Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, and Blasters

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.

Median Annual Wage: $52,140

Education: High school diploma or equivalent (63%); Post-secondary certificate (21%); Some college, no degree (8%)

Projected Growth: Slower than average (3% to 7%)

Related Job Titles: Blaster; Explosive Technician; Powderman; Unexploded Ordnance Quality Control Officer

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, and Blasters.

More Construction and Extraction Careers

  • Tie specified lengths of delaying fuses into patterns in order to time sequences of explosions.
  • Place safety cones around blast areas to alert other workers of danger zones, and signal workers as necessary to ensure that they clear blast sites prior to explosions.
  • Place explosive charges in holes or other spots; then detonate explosives to demolish structures or to loosen, remove, or displace earth, rock, or other materials.
  • 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.
  • Mark patterns, locations, and depths of charge holes for drilling, and issue drilling instructions.
  • Compile and keep gun and explosives records in compliance with local and federal laws.
  • Measure depths of drilled blast holes, using weighted tape measures.
  • Connect electrical wire to primers, and cover charges or fill blast holes with clay, drill chips, sand, or other material.
  • Lay primacord between rows of charged blast holes, and tie cord into main lines to form blast patterns.
  • Assemble and position equipment, explosives, and blasting caps in holes at specified depths, or load perforating guns or torpedoes with explosives.
  • Verify detonation of charges by observing control panels, or by listening for the sounds of blasts.
  • Move and store inventories of explosives, loaded perforating guns, and other materials, according to established safety procedures.
  • 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.
  • Cut specified lengths of primacord and attach primers to cord ends.
  • Maintain inventory levels, ordering new supplies as necessary.
  • Set up and operate equipment such as hoists, jackhammers, or drills, in order to bore charge holes.
  • Repair and service blasting, shooting, and automotive equipment, and electrical wiring and instruments, using hand tools.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, and Blasters.

  • 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 Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, and Blasters.

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