• I.A.T.S.E. Local 52 film and television mechanics union visits LaGuardia Community College to talk about applying for membership. To learn more go to http://www.iatselocal52.org/ :

Joining the IATSE in California or New York can get Complicated. It’s important to note the Hollywood Sound Stage system is upside down. Which is a way of saying films are being made all over the country, and the world.

  • Rules Vary By State And Country:

I got started out in Arizona, and like all border states save California, is a right to work state. This makes it easier to get work if work is available. In a right to work state (Arizona)you would need to work 500 hours for the stage union (does rock concerts plays) to finally get your union card for a fee.

  • There Is Stage And Motion Pictures:

There’s Also the Motion Picture Union which requires a choice between carpenter and electrician, and it was a 690.00 fee and resume, though that may have changed. This is for Arizona, go to local IATSE office and send payment and resume to New York HQ for Approval.

  • Right To Work VS. Mandatory Union State:

It is easier to get your union card in a right to work state. You can use the union card anywhere in the world, depending on weather it’s an international or not. The policy is that you if hired will receive the pay required where you received your card.

Either IATSE card would make you good all over the world.

Labor Union
International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, or IATSE, is a labor union representing over 140,000 technicians, artisans and craftsperson’s in the entertainment industry, including live theatre, motion picture and television production, and trade shows. It was awarded Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre in 1993.


American Labor Union

Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists is an American labor union representing approximately 160,000 film and television actors, journalists, radio personalities, recording artists, singers, voice actors, and other media professionals worldwide. The organization was formed on March 30, 2012. This was following a merger of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. SAG-AFTRA is a member of the AFL–CIO, the largest federation of unions in the United States.

Contact any local offices to find out what you need to join.