Trainee Program


The film industry is a demanding career path that can be challenging to your mental health, physical health, and personal life. Before applying to the Camera Trainee Program, you should duly consider whether the film industry is the right fit for you. Below are important details about the industry to help guide your decision:

  • While gaining experience on independent projects and commercials is valuable experience, Trainees are expected to make the Camera Trainee Program their first priority
  • As a Camera Trainee and eventually a union member, you will be employed sporadically during the year, often with no knowledge of when you may be working again
  • The film industry is market driven and there may be a waiting period between rotations, sometimes a month or more
  • On average, we expect a Trainee to be in the program between two – three years to gain enough experience to be eligible for upgrade to membership status
  • Film and television work have the potential to put strains on personal and family relationships with very long hours in an extremely high-pressure environment
  • Shift work is part of the business, with often inconsistent and changing schedules. 12+ hours per day are not uncommon, as well as (over) nights and weekends
  • The wage for Trainees can be from minimum wage to $19.87 per hour1. However, with experience comes greater opportunities; your earning potential increases once you graduate from the program and become a union member
  • Weather conditions can be troublesome. Please be aware you will be working outside, in all types of conditions
  • This is a physically demanding job. You will be required to lift heavy equipment
  • After graduation, you are an independent contractor which means you will be responsible for sourcing your own work

Working in film is a demanding job, but it’s an exciting career. If you are interested in the Trainee Program, please join the mailing list to receive updates on upcoming courses.

The industry is unique and challenges our mental health and well-being like no other. Please check out Calltime Mental Health’s Film Reality Check.

1 Rates and Fringes change each year on April 1.