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Moving light repair tech wage?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Lighting Newb, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. Lighting Newb

    Lighting Newb Member

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    Los Angeles
    Hi, does anyone know what the usual hourly wage is for a moving light repair tech?

    Especially for one who doesn't have a lot of practical experience but has proven to be competent and somewhat comparable to the other techs with much more experience.

  2. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    North Wales PA
    Gross or net? For the years I did electronic service, my net was about $100 per hour. That was billed retail at $165 / hour.
    That being said, you are paying for 30+ years of experience and someone who had serviced 20,000 units.
    For instance, If I serviced a video camera, it might take 45 minutes. If a novice serviced it, it might take 4 hours. If you are starting new, then ~$25 might be more in line. In addition, there is some cost averaging. I would often do bulk runs of units at a flat rate of $75 per unit. If it took me 20 minutes, $75. If it took me 3 hours, $75. Billing is another thing. A manufacturer may reimburse at a specific flat rate, but a walk in customer may pay a different rate.
    And then there is the write-up. I found it often took longer to fill out all the necessary paperwork associated with a manufacturer warranty then it did to fix the unit. Larger shops will have administrative staff do that which allows the service tech more bench time.
    TNasty, Amiers and RonHebbard like this.
  3. Amiers

    Amiers Lighting Phoenix 1 Lamp at a Time

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    Phoenix, Az
    Warehouse repair work might get you 15 an hour.
    RonHebbard likes this.
  4. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Ibid on $15 per hour and $100 per hour (billed). I'm in the $75.00 per hour (billed) in anything my guys work on electrically I supervise = all. It is good that you are somewhat comparable to other tech's and competent. Base of professional experience and time in grade should shorten that pay grade growth length... but everyone starts in slinging the cable and learning from it. Everyone also learns from those experts that get paid on that level. If you can in not knowing about you, go to college, get that degree in electronics with a minor in theater or that in reverse. Those with the degree seem to progress faster than those without - even if an aptitude. There is a base of knowledge you can learn at school that helps advance you - still going to sling cable at some point, but less time in doing so. Try to be humble in your advertised abilities. Yes you might be really good at fixing moving lights, but there is thousands of other's that perhaps are just as good and have field experience.

    Hope it helps in a given your drive will get you there if you work and study hard, but if you have to ask the price, you cannot afford it yet. It's similar and not as easy as you might assume. A lot more to learn based on education and experience. My own salary - and is salary, was earned in being good but not excellent for pay... was earned thru almost 20 years where I work and another 8 before in the industry - plus college and personal study and further work on my part into what I do. I'm good with my end result until I retire. Hopefully you can learn more, educate more and strive more in getting to.. what is your goal? Got to mine. Do you just want to repair moving lights for a living?

    I can tell you of some happy people doing that and other things in adventure, and some very not happy people just doing that - most of them with that task for career, no matter the pay. Fixtures despised for commonly broken parts constantly having to replace - they write up reports on but don't get an upgrade, Huge fixture upgrade problems they see but sometimes raise or not realize, than the battle of getting that upgrade. Repair tickets for everything done and parts used, Frequently having to go to an actual anvil so as to pound some bent plate flat again - constantly on the same type of light.... Cleaning out the insides of a fixture after a lamp explosion, than trying to figure out why this amongst a hundred fixtures had this problem, but often told "silly American there is no problem." I find moving light repair tech people - especially if they get to the shop either very well educated in running the place. in at times having fun, or completely frustrating. Remember every hour and part you use is tracked, and you have to detail in report what you do. Stuff constantly rolling into the door to repair, but a single repair can take minutes or hours if back ordered parts not to fix.

    Moving light tech's on the road.. tour experience I would suspect before you get there - slinging cable before working on the lights. Don't know about the above people but I as the lamp inspector find most tour moving light tech people are best served in serving burgers frequently. Can't reset lamp hours on a fixture, or fill out the questions on the replacement lamp box. That much less and more important ask the question of why this lamp failed - this even if at 50 hours and the lamp they removed had a pin that they had to literaly rip out of it's lamp socket why they would put a new lamp back into it. Has been instances of "because we had to", but limited times when the fixture was also marked to replace for repair after. Just that second step saves a few hundred dollars when absolutely necessary. Many just put a perfectly good lamp into it with a bad socket, or indications of a bad ballast again. Why did the lamp fail? "bad." Because they are just "Roadies" OR IA "professionals. Granted many of either are good at what they do, others are very bad - paid the same. Hope you can get to a next generation level.
    Amiers and RonHebbard like this.
  5. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

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    In my experience moving light repair techs are some of the more competent people in the department (the good ones at least). Because of that I would expect them to be pretty well compensated. $25-35/hr would be pretty common in the Vegas market for a 40 hr/wk employee that sits in the lighting shop at a theatre and fixes lights all day. If you're being called in to a site and fixing their lights as a service then I would expect the tech to be near the top or a bit above that range and for the customer to be billed at $75-$100/hr.
    RonHebbard likes this.

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