Wardrobe Attendant: what they do, how to become one, and where to study

Wardrobe Attendant: what they do, how to become one, and where to study

If you're a theater or film buff, you might have seen wardrobe attendants working behind the scenes, bustling around racks of costumes, and handling a variety of clothing and accessories. But what does this job entail, and what kind of skills does one need to succeed in it? In this article, we'll delve into the world of wardrobe attendants and explore what it takes to make it in this profession. By the way, recently the ProfGuide career guidance center has developed a precise career orientation test, which will tell you which professions are suitable for you, provide a conclusion about your personality type and intelligence.


Introduction to Wardrobe Attendant as a Profession

A wardrobe attendant, also known as a costume attendant, is a professional who works in the entertainment industry, particularly in the theater, film, and television industries. Their primary responsibility is to manage and maintain the costumes used in productions, ensuring that they are clean, in good condition, and ready for use.


While wardrobe attendants generally work in theater, film, and television, there are several specializations within this profession. Some wardrobe attendants specialize in historical costumes, while others may work with contemporary clothing. Additionally, there are wardrobe attendants who specialize in accessories, such as jewelry or hats.

Tasks and Responsibilities

The tasks and responsibilities of a wardrobe attendant can vary depending on the production they are working on. However, here are some common tasks and responsibilities:

  • Preparing costumes for use in productions
  • Maintaining and cleaning costumes between uses
  • Ensuring that costumes are properly labeled and organized
  • Assisting actors with wardrobe changes during productions
  • Repairing and altering costumes as needed
  • Communicating with other production staff to ensure that costumes are used appropriately

Pros and Cons

Like any profession, there are pros and cons to working as a wardrobe attendant. Here are some of the most notable ones:


  • The opportunity to work in the exciting world of theater, film, and television
  • The chance to work with talented actors, directors, and other production staff
  • The potential for flexible working hours
  • The opportunity to work on a variety of productions


  • The job can be physically demanding, requiring long hours of standing, bending, and lifting
  • The work can be repetitive, with tasks such as cleaning and organizing costumes being done on a daily basis
  • The pay can be relatively low compared to other professions in the entertainment industry
  • There can be a lot of pressure to meet tight deadlines and maintain a high level of quality


The demand for wardrobe attendants can vary depending on the location and the type of productions being made. In general, there is a steady demand for skilled wardrobe attendants in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Australia.

Salary Ranges

As with demand, salary ranges for wardrobe attendants can vary depending on the location and the production they are working on. Here are some general ranges:

  • United States: $24,000-$50,000 per year
  • Canada: $26,000-$44,000 per year
  • Great Britain: £15,000-£25,000 per year
  • Australia: AU$38,000-AU$60,000 per year

Where Do Wardrobe Attendants Work?

Wardrobe attendants can work in a variety of settings, including theaters, film studios, and television studios. They may also work on location for film or television productions. Wardrobe attendants are an essential part of any production team, ensuring that actors are properly dressed and that costumes are properly maintained.

Important Qualities of a Successful Wardrobe Attendant

To be successful as a wardrobe attendant, you should possess the following qualities:

  • Attention to detail
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Physical stamina and strength
  • Creativity and problem-solving skills
  • Patience and ability to work under pressure

On the other hand, individuals who prefer desk jobs or have physical limitations may not be suited for this profession.

Step-by-Step Career Path

Here is a step-by-step career path for those interested in becoming a wardrobe attendant:

  1. Complete a high school diploma or equivalent.
  2. Gain experience in the industry by volunteering or interning at a theater or production company.
  3. Pursue higher education in costume design, fashion design, or related fields. While a degree is not always required, it can be beneficial in a competitive job market.
  4. Build a portfolio of work, showcasing costumes or clothing designs created by you.
  5. Look for job openings for wardrobe attendants and apply.

How to Become a Wardrobe Attendant

To become a wardrobe attendant in the United States, it's generally not necessary to complete a formal degree program. However, pursuing a degree in costume design, fashion design, or a related field can be beneficial in developing skills and building a portfolio. Some universities and colleges offer degree programs specifically in costume design or theater production.

There are also vocational schools and community colleges that offer shorter courses and certificates in costume design and related fields. Additionally, gaining experience through internships or volunteering can be helpful in building a portfolio and networking with industry professionals.

Where to Become a Wardrobe Attendant

In the United States, some of the top cities to work as a wardrobe attendant include New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. In Canada, Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver are known for their active theater and film scenes. Great Britain has a strong theater tradition, with London being the hub for theater and film productions. In Australia, Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane have thriving theater and film industries.

Here are five examples of educational institutions that offer programs related to costume design or theater production in each of the four countries:

United States:

  1. Tisch School of the Arts, New York University
  2. UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television
  3. Columbia College Chicago
  4. Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama
  5. Boston University College of Fine Arts


  1. Ryerson University School of Performance
  2. University of British Columbia Department of Theatre and Film
  3. National Theatre School of Canada
  4. George Brown College Theatre School
  5. Concordia University Department of Theatre

Great Britain:

  1. Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
  2. University of the Arts London - Costume Design
  3. Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
  4. Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
  5. Manchester School of Theatre


  1. National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA)
  2. Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne
  3. National Theatre Drama School
  4. Queensland University of Technology - Creative Industries
  5. Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)

Can You Enter the Profession With a Different Degree?

While it's possible to enter the profession with a different degree, it's important to have experience in costume design or a related field. Having a portfolio of work, internships, or volunteer experience can help show potential employers that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed as a wardrobe attendant.

In conclusion, wardrobe attending is a unique and exciting profession for those interested in the entertainment industry. While it can be physically demanding and repetitive, it offers the opportunity to work with talented professionals and play a crucial role in the success of productions. With the right skills, experience, and education, anyone can pursue a career as a wardrobe attendant.

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