Create impressive, and safe explosions for TV, film, and concerts.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
Highly Variable

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Pyrotechnicians do?

If you use the word pyro to describe yourself, or spend your free time finding new ways to attach explosives to army men, this could be a good career fit. Pyrotechnicians are the people on the movie set who are responsible for (safely) blowing things sky high.

Pyrotechnicians handle explosives and their detonators, making sure they are stored correctly and putting them into place before the start of the scene. Pyrotechnicians also ensure the explosion happens when and where it’s supposed (very important).

Your job responsibilities change all the time…kind of: One day you might be blowing up a building or car and then the next you’ll be setting a person on fire, shooting off fireworks, or make a gunshot or canon explode. Basically whenever the script calls for an explosion you’ll be there. And if something goes wrong, you’re the one approaching the loaded fuse to find out why.

Although this job may seem like one big exciting constant stream of action, in reality it isn’t nonstop explosions. Blowing things up is expensive so often there is only one take of a shot, meaning you’ll spend a lot of time preparing and then get one shot to get a great explosion. Not only this, but jobs on television and movie sets are very competitive; you’ll need to check and double check you work in order to keep a good reputation and make strong connections, so you’re kept in mind the next time a Director needs something blown to pieces.

Should I be a Pyrotechnician?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Metaphysician

    How to become a Pyrotechnician

    We recommend at least an Associate's degree. Check out these schools offering Pyrotechnician-related education!
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