Pyrotechnics is the science of fire. It includes not only fireworks, but
also a whole range of devices that use similar materials, such as hazard flares
and even solid-fuel rocket boosters.
A pyrotechnician manufactures or works with fireworks or other similar
devices. They may also do the special effects in movies and television, or
at sporting events and concerts. Explosions, flashes of light, sparkling effects
and puffs of smoke can all be created by using pyrotechnics.
A pyrotechnician at a fireworks display does a lot more than just enjoy
the show. Pyrotechnicians choreograph the display to suit the music and type
of show. They work with area officials on crowd control, fire protection and
The day of the event, the pyrotechnician and a team of workers work long
and hard to move the heavy boxes, build the necessary wooden fixtures and
prepare for the display. Some larger shows take a week to set up and have
crews of more than 50 pyrotechnicians.
Many regulations control the sale, use and display of fireworks. Not everyone
is allowed to sell or use them, and it can be illegal to set them off in certain
It's expensive to manufacture professional fireworks and the industry is
highly regulated. In the U.S., virtually every aspect of the business, including
manufacturing, storage, sales, transportation and use, is covered by licenses
To get an operator's license, you must contact your state fire marshal's