So, you think you’re pretty good with LEGO. But are you good enough to go pro? It may surprise you to learn that there’s more than one way to become a professional LEGO builder.
#1: MASTER BUILDER
No, this isn’t just something made up for The LEGO Movie, you really can become a Master Builder. LEGO actually does hire people to make LEGO sculptures for them.
To start off, you probably want to play with LEGO. A lot. It seems like a no-brainer, but most pros recommend starting off with a box of loose LEGO pieces and just trying to build something sans-instructions. If you’ve ever looked at some disassembled Ikea furniture, thrown away your urgnblikt (probably not a thing) and thought “challenge accepted,” this might be the path for you.
Next, you want a degree in engineering, architecture, design or some related field, since you’ll be doing a lot of 3D modeling and scaling (yes, there will be math). After you graduate, you’ll probably start your career at LEGOLAND as an apprentice, helping to glue sculptures together. After a while, you’ll be promoted to senior builder (y’know, provided you’re good at your job and not doing something crazy like swallowing LEGO pieces…). If you’re good enough, you might be one of the lucky few (we cannot stress enough how few there are) who get promoted to Master Builder, making models for displays and promotions!
#2: LEGO CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL
Let’s say you want to be a bit more… freelance. You’d still be certified by LEGO, but you’d work independently, making LEGO sculptures for companies interested in having giant, LEGO dinosaurs or a life-sized model of a car or whatever.
It can be a fairly lucrative career, with some LCP’s making up to $100,000 for their work. A few even put on gallery exhibitions. Plus, LCP’s can buy bricks straight from LEGO, which is a pretty big perk.
The path to becoming a LEGO Certified Professional is about what you’d expect. Unless you’re already a famous artist (with LEGO as your medium), your best shot is becoming a Master Builder and then applying for LCP status. As of the writing of this article, LEGO is not accepting new candidates.
#3: JUST BUILD
If you like building awesome stuff with LEGO, just go for it! There’s a huge community of Adult Fans Of LEGO (AFOL) who are way better at making up cool new builds than they are at crafting acronyms.
Some collectors buy LEGO sets just to separate out the pieces and sell “lots” of certain bricks, shapes or colors to freelance builders. After all, how else are you supposed to put together a 10,000 brick LEGO ocean?
So, grab yourself a bucket of loose LEGO bricks and create whatever you can imagine!