Special Effects Technician: Average Salary of a Special Effects Technician

Published Sep 17, 2009

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Special effects can be an exciting, and sometimes dangerous, career. While earning potential and career mobility may not be great, special effect technicians have an exciting and creative job. Read on to find out more information about special effect technician careers, job outlook and average salaries.

Special Effects Technician Career Summary

Special effects technicians work mainly in the film industry, creating visual effects using explosives, animation, claymation, robotics and a variety of other techniques. They may work with costume and make-up artists to create fanciful characters or the illusion that someone is injured. Special effects technicians are often needed for gun battles or war scenes. They often work work with mechanics to make characters fly or walk on water. Increasingly, they use computer animation to produce these special effects. Special effect technicians usually don't need formal education; however, they need some training in the area in which they are working. For example, a technician working with animation should know how to use animation software and might pursue a degree in graphic design or animation. Special effects technicians working with explosives might need a license or special permits.

Special Effects Technician Career Outlook and Salary Information

Special effects technicians may start out doing odd jobs on set in addition to special effects. Gradually, they may be able to build a reputation in the industry and focus on their craft. Some special effects technicians work outside the film industry, creating effects for amusement parks, special events or other entertainment venues. According to Indeed.com, special effects technicians working in the Los Angeles area earned average salaries of $46,000 as of September 2009. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, predicts that job prospects for special effects technicians, specifically those working with animation and computer generated images, should be strong.

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