Planit


Special Effects Technician

Job Profile Image

A special effects (SFX) technician produces visual, pyrotechnic (explosive) or physical effects in order to create a particular impression or illusion in a film, television, stage or video production.

The Work

There are three main areas of work:

You could be:

Pay

The figures below are only a guide. Actual salaries may vary, depending on:

Most special effects technicians are freelance. The Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) website carries recommendations for freelance rates. The recommended minimum rates for a 10-hour day are:

Conditions

Workforce Employment Status

LMI data powered by LMI for All

Getting In

Workforce Education Levels (UK)

LMI data powered by EMSI UK

Job Outlook Scotland

Employment

Unemployment

Percentage of workforce registered as unemployed (Scotland)

LMI data powered by EMSI UK

Job Outlook Scotland and UK

  Scotland
2018
2829
2.9 %
RISE
2023
2912
  United Kingdom
2018
45584
2.3 %
RISE
2023
46643

LMI data powered by EMSI UK

What Does it Take?

You need:

Training

Getting On

The Joint Industry Special Effects Grading Scheme provides a career structure for those involved in physical, pyrotechnic and visual special effects. The Joint Industry Committee (made up of representatives from the BBC, ITV, PACT, Equity and BECTU) dictates the levels of experience, training and responsibility required to hold the various job titles (grades) within the scheme.

More Information

If you are aged 18 or over you may be interested in The Network. The Network is held each year alongside the TV Festival in Edinburgh. If selected you would attend for four free days of masterclasses and workshops which will provide you with the skills, knowledge and contacts to start a career in TV. You can usually apply from January to May.

Contacts

The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT)
Tel: 020 7242 9200
E-mail: office@abtt.org.uk
Website: http://www.abtt.org.uk/
Twitter: @theabtt

BECTU Scotland (Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union)
Tel: 0141 314 0060
E-mail: info@bectu.org.uk
Website: http://www.bectu.org.uk
Twitter: @bectu
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BECTUOfficial

Creative Skillset Scotland
Tel: 020 7713 9800
E-mail: info@creativeskillset.org
Website: http://creativeskillset.org/
Twitter: @SkillsetSSC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/creativeskillset

Creative Skillset works with the UK’s screen-based creative media industries to develop skills and talent from classroom to boardroom.

Edinburgh International Television Festival (EITF)
Tel: 020 7278 9515
E-mail: info@thetvfestival.com
Website: http://www.thetvfestival.com
Twitter: @EdinburghTVFest
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsEdinburghTVFestival

Was this article useful?
Please help us improve Planit by rating this article.

Career Sectors

Advertising, Marketing and PR

Journalism and Writing

Media and Broadcasting

Publishing