I’ve spent three summers at the Santa Fe Opera as a props carpenter. It’s a great place to build props and expand your skills, and the shows they produce are top-notch. I would definitely encourage any beginning props people to apply to their apprentice program.
Below are some links to news articles that tell some more about the props shop at the Santa Fe Opera.
A slideshow produced by the Santa Fe New Mexican. It looks behind the scenes of the prop shop during the 2007 season, when I worked there as a props carpenter. I’m not in any of the photos, but you can see a cart I built for La Boheme.
This article focuses on Randy Lutz, the head of props there, and the problems he faces with doing outdoor theatre.