Education and Training: On-the-job training
Salary: Median—$7.30 per hour
Employment Outlook: Good
Definition and Nature of the Work
Ticket takers work at stadiums, amusement parks, theaters, music auditoriums, and lecture halls. Their main responsibility is to ensure that no one is admitted to an event without a ticket.
Ticket takers stand at or near the door of a theater or auditorium and collect people's tickets. They may punch the ticket and return it to the customer, or they may tear it in half and return one half to the customer. Customers who leave during a performance must have a ticket stub to be readmitted. In small theaters ticket takers may also be required to sell tickets. In large theaters this job is performed by the ticket seller.
Sometimes people try to enter a theater without paying for their seats. Ticket takers who have difficulty preventing these people or other troublemakers from entering the theater may call a security guard or the theater manager for assistance.
As they are receiving tickets, ticket takers sometimes direct people to their seats, answer questions, and provide directions to the restrooms or the refreshment stand. (Usually these tasks are performed by ushers.) After everyone is admitted, ticket takers must count the tickets and turn in a tally sheet to the manager of the theater or auditorium.
Education and Training Requirements
Most employers ask that ticket takers have a high school education. Ticket takers must have a pleasant personality and a neat appearance. They should be good at mathematics. Most training is done on the job.
Getting the Job
Interested individuals should apply directly to sports arenas, movie theaters, auditoriums, and theaters that present live drama. High school and college students may get part-time jobs taking tickets through their school placement office. Newspaper want ads and state employment offices also list job openings. In states where ticket takers are unionized, candidates should apply directly to the local union office.
Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook
Ticket takers may advance to usher, head usher, or security guard. Those who work in movie theaters may train to become projectionists.
The employment outlook for ticket takers is expected to grow as fast as the average through 2014. Plays, athletic events, and concerts are all increasingly popular forms of entertainment in the United States, and there will be a need for ticket takers wherever new theaters and auditoriums are built.
Ticket takers have to be on their feet much of the time. Some work indoors in pleasant surroundings; however, those at outdoor sports arenas and stadiums must work in all kinds of weather. Ticket takers are very busy while patrons arrive, but because they have little to do during a performance they often get to watch the featured event.
Most theaters and auditoriums are open when the general public has leisure time, so ticket takers usually work evenings, weekends, and some holidays. Because of the irregular hours, many of these workers are part timers. Full-time ticket takers work an average of thirty-five to forty hours a week. Some ticket takers belong to labor unions.
Where to Go for More Information
Service Employees International Union
1313 L St. NW
Washington, DC 20005
Earnings and Benefits
Across all industries, ticket takers earned a median wage of $7.30 per hour in 2004. Nonunion ticket takers usually earn the minimum wage; union workers earn more. Employers typically supply uniforms and some offer health insurance. Another benefit that ticket takers receive is the opportunity to attend—free of charge—performances or sporting events taking place where they work.