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Pyrotechnics and Blasters Exams

Pursuant to §27-97 of the Code of Virginia, the Statewide Fire Prevention Code (SFPC) prohibits any person from designing, setting up, conduction, or supervising the design, setup or conducting of any fireworks display, either inside a building or structure or outdoors, unless that person is certified by the State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) as a Pyrotechnician. At least one certified Pyrotechnician is required to be on the site where the fireworks display is being setup and conducted.

Register Online with CCWA
or call: (804) 523-2292

Once you successfully pass your exam and receive your exam score and certificate visit the Virginia Department of Fire Programs for more information on obtaining an application for Pyrotechnician certification.

Certification exams are available for the following:

  • Pyrotechnics – Aerial (Pyrotechnics Display Technician) : $130, NFPA 1123 Code (2010)
  • Pyrotechnics – Proximate (Pyrotechnics Close-Proximity Technician) : $130, NFPA 1126 Code (2011)

To schedule an exam date/time and location, click the Schedule Your Exam button below. Once your exam is scheduled you will be directed to the Virginia Pyrotechnics website where you register for the exam and pay the testing fee.

Please note:

  • Exam registrations and payment must be completed no later than 3 business days prior to the exam session. No late registrations will be accepted.
  • In order to schedule and take both exams in one day, register and complete payment for each exam separately in back-to-back sessions.
  • Official certificates will be mailed to the candidates at the address entered when scheduling the session.

In the Commonwealth of Virginia, anyone who uses explosives or supervises the loading or firing of explosives, must be certified as either a “restricted” or “unrestricted” blaster as part of the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code (SFPC). The Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) processes all certification applicants for compliance with Section 27-97.2 of the Code of Virginia and is the sole provider of blaster certifications.

Register Online with CCWA
or call: (804) 523-2292

The SFMO is working in concert with the Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA) to conduct its certification examinations. Your exam will be given by computer. You may schedule your examination by calling CCWA (804) 523.2292 or emailing If you are an out-of-state candidate, or your drive time exceeds two (2) hours to a CCWA location, prior special arrangements may be arranged to test at a collge in close proximity to your home. This is based on each respective college’s availability.

Please call CCWA at (804) 523.2292 or to pay for and schedule an appointment to take your exam.

  • Will there be more dates scheduled around the state?

    Yes, more dates and sessions will be listed. It is up to each college to offer the sessions. We expect more colleges will be coming on line as the program continues.

  • Why is the exam so expensive?

    Development does have costs and we have created an online registration system, which also costs. The actual proctoring also costs. The rates are as low as we could make them.

  • Is there a study guide, sample test, or what code book is this based on?

    The exams are constructed based on the guidelines found in NFPA 1123 (2010) – Aerial and NFPA 1126 (2011) – Proximate.

  • Clarification on the differences in the state code and NFPA?

    Specifically NFPA, PGI, and many companies have 70′ per inch clearance with areal shells, and the temporary state certification said 100′ per inch. Will this increased distance be in the proximate test too? How much?

    Again, the exams are constructed based on the guidelines found in NFPA 1123 (2010) – Aerial and NFPA 1126 (2011) – Proximate. As far as actual Virginia policy is concerned, you need to discuss that with the State Fire Marshall’s office.

  • How many questions are on it and what is the passing score?

    100 questions for the Aerial (Display) and 75 questions on the Proximate.  70% is a passing score for both.

  • I'm an out-of-state resident, can I take the examination(s) in my home state?

    Some out-of-state college assessment centers have the resources available to proctor exams and work with CCWA.

    First, contact the local community college that is most convenient for you and ask about their willingness and ability to proctor an online exam. If they are open to accommodating the exam, get the contact information for the college and provide that information to CCWA.

    Second, CCWA will work directly with the contact person at the home state college to finalize the arrangement. In addition to the CCWA exam fee, you will be responsible to complete any additional registration processes and pay any additional fees that may be required by your local community college for proctoring the exam. It is expected that this additional fee would be significantly less than the cost incurred for traveling to Virginia to take the exam(s).

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