Typical Roles at an Escape Room Business

An escape room’s staffing requirements will vary according to how involved your operation is.

For example, some escape rooms use mental puzzles and static props to attract and entertain customers. These businesses will require primarily retail-oriented staff.

More complex escape rooms that incorporate lights, sounds, moving props, and even actors will obviously require a more diverse staff to help keep all of the rooms up and running.

An additional consideration is how often (or whether or not) your business will want to change or improve its escape rooms. Some businesses build all of the rooms prior to launch, and others redesign the rooms on an ongoing or seasonal basis. Regardless, a maintenance technician is a useful employee who can repair rooms and props as equipment inevitably breaks. More complex operations may require hiring an engineer or dedicated technician to ensure mechatronic and audio-visual systems function properly.

General Manager

The general manager runs the escape room’s day-to-day operations. This role may be filled by the owner.

Typical Salary:

  • $30,000

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Managing daily operations
  • Manage staff, inventory, marketing

What to look for:

  • Management experience
  • Knowledge of escape room business

Game Master

These employees process sales and guide a group through their entire experience at the business.

Typical Salary:

  • $11/hr

What Does This Role Entail?

  • May remain in the room with players for the duration of the game
  • Ensure players are safe and having fun throughout the game
  • Energizing and motivating players
  • Resets escape room between games
  • Processing payments

What to look for:

  • Positive attitude
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Retail experience
  • Theater/acting experience a plus

Escape Room Designer

An escape room designer creates the actual escape rooms, designing the props, puzzles, and mechanisms inside. Depending on how frequently your business changes escape rooms, this position could be either full or part-time.

Typical Salary:

  • $15/hr

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Creatively design and build themed escape rooms from scratch
  • Incorporate a variety of puzzles that are linked together towards the goal of escaping the room

What to look for:

  • Experience in game design
  • Creative thinker
  • Experience creating systems incorporating elements of electronics, mechanics, and design

Maintenance Technicians

As guests try to solve the puzzles, they’ll use props in very unexpected ways. A full or part-time maintenance technician is a great way to make sure props are repaired, paint touched up, and hinges don’t squeal (unless they’re supposed to).

Typical Salary:

  • $14/hr

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Managing the business’ facilities
  • Light repair work on paint, HVAC, and props

What to look for:

  • Experience in facilities maintenance
  • General mechanical repair ability

Escape Room Business Hiring Tips

Hiring employees can seem like a nerve-wracking process, but it doesn't have to be. We break the process down into four basic steps: (1) Planning; (2) Recruiting; (3) Interviewing; and (4) Completing the Hire. Here are some tips for each phase of the process

Plan to Staff Your Business

Escape room Game Masters are your company’s primary point of contact with guests, it’s very important that they represent your brand well. Hire Game Masters who are energetic and friendly, and capable of generating excitement about the game. The tone the Game Master sets for guests can affect their entire stay. It is also important that game masters have flexible schedules so that you can always have staff scheduled when rooms are booked. Other employees have much less of an effect on guests’ experiences, and as such, customer relations may not factor into their interview and evaluation process.

The quantity of staffing required depends on both the number of rooms and the complexity of props within those rooms. Simple escape room businesses with mostly static props and puzzles will probably only require a manager and several game masters to run the rooms and chaperone guests. Businesses with complex, dynamic props may require dedicated technicians and maintenance personnel to manage audio-visual equipment and complicated props. The manager role can typically be filled by the owner.

Develop a Recruiting Strategy

Escape room employees can be recruited through any traditional means. Posting available job openings on a variety of online job boards can produce many results, and community level outreach works as well. Students from nearby universities or college campuses can make great candidates.

Interview with Confidence

If you take your time during the planning and recruiting phases of the process, you will likely end up with many qualified candidates.

Nonetheless, it is natural for a new business owner to be a bit anxious the first time hiring employees. Don’t forget that the interview is just a chance to get to know an applicant and to give them an opportunity to learn more about the role and the business. Also, it might help to remember that they are probably even more nervous than you are!

Throughout the interview process, it may help to keep in mind that most escape room managers look for game masters who are:

  • Enthusiastic
  • Agreeable
  • Inspirational
  • Flexible

Here are some sample interview questions that will help you learn more about the character of your interviewees:

  • How would you handle a guest who was not having a good time in one of the escape rooms?
  • How would you handle an altercation between guests during one of the escape rooms?
  • Describe a time you had to perform a job while under stress.
  • Describe the last time you had to speak in front of a group of people.

Be Familiar with Hiring Laws

After selecting a job candidate, there are certain steps you will need to follow to complete the hiring process. Check out our Hiring Compliance Checklist for a step-by-step guide to the legal aspects of hiring employees.

One of the most important steps is to classify your new hire as an employee or an independent contractor. Become familiar with IRS guidelines on this matter, as there are serious consequences for misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor.

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For more details, please refer to our guide on the topic, Contractors vs. Employees: What You Need to Know. We also provide templates for the essential hiring forms you will need.

Set Up Payroll

Once you have a growing team of employees, it's time to set up your payroll. Using a payroll service provider saves you time for running your business, and also helps ensure that you comply with important federal requirements such as employee tax withholding.

To help our readers save money and grow their business, we negotiated a 20% discount for you with payroll provider ADP, the most popular small business provider in the country.

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Try ADP and get 20% off payroll services for your business.

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