Special and Visual Effects Technicians

Special and visual effects technicians are crafts persons who use technical skills to create effects, illusions, and computer-generated images for the entertainment industry. They work with a variety of materials and digital techniques to produce the fantastic visions and seemingly real illusions that add dimension to motion picture, theatre production, television broadcast, and video game.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Mechanical Effects Specialists, Pyrotechnic Effects Specialists, Special and Visual Effects Coordinators
Duties Create effects, illusions, and computer-generated images for the entertainment industry
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Los Angeles and New York but opportunities exist throughout the country
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Master's Degree
School Subjects
  • Art
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Technical/Shop
Experience Internship; volunteer or part-time experience
Personality Traits
  • Artistic
  • Creative
  • Hands On
  • Technical
  • Building/Trades
  • Computer
  • Digital Media
  • Drawing/Design
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook About as Fast as the Average
Career Ladder
  • Owner of Special and Visual Effects Firm
  • Experienced Special and Visual Effects Technician
  • Entry-Level Special and Visual Effects Technician

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