He also appeared in some films, including the Lifetime television film Miracle Run (2004), for which he earned a Young Artist Award nomination for his performance as one of two autistic twins.
Efron’s career reached a turning point with the teen musical television film High School Musical (2006), which premiered on the Disney Channel in January 2006.
The film’s soundtrack was certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA, making it one of the best-selling albums of the year in the United States.
He also attended Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts, a community college located in Santa Maria, California, which provided him with the opportunity to perform as a "young player" during the years of 20.
Efron began acting in the early 2000s with guest roles on several television series including Firefly, ER, and The Guardian.
He began acting professionally in the early 2000s, and rose to prominence in the late 2000s for his leading role in the High School Musical franchise (2006–08).
During this time, he also starred in the musical film Hairspray (2007) and the comedy film 17 Again (2009).
He was recommended to an agent in Los Angeles by his drama teacher, Robyn Metchik (the mother of actors Aaron Michael Metchik and Asher Metchik).
He has since appeared in films like New Year's Eve (2011), The Lucky One (2012), Neighbors (2014), Dirty Grandpa (2016), and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016).
He performed in shows such as Gypsy; Peter Pan; or, The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up; Little Shop of Horrors; and The Music Man.