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Explosives Worker, Ordnance Handling Expert, or Blaster

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What Does it Take to Be an Explosives Worker, Ordnance Handling Expert, or Blaster?

Job Description: Place and detonate explosives to demolish structures or to loosen, remove, or displace earth, rock, or other materials. May perform specialized handling, storage, and accounting procedures. Includes seismograph shooters.

A Day in the Life of an Explosives Worker, Ordnance Handling Expert, or Blaster

  • Lower perforating guns into wells, using hoists; then use measuring devices and instrument panels to position guns in correct positions for taking samples.
  • Examine blast areas to determine amounts and kinds of explosive charges needed and to ensure that safety laws are observed.
  • Verify detonation of charges by observing control panels, or by listening for the sounds of blasts.
  • Insert, pack, and pour explosives, such as dynamite, ammonium nitrate, black powder, or slurries into blast holes; then shovel drill cuttings, admit water into boreholes, and tamp material to compact charges.
  • Light fuses, drop detonating devices into wells or boreholes, or activate firing devices with plungers, dials, or buttons, in order to set off single or multiple blasts.
  • Drive trucks to transport explosives and blasting equipment to blasting sites.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as an Explosives Worker, Ordnance Handling Expert, or Blaster?

These are the skills Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, and Blasters say are the most useful in their careers:

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.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Types of Explosives Worker, Ordnance Handling Expert, or Blaster

  • Muck Miner, Blasting
  • Hard Rock Miner, Blasting
  • Blast Setter
  • Shale Miner, Blasting
  • Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician

Is There Going to be Demand for Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, and Blasters?

In the United States, there were 6,300 jobs for Explosives Worker, Ordnance Handling Expert, or Blaster in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 7.9% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 500 new jobs for Explosives Worker, Ordnance Handling Expert, or Blaster by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 800 job openings in this field each year.

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The states with the most job growth for Explosives Worker, Ordnance Handling Expert, or Blaster are Tennessee, Wyoming, and Florida. Watch out if you plan on working in Kentucky, Washington, or Utah. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for an Explosives Worker, Ordnance Handling Expert, or Blaster

The average yearly salary of an Explosives Worker, Ordnance Handling Expert, or Blaster ranges between $34,500 and $76,070.

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Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, and Blasters who work in Nevada, New York, or New Mexico, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, and Blasters in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $50,440
Alaska $63,620
Arizona $55,880
Arkansas $41,400
California $68,980
Colorado $60,750
Florida $55,470
Georgia $49,600
Hawaii $61,590
Illinois $61,180
Indiana $50,220
Kentucky $50,340
Louisiana $52,610
Maryland $65,020
Massachusetts $65,760
Missouri $48,770
Montana $63,590
Nevada $65,860
New Mexico $65,350
New York $72,090
North Carolina $60,160
Ohio $47,560
Oklahoma $43,260
Pennsylvania $61,830
Tennessee $47,040
Texas $41,050
Utah $49,530
West Virginia $47,530
Wisconsin $76,390
Wyoming $65,800

What Tools do Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, and Blasters Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, and Blasters:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Global Positioning System GPS software
  • ESRI ArcGIS software

How to Become an Explosives Worker, Ordnance Handling Expert, or Blaster

What kind of Explosives Worker, Ordnance Handling Expert, or Blaster requirements are there?

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How Long Does it Take to Become an Explosives Worker, Ordnance Handling Expert, or Blaster?

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Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, and Blasters Sector

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Below are examples of industries where Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, and Blasters work:

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You May Also Be Interested In…

Those thinking about becoming an Explosives Worker, Ordnance Handling Expert, or Blaster might also be interested in the following careers:

References:

Image Credit: Tomwsulcer via Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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