What Do Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts and Blasters Do?
Most explosives workers, ordnance handling experts and blasters place and detonate explosives. They try to demolish structures and loosen or remove rock, earth or other materials. Some workers in this field may be a bit more specialized. That could mean that they perform handling, accounting and storage procedures beyond the norm.This type of position is expected to see about a 5% increase across the United States. That could translate into 210 job openings annually.
Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts and Blasters Skills and Abilities
In order to be a good explosives worker, ordnance handling expert and blaster, you have to have certain skills and abilities. You should:
- Have a technical knowledge of safety procedures, government regulations, mathematics, engineering and transportation.
- Be able to monitor your own performance and the performance of your coworkers in a way that makes you a good decision maker.
- Have arm-hand steadiness and manual dexterity in order to work safely with the explosives.
- Be able to use both deductive and inductive reasoning.
These are just a few skills that you need to do this type of job well.
Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts and Blasters Duties
The duties you would have in this position depend on your experience and where you work. Generally, you would:
- Determine amounts and kinds of explosives needed in order to do the job and still follow safety laws by examining the blast area.
- Use your knowledge to mark locations, patterns and depths of charge holes and to issue drilling instructions.
- Time sequences of explosions by tying definite lengths of delaying fuses into patterns.
- Keep detailed records of explosives in order to follow local and federal laws.
- Follow safety regulations around blast zones by putting up safety cones and ensuring that workers clear the blasting area.
- Follow safety regulations as you move and store explosives, blasting caps, loaded perforating guns and other materials.
- Observe control panels and listen for the sound of the blast in order to verify that the charges have detonated.
These are just a few general duties that you may have in this occupation.
Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts and Blasters Tools and Technology
Before you can even try to do any of those duties, you have to be familiar with the tools and technology of the trade:
- Fuse Testers
- Blaster’s Tool and Supply Company Blaster’s Calculator Software
- Map Creation Software
You can use these items to ensure that you are efficient and safe.
Education and Training for Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts and Blasters
You have to obtain a high school diploma, have five years of experience and undergo constant on the job training in order to become an explosives worker, ordnance handling expert and blaster. Some companies may require that you have a non-degree award or even an Associate’s degree. Some helpful courses are:
- Principles of Explosives Engineering
- Drilling and Blasting
- Commercial Pyrotechnics Operations
Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts and Blasters Salary
Across the United States, the average salary for an explosives worker, ordnance handling expert and blaster is about $52,100. Like with any other job the salary depends on your experience, where you live and what company you work for. Those in the lower 10% across the United States tend to make about $34,000 and those in the upper 10% tend to make $74,700.
Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts and Blasters Jobs by Geography
Salary is greatly affected by Geography. For instance, if you aim to get this type of position in Illinois, Washington or Wyoming, chances are you are going to make more than the average person of your experience level because these states have the highest average salary in the United States. The likelihood of you getting this type of job is also affected by geography. There are more explosives workers, ordnance handling experts and blasters in Oklahoma, Montana and Texas than in other states. However, Texas, Virginia and Massachusetts are expected to see the greatest increase. It is important to remember how much geography can affect your career.