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How to apply for membership in Local 38

How to become a member of Local 38

There are two pathways to membership in IATSE Local 38: Journeyperson membership and the Local 38 Apprenticeship Program.

Eligibility:     Any theatrical, stage or studio employee, which shall be deemed to include any person of legal age, who has been employed within the past eighteen (18) months at any theatre, places of amusement or entertainment, stage, television, video tape productions, motion picture and/or still studio, general theatrical maintenance, scenic carpenter shops, theatrical rigging, building and erection of any scenery, props or electrical equipment within our jurisdiction, may become a member by complying with the requirements of the Constitution and By-Laws of IATSE Local 38.


  1. Direct Application for Journeyperson membership status

Journeyperson membership in Local 38 is available to experienced workers who have resided within our jurisdiction 18 months or longer. 

There are 4 classifications for journeyperson membership:

Journeymen.    Members working in theatres as Carpenters, Electricians, Property Persons, Public Address Operators, Spotlight and Effect Operators, all assistants and maintenance people in theatres, and all places of amusement and entertainment.  Members working in moving and still picture, video tape, and television studios as Carpenters, Electricians, Property Persons, Gaffers, Boom and Dolly Operators, Spotlight and Effect Operators, all assistants and maintenance persons.  Public speaking, prompting devices, and the operation of public address systems and the recording of sound for lectures and theatrical programs.

Script Supervisors            Members engaged in or doing any work pertaining to the scripts used in the production of motion pictures, and/or video tape.

Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists.                    Members engaged in or doing any work of makeup or hair styling in the production of motion pictures, still pictures, video tape and/or television.

Theatrical Hair and Make-Up      Members engage in or doing any work or make-up or hair styling in the production of/ or in the live theatre.

Motion Picture Costumers and Costume Designers           Members engaged in or doing any work in the creation of the design of costumes, garments and/or other apparel for use in the motion picture or television, as well as all dressing on motion picture and/or television sets.

Initiation Fee.              The initiation fee for most new members is fifteen hundred dollars ($1500.00) plus a non-refundable application processing fee of one hundred dollars ($100.00). Quarterly dues (currently $63.00) shall be charged for the quarter that candidate is elected in.

The initiation fee for Theatrical Hair and Make-up is five hundred dollars ($500.00) plus a non-refundable processing fee of one hundred dollars ($100.00).

To apply, you must request an application in writing, by US Mail or email. When your request is approved, you will be mailed an application.

Local 38’s constitution requires all membership candidates to be voted upon by our members. Once your application, check, and other documentation is received and approved, your name will be placed on ballot for the next monthly General Meeting. A simple majority of members present is required for approval of your membership. In the event that your ballot for membership is voted down, your initiation fee will be refunded, and you may re-apply in 12 months’ time.

To apply, or if you have questions, email Local 38 at: .


                        2. Application for Apprenticeship Program.

The Apprentice Program of IATSE Local 38 is a training program for qualified applicants interested in becoming journeyperson members of the Union.  The goal of the program is to provide apprentices with the knowledge and skills essential for the wide-ranging demands of our working environment.

The Program consists of a series of basic classes and two master classes.  The basic classes introduce the apprentice to the various major skill areas of our trade.  Each basic class is taught by a Local 38 member who is experienced and adept in that field.  The master classes are selected by the apprentice with the goal of enhancing knowledge in a particular area of their interest.

Apprentices have no less than 1 year and no more than 3 years to complete all the requirements of the program.  After successful completion, they may request membership by a vote at a regularly scheduled meeting of IATSE Local 38.

All applicants for apprenticeship must be at least nineteen (19) years of age. The applicant must have had at least one year of continuous practical work or training under our jurisdiction. They must possess at least a high school diploma/GED from an accredited high school; must be of good moral and mental quality, and have proof of citizenship. After attaining apprenticeship status, they must serve a minimum of twelve (12) months, but not more than thirty- six (36) months, and be available full-time under our jurisdiction in order to qualify for membership.


Typically, applications for Apprenticeship are reviewed in the first quarter of each calendar year.

All applicants must meet the following requirements before being considered for Apprenticeship:

1.  Proof of High School Graduation or General Equivalency Degree (GED).

2.  Resume of Experience, detailing 800 qualifying hours per year of work related to the jurisdiction of Local 38.

3.  3 Letters of reference from Local 38 members.

If you are interested in applying, please send a written or email inquiry to:

IATSE Local 38

900 Pallister Avenue

Detroit, MI  48202

ATTN:  Apprentice Committee


Page Last Updated: Mar 28, 2024 (12:13:06)
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IATSE TTF Online Safety Training

The IATSE Training Trust Fund is excited to offer free online safety training for all workers covered under an IATSE Agreement. The free training consists of the General Safety Training “A” & Environmental Safety “A2” courses. The TTF is encouraging all eligible workers to take these courses. For further information, & application please visit their website at


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