Explosives Technician: Job Description & Requirements

Explore the career of an explosives technician. Find out the job duties, training requirements, salary and employment outlook to see if this is the right occupation for you.

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Career Definition

Explosives technicians work in a variety of environments, including the military, fire and police departments, construction and demolition, mining and other industries. While their work duties will vary by type of employer and role, explosives technicians work to evaluate, dismantle, repair, deploy, destroy and detonate explosive charges as a part of construction crews, mining operations, bomb squads and so on. Positions in explosives technology include hands-on work with explosive devices and are not for the faint of heart.

How to Become an Explosives Technician

Required Education

The required training for a career as an explosives technician will vary by your place of employment and the exact requirements of the role. For example, if you're working in the military, you'll need a high school diploma, but they will provide training for this position. If you're working in construction, demolition and mining, you'll need to complete a relevant 4-year, bachelor's program in a field like engineering or construction. Courses that will be relevant to a career as an explosives technician include explosives safety, explosive ordnance identification, fuse identification, electricity, physics, demolitions and engineering.

Skills Required

To succeed as an explosives technician, you should not be rattled easily; you'll need a thorough understanding of the field and calm hands to work effectively with explosives. An ability to lift heavy objects, maneuver in confined spaces, and strong math and analytical skills will help you in a career as an explosives technician.

Employment and Economic Outlook

The employment outlook for explosives technicians is below average; according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), with just 5% projected employment growth in this field from 2012-2022. Median earnings for explosives workers, including explosives technicians, were $23.38 per hour according to 2012 BLS data.

Alternate Career Options

Hazardous Materials Removal Worker

High school graduates can learn their skills while on the job, including mandatory 40-hour training. Depending on the positions, some workers must be licensed or pass special screenings. Also known as hazmat removal workers, these professionals remove and then dispose of a variety of hazardous materials, such as asbestos, nuclear waste and arsenic. Average employment growth of 14% was predicted by the BLS for the 2012-2022 decade, and an annual median wage of $37,590 was revealed in 2012.

Firefighter

Slower than average increases in jobs were expected from 2012-2022, with 7% growth predicted by the BLS, for positions where professionals respond to medical and fire emergencies. High school graduates who are normally already certified emergency medical technicians (EMTs) attend fire academies and complete apprenticeships to learn the skills for fighting fires. According to the BLS in 2012, firefighters earned an annual median salary of $45,250.

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