Human Resources

Scene Shop Supervisor

Apply now Job No: 20202
Department: Visual & Performing Arts
Work Type: Staff Full-time
Location: Main Campus (Houghton, MI)
Full Time / Part Time: Full Time
Categories: Arts

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.  

If you require any auxiliary aids, services, or other accommodations to apply for employment, or for an interview, at Michigan Technological University, please notify the Human Resources office at 906-487-2280 or

Job Description Summary

As the person primarily responsible for the safety, maintenance, and operation of the scene shop, the individual will work closely with the VPA faculty in support of divisions of theatre, visual arts, sound and music under immediate supervision of the VPA faculty Technical Director. Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to instructional and technical support of faculty and students in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts. Primary emphasis will be on theatre productions, in balance with projects in visual arts and sound. This individual is responsible for executing: construction projects, shop safety, shop maintenance, work processing, work scheduling, equipment operation, work quality, student hiring and training. The shop supervisor will work closely with the Technical Director to assist with overseeing construction, installation, and strike of scenic elements with student crews. The shop supervisor will work closely with technical production staff at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. The supervisor will work closely with the VPA Safety Officer to ensure the safety of those using the shop. The Scene Shop Supervisor will work closely with faculty from all VPA disciplines (theatre, visual arts, music, & sound) who may use the scene shop as part of their course instruction, or for their own creative research.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities (other duties may be assigned)

In conjunction with the Faculty Technical Director and the Rozsa Production Manager, the supervisor will:
1.  Supervise, schedule, and assign work of paid and unpaid student crews.
2. Assist in interviewing, hiring, training, evaluating, and disciplining student crew.
3. Assist in developing and implementing shop policies and procedures.
4. Oversee operations in order to meet deadlines and maintain quality control. Participate in building for theatre productions.
5. Maintain appropriate inventory of supplies to ensure effective operations.
6. Maintain health and safety standards in order to ensure compliance with University, State and Federal rules and regulations.  
7. Ensure safety through maintaining properly working equipment, operating safety training programs, adhering to best practices when working in the shop, and keeping a neat and tidy work environment.
8. Commit to learning about continuous improvement strategies and applying them to everyday work. Actively engage in University continuous improvement initiatives.

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures (minimum requirements)

• Bachelor’s degree in theatre technology or an equivalent combination of education and experience from which comparable knowledge and abilities can be acquired.

Required Experience (minimum requirements)

• Practical experience in constructing scenery.
• Practical experience using and maintaining woodworking tools.
• Practical experience using and maintaining metalworking tools.

Desirable Education and/or Experience

• Master of Fine Arts in theatre technology or related discipline.
• Experience working in an educational environment.
• Experience in scenic painting.
• Experience in stage electrics.
• Experience in theatrical rigging.
• Experience with furniture making or traditional wood working.
• Familiarity with contemporary/ alternative sculpture practices.
• Professional management experience.
• Experience supervising a student crew.
• Familiarity with or experience with installation of visual arts exhibitions.
• Excellent communication skills.
• Comfort with computer technology, including AutoCAD or Vectorworks.
• Experience organizing shops, productions, or similar.
• A background in theatre production is preferred.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities (minimum requirements)

• Demonstrated ability to construct scenery according to generally accepted standards of theatrical practice.
• Demonstrated ability to use and maintain wood and metal-working tools.
• Demonstrated ability to manage crews and schedules for competing priorities, to insure on-time and under-budget execution of projects.
• Demonstrated ability to work with accuracy and attention to detail.
• Demonstrated ability to interpret technical drawings.
• Demonstrated commitment to contribute to a safe work environment.
• Demonstrated ability to maintain health and safety standards in order to ensure compliance with University, State and Federal rules and regulations.
• Willingness and ability to work flexible hours, such as evenings and weekends.
• Demonstrated ability to foster cooperation and collaboration within a team.
• Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively across cultural boundaries and work harmoniously with diverse groups of students, faculty and staff.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities

• Demonstrated knowledge of current safety and OSHA standards.
• Demonstrated innovation and creativity.
• Demonstrated ability to work with unusual tools and materials within the visual arts.
• Ability to learn new software.

Work Environment and/or Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job the employee is occasionally required to sit; climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl; and smell. The employee is frequently required to stand; walk; use hands to finger, handle, or feel an object; and reach with hands and arms. The employee is regularly required to talk or hear.

Specific vision abilities required by this job include close, distance, and color vision; depth perception; and the ability to adjust focus.

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job the employee is occasionally required to work in high, precarious places; is exposed to outdoor weather conditions. The employee is frequently exposed to fumes or airborne particles. The employee is regularly required to work near moving mechanical parts.

The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate to high.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
Varies by project/task, and may include but is not limited to:
Safety Glasses
Ear Protection
Hard Hat

Required Training and Other Conditions of Employment

Every employee at Michigan Technological University will receive the following 3 required trainings; additional training may be required by the department.

Required University Training:

  • Employee Safety Overview

  • Anti-Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation Training

  • Annual Data Security Training 

Background Check:

Offers of employment are contingent upon and not considered finalized until the required background check has been performed and the results received and assessed.

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) % (1=100%)


FLSA Status


Appointment Term

9 months

Pay Rate/Salary

Negotiable Based on Experience and Qualifications

Title of Position Supervisor

Technical Director

Posting Type

Internal & External

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures* (minimum requirements)

Advertised: Eastern Standard Time
Applications close:

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