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.

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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