Explosives Technician Degrees and Training Requirements
No degree programs specifically train people for careers as explosives technicians, but many programs in mining engineering offer courses in the subject. Students can learn about explosives technology by studying mining engineering at the bachelor's or master's degree levels.
Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) programs combine coursework in engineering, geology, and mathematics to help students understand how to design mines. Students learn to locate and extract natural resources in accordance with environmental regulations. Many programs offer coursework in explosives technology, teaching students to use explosives to expose minerals. Students often complete simulations and hands-on projects as part of their coursework.
Completing high school Advanced Placement (AP) coursework in subjects like algebra, calculus, chemistry, biology, and physics can help applicants ensure they have the math and science skills needed in mining engineering. Most undergraduate mining engineering programs also require applicants to submit their scores on a college entrance exam like the ACT or SAT Reasoning Test.
The classes offered in mining technology B.S. programs cover topics in engineering design, environmental protection, and geology. Students also take classes in statistics, and interested students can often learn about explosives technology through electives. The subjects listed below are often covered:
- Sustainable development in mining
- Surface mining
- Underground mining techniques
- Explosives in mining
Master of Science in Mining Engineering
Master of Science (M.S.) programs in mining technology provide in-depth information about designing above- and underground methods of gathering natural resources following safety and environmental regulations. Students also learn about the chemical and physical properties of minerals and resources to be extracted. Programs offer coursework that lets students use current mining engineering technology. Students usually need to complete a thesis project prior to graduation.
Applicants to mining technology M.S. programs need to have completed previous engineering coursework as undergraduates. Incoming students need skills in natural sciences and mathematics, especially geology and statistics. Most programs also ask applicants to submit a personal statement and letters of reference.
The classes in mining technology master's degree programs emphasize mineral exploration and safe mining. Students also learn about the statistical analyses used to measure mining output. Some programs offer coursework relevant to explosives technology. Students usually take courses in the following topics:
- Mine planning
- Environmentally sustainable mining
- Resource location
- Mine reclamation
- Mining explosives design
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) predicted job growth of 10% for mining and geological engineers between 2010 and 2020. The BLS projected an overall employment increase of 14% in all nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying jobs over the same period. The BLS published the median annual salary for mining and geological engineers as $84,320 in May 2012.
Continuing Education Information
Mining engineers need to be licensed before they can work in the public or private sectors. Most states require mining engineers to graduate from an accredited program and work under the supervision for several years before taking a written exam. Some states ask engineers to complete continuing education to retain their licenses.
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