • Projection Designers
  • Prop Master
  • Set Decorator
  • Set Designer
  • Show Design Supervisor
  • Sound Designer
  • Stage Crew
  • Stage Manager
  • Staging Specialist
  • Technical Director
  • Technical Theater Teacher
  • Theater Technical Assistant
Affording the Opportunity

Golden West College is proud to provide excellent-quality Career Education at a low cost. Our goal is to remain accessible to ALL community members seeking to enrich their future.

Tuition: $46 per unit for California residents.

Information on College Service Charge and additional fees available at:

Future BUILT Support

Golden West College is committed to providing students with affordable, accessible Career Education pathways, along with responsive staff to assist and guide you on your way!

  • Career and Employment Center:
    GWC’s Career Center is a hub for services related to the career development needs of students and the general public. Our friendly staff can assist you in exploring career fields with a comprehensive library of up-to-date, computerized and published resources.
  • Learning Resource Center:
    Featuring facilities and materials for general assistance in math, reading, writing, and more, GWC’s Learning Resource Center is a one-stop destination for student support. Take advantage of tutoring services, computer lab access, library resources, and more!
  • Special Programs:
    Golden West hosts a variety of career-oriented programs and services, including CalWORKS, Cooperative Work Experience (CWE), and many others.
  • Advising and Counseling:
    Make sure you’re in the right classes… and on the right course! GWC’s Planning and Guidance Services cover a broad range of student needs, including degree advising, career counseling, and transfer assistance.
  • Special Programs:
    Golden West College is committed to assisting our underserved and challenged students in any way possible. GWC offers specific resources for DACA students, Former Foster Youth, students requiring Basic Needs Assistance, and more.
Gainful Employment Information

For more information regarding the Theater Tech program costs and employment outcome averages, click here.

Program Learning Outcomes

Scenic, Lighting and Projection Design Technician Certificate of Achievement :

  • Student will execute scenery, lighting and/or projection design for a live theatrical production.
  • Student will demonstrate, formulate and evaluate general drawing, theatrical painting skills, principles of color theory and paint mixing.
  • Student will construct, rig and operate scenery for a live theatrical production.

Skills demonstration:

  • Student will generate still and moving-image content, perform fundamental image and video editing and prepare media for projection for a live theatrical production.
  • Student will identify and explain theory of stage lighting including functions and qualities of light, principles of electricity and color theory, and mount, maintain, and operate lighting instruments and equipment for various types of live theatrical production.
  • Student will be required to view live theater productions, opera productions, symphonic, pop and classical music concerts and/or dance concerts to generate discussion of contemporary scenic, lighting and projection design projects and for the purpose of creative considerations and written critical evaluation.

Program Contact

For more information contact:

Average Salary in this Field

$39,620 –

Careers in this Field

Lighting Designer
Sound Designer
Staging Specialist

Ready to Get Started?

Orange County industry depends on Future BUILT professionals with the next-level knowledge and skills learned in Golden West College’s Career Education programs.
Apply today, and start building your  bolder future!

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