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Working as a Special Effects Specialist

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a special effects specialist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $28.22 an hour? That's $58,694 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 4% and produce 3,000 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Special Effects Specialist Do

There are certain skills that many special effects specialists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, speaking skills and leadership skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a special effects specialist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 19.9% of special effects specialists included data entry, while 17.2% of resumes included product knowledge, and 13.0% of resumes included procedures. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the special effects specialist job title. But what industry to start with? Most special effects specialists actually find jobs in the non profits and manufacturing industries.

How To Become a Special Effects Specialist

If you're interested in becoming a special effects specialist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 42.8% of special effects specialists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 19.4% of special effects specialists have master's degrees. Even though most special effects specialists have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a special effects specialist. When we researched the most common majors for a special effects specialist, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on special effects specialist resumes include associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a special effects specialist. In fact, many special effects specialist jobs require experience in a role such as customer service representative. Meanwhile, many special effects specialists also have previous career experience in roles such as specialist or internship.

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Average Salary$58,694
Job Growth Rate4%

Special Effects Specialist Jobs

Average Salary for a Special Effects Specialist

Special Effects Specialists in America make an average salary of $58,694 per year or $28 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $88,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $39,000 per year.
Average Salary
$58,694

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Washington, DC
Salary Range71k - 126k$95k$95,284
Houston, TX
Salary Range63k - 123k$89k$88,643
San Jose, CA
Salary Range63k - 117k$86k$86,266
Pontiac, MI
Salary Range51k - 91k$69k$68,909
$51k
$126k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Special Effects Specialist
Special Effects Specialist
United States Courts
United States Courts
01/29/2020
01/29/2020
$72,97501/29/2020
$72,975
Special Effects Specialist
Special Effects Specialist
United States Courts
United States Courts
01/19/2020
01/19/2020
$77,87801/19/2020
$77,878
Special Effects Specialist
Special Effects Specialist
American Medical Response
American Medical Response
01/15/2020
01/15/2020
$28,17501/15/2020
$28,175
Special Effects Specialist
Special Effects Specialist
Boys and Girls Club Midland
Boys and Girls Club Midland
11/20/2019
11/20/2019
$21,91411/20/2019
$21,914
Special Effects Specialist
Special Effects Specialist
United States Courts
United States Courts
11/15/2019
11/15/2019
$76,07511/15/2019
$76,075
See More Recent Salaries

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Special Effects Specialist Demographics

Gender

female

58.5 %

male

37.9 %

unknown

3.6 %

Ethnicity

White

73.3 %

Hispanic or Latino

11.4 %

Asian

8.2 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

57.1 %

Arabic

10.7 %

Chinese

3.6 %
See More Demographics

Special Effects Specialist Education

Majors

Business
16.8 %

Degrees

Bachelors

42.8 %

Masters

19.4 %

Associate

13.3 %

Top Colleges for Special Effects Specialists

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. New York University

New York, NY

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. Northeastern University

Boston, MA

In-State Tuition
$51,522
Enrollment
13,760

5. Stanford University

Stanford, CA

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

6. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

7. Boston University

Boston, MA

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

8. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

9. Duke University

Durham, NC

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

10. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483
See More Education Info

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Special Effects Specialist

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Special Effects Specialist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 19.9% of special effects specialists listed data entry on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and speaking skills are important as well.

Best States For a Special Effects Specialist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a special effects specialist. The best states for people in this position are Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, and New Hampshire. Special effects specialists make the most in Rhode Island with an average salary of $102,589. Whereas in Connecticut and Delaware, they would average $102,518 and $100,182, respectively. While special effects specialists would only make an average of $94,642 in New Hampshire, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Delaware

Total Special Effects Specialist Jobs:
36
Highest 10% Earn:
$167,000
Location Quotient:
1.08
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Indiana

Total Special Effects Specialist Jobs:
254
Highest 10% Earn:
$144,000
Location Quotient:
1.27
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. District of Columbia

Total Special Effects Specialist Jobs:
86
Highest 10% Earn:
$160,000
Location Quotient:
1.07
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Special Effects Specialist Employers

1. Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands (Administrative Office)
3.6
Avg. Salary: 
$34,645
Special Effects Specialists Hired: 
3+
2. AT&T
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$46,585
Special Effects Specialists Hired: 
2+
3. Universal Studios Hollywood
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$25,100
Special Effects Specialists Hired: 
2+
4. National Oilwell Varco
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$51,684
Special Effects Specialists Hired: 
2+
5. Nordstrom
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$39,853
Special Effects Specialists Hired: 
2+
6. Windstream
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$57,245
Special Effects Specialists Hired: 
1+

Recently Added Special Effects Specialist Jobs

Updated October 2, 2020