Special Effects Makeup Artist

Special Effects Makeup Artist

Career Overview

Special Effects Makeup Artists apply cosmetic and special effects makeup on actors and other performers.


Makeup artists generally need a portfolio of work in order to demonstrate their creative and technical ability to employers. Make-up artists working in motion pictures, broadcasting and the performing arts may require a training program. For most occupations in this unit group, completion of a college or university program in broadcasting, theatre arts or a related field and Several years of experience in a related support or assisting occupation in motion pictures, broadcasting or the performing arts are required.

Future Outlook

In Canada, for the period of 2019-2029, the annual employment growth rate is 2.9%.

Work Environment

Workers in this group may be required to work irregular hours, including overnight shifts. Since work in this industry is often project-based, workers may experience periods of unemployment. Working conditions for other technical and coordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting and the performing arts vary depending on the specific occupation. Work may be in movie or broadcast studios, in theatres or on location. Workers may be required to travel to various locations, depending on the project.

Recommended High School Courses

  • Biology
  • Art
  • Performing Arts

  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Fine Arts - Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Apply makeup to alter or enhance appearance.
  • Apply cleansing or conditioning agents to client hair, scalp, or skin.
  • Review production information to determine costume or makeup requirements.
  • Assess skin or hair conditions.
  • Collaborate with others to determine production details.
  • Manage budgets for personal services operations.
  • Prepare operational reports or records.
  • Order materials, supplies, or equipment.
  • Design costumes or cosmetic effects for characters.
  • Demonstrate activity techniques or equipment use.
  • Teach health or hygiene practices.
  • Groom wigs or hairpieces.


Academy Of Make Up Arts
Art Of Makeup School
Cinema Makeup School
Cosmix School Of Makeup A...
Douglas Education Center
E.i. School Of Profession...
Make-up Designory- Los An...
Make-up Designory- New Yo...
Canadian Beauty Colleg...
Canadian Beauty Colleg...
Canadian Beauty Colleg...
Canadian Beauty Colleg...
Canadian Beauty Colleg...
Cmu College Of Makeup...
Lasalle College
Seneca College- Newnha...
Vancouver Film School

Potential Scholarships

California Law Enforcemen...
- Haywood | Hunt & Associ...

Approx Salary Expectation

Low End:
$22,640.00 /yr
$36,460.00 /yr
High End:
$98,420.00 /yr


Trend Analysis - Explorer the Market, Labour Market Information, Government of Canada https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/trend-analysis.
PayScale, Inc., https://www.payscale.com/.
WorkBC's Career Trek, http://www.careertrekbc.ca/.
O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, https://www.onetonline.org/.