While working on the 1985 Romero film Day of the Dead, he met Howard Berger, who would become one of his partners at KNB EFX Group. Nicotero relocated to Hollywood and moved in with Berger and Robert Kurtzman.
In 1988, along with Robert Kurtzman and Howard Berger, he formed KNB EFX Group, a special make-up effects studio which has gone on to work on over 400 film and television projects. KNB has won numerous awards, including an Emmy Award in 2001 for their work on the 2000 Sci Fi Channel miniseries Frank Herbert's Dune and an Academy Award in 2006 for achievement in makeup for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
He later worked as FX Artist on the 2010 film Predators and created a classic predator figure for the film.
In 2011, Nicotero was interviewed for the 2012 zombie special effects book "Blood Splatter: A Guide to Cinematic Zombie Violence, Gore and Special Effects" by author Craig W. Chenery.
He was a guest on the MythBusters Zombie Special on October 17, 2013.