What a Lighting engineer does:
A lighting engineer doesn’t just control the lights they design the lighting setup. The lighting design is how the lights look in the scene or film. The lighting design is shown on a story board witch they show for each scene, and it shows where each light will be and where the light will be going. They maintain the lights, set them up and take them down to the agreed lighting design and also repair them.
How to become a lighting engineer:
Luck is important but not much because to be a lighting engineer you need to learn an actual practical skill. Work experience is vital, it shows that you have worked in the industry and that you are a hard worker, an you usually get this in theaters. The last most important thing to do is to go to uni. You would usually take a film production course and then specialise in lights. There you will learn about all the practical skills needed to be a lighting engineer. It also proves a good level of education which employers will like, and at uni you can network and get contacts you will can use in the future.
After uni you can ether become an intern, get an apprenticeship or work as free lance. An internship is where you work for a company for free, but it looks very good on your CV because you are working in the industry and shows you are determined. A job could come from an internship but not always.
Alternatively you could get an apprenticeship, which is where you are working for a company and also getting paid but you also learn on the job. This also looks good on your cv and is good because you’re basically getting paid to learn.
One other thing you could do is to go free lance. This is where you are self employed and you are hired by companies, in this case to work with lighting. It is most common way to work when you are a lighting engineer. You have to be very flexible, because a job could be for 6 days or 6 months.