If you’re looking to become a professional in the fireworks industry in any capacity, from a retailer to a professional display company, you’ll want to spend plenty of time networking. Getting involved in the various pyrotechnics associations will help you learn from seasoned experts, catch up quickly on the tricks of the trade, and make valuable contacts that will inevitably grow into business opportunities in the future.

There are three primary fireworks associations in the United States, and newcomers to the industry should investigate all three to see which one offers the best opportunities for their particular area of interest and region of the country.

American Pyrotechnics Association

The APA is a fantastic source of valuable information for the pyrotechnics professional. Resources provided by the APA include directories of the often-confusing state laws governing fireworks, frequent press releases and blogposts about a myriad of different subjects, and ongoing training to help professionals stay on top of their educational requirements.

The APA also puts on an annual conference, giving members the chance to spend quality time comparing notes, exchanging contacts, and talking about fireworks!

Pyrotechnics Guild International

The PGI not only serves professionals in pyrotechnics, but also has a focus on amateurs who are interested in creating great fireworks displays on a personal level rather than the professional level. There are special memberships for young people (age six through 17) and a wealth of resources pertaining to pyrotechnic safety, history, and legal questions. Like the APA, the PGI also holds an annual convention!

National Fireworks Association

The NFA focuses more on the business of fireworks–that is, manufacturing, distributing, selling, and purchasing. This is a great organization to join if you are a fireworks retailer, and its members work to improve the ability of those at all levels of the industry succeed as business owners.

While all three of these associations publish valuable information and seek to help anyone who is interested in doing business with fireworks, each one has its own special areas of focus and a slightly nuanced audience. Visiting each organization’s website and exploring the types of resources they publish will help professionals decide which ones will be most beneficial to them in their career.

Why Join an Association?

An outsider looking at the pyrotechnics industry may wonder why joining an association is important. After all, most people are familiar with the fact that fireworks have been a part of human celebrations for many centuries. What topics could there be to discuss year after year in modern times?

The truth is, manufacturing techniques are always evolving, just as in any industry. Researching new products, new accessories and tools that can make it easier and safer to put on pyrotechnic displays, and other developments give today’s young professionals the ability to quickly get up to speed and excel in their area.

Advocating for positive change in the economics of fireworks is also an incredibly important activity that these organizations carry out. Whether taxes, legal regulations, or the price of various licenses, these topics require constant education and pressure from industry advocates to keep the economic environment as favorable as possible for professionals.

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