Pyrotechnicians are highly specialized professions who are responsible for managing, handling, securing and activating a variety of pyrotechnics and pyrotechnic devices.
Although many individuals associate pyrotechnics with the entertainment field, such as concerts or other shows, it can also be used interchangeably with those who work with explosive materials for a living.
Many Pyrotechnicians may also specialize in a variety of industries.
Some common specializations include Display Operators who work for entertainment displays such as fireworks.
Individuals who want to become a Pyrotechnician will need a combination of personal characteristics, experience in the field and educational requirements to enter this profession.
Some recommended characteristics include: having attention to detail, a confidence when handling explosives and having dexterous hands when handling explosive material.
Education Requirements to Become a Pyrotechnician
Exact requirements to become a Pyrotechnician will depend on the state an individual chooses to work in.
For the most part, individuals must have a high school diploma, gain on the job experience and become licensed in order to enter this profession.
Some states also require individuals entering this profession to be a minimum of 18 years old, while some states require candidates to be at least 21 years old, especially for individuals seeking opportunities in management.
Individuals who want to become a Pyrotechnician are encouraged to contact their states on specific age requirements.
Individuals who want to become a Pyrotechnician can gain on the job experience by completing an apprenticeship that last approximately 1 to 3 years.
This type of training is typical for Pyrotechnicians who work as Display Operators.
Under an apprenticeship, an individual will work as an entry level professional who will learn their trade by being supervised by a more experienced professional.
Wages in an apprenticeship can be minimal in comparison to individuals who have been in the industry for an extended amount of time.
Pyrotechnicians who work in the construction field have different options to entering this profession.
Pyrotechnicians in the construction industry may also gain their knowledge and skills by on the job training.
Individuals will need to start in an entry level position and will be supervised by an individual who has more experience in the field.
Some classroom work may also be offered by an employer in order to learn terminology and the composition of explosive material.
Individuals who want to become a Pyrotechnician in the mining industry may need to complete a postsecondary degree in order to enter this industry.
Because explosions in the mining industry may be placed underground, an individual with more education is preferred.
Individuals seeking a career in the mining industry are encouraged to complete a bachelor’s degree in explosives engineering.
Pyrotechnician Job Description
A Pyrotechnician’s exact job duties will depend on the industry they work in.
Some common job duties may include the following:
- Safely setting up explosives and explosive material
- Setting up explosive equipment used to detonate
- Detonate explosives relying on cues from colleagues and other Pyrotechnicians
Pyrotechnicians must set up equipment and explosives in a way that prevents accidents or fires.
They must be well aware of their environment and assure there are no obstacles or individuals close to where explosive material is exposed or held safely.
Individuals will also be responsible for safely securing explosive material and equipment for storage.
Pyrotechnician Salary and Career Path
There is no specific salary information for the Pyrotechnician profession; however, there is information for the closely related field of Explosive Workers and Blasters.
In 2012, the median salary for professionals who handled explosives was approximately $49,270 per year or $23.69 per hour.
Exact wages will depend on a variety of factors including years of experience, geographical location and the size of the company an individual works for.
The job outlook for Pyrotechnicians is expected to experience little to no growth in the next decade.
The projected job growth for this field is estimated at 5 percent through the year 2022.
This growth is much slower when compared to the average growth rate for other professions.
However, individuals can expect job opportunities to replace individuals who are leaving the profession and industry.
Pyrotechnicians are experts who are experienced in managing and working with explosives.
This job may be ideal for those who work well with their hands and can work quickly.
This is an important position in many industries because of the nature of explosives.
Individuals who work in this profession will need to be reliable and are required to handle and safely store explosives.