Prop Maker Apprenticeship

Prop Maker Apprenticeship

Prop makers may make everything from fake jewellery to replica weapons and moving models. They work with various materials, including metal, latex, fibreglass, wood, and textiles. Prop makers use a wide range of skills, including carpentry, sculpting, casting, sewing, painting, welding, and computer-aided design, to create props. Prop makers may deal with many clients in television and cinema, theatre, museums, retail, and corporate commissions.

Responsibilities

Throughout your apprenticeship, you may help:

  • meet with production staff to discuss what props are needed
  • make detailed plans from ideas and rough sketches
  • do historical research to make sure items fit with the time period of the production
  • work with a range of materials to create realistic props
  • use hand and power tools
  • source new props for hire or to buy
  • repair existing props.

Salary

  • Your salary is variable as you’ll be working mainly freelance and self employed but expect to earn the nation living wage.

Working hours

You will typically work 42 to 44 hours per week, working longer when big projects must be completed.

Working environment

You could work in a workshop, at a TV studio, at a film studio or in a theatre.

Your working environment may be cramped and dusty.

Qualifications

Qualifications you can achieve as an apprentice prop maker include:

  • Level 3 Props TechnicianEntry requirements for this level include 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship. This qualification takes 18 months to complete.

Skills

On a prop maker apprenticeship, you’ll learn:

  • knowledge of building and construction
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • design skills and knowledge
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • knowledge of maths
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could move into set design, production design or stage management.

You could become a prop master and run a props department.

Updated on November 28, 2022

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