Also known as Blast Hole Driller, Blaster, Explosive Technician, Powderman, Unexploded Ordnance Quality Control Officer
Also known as Blast Hole Driller, Blaster, Explosive Technician
$33,440 - $73,650 (annual)
Public Safety and Security
Law and Government
Signal crane operators to move equipment.
Set up and operate equipment such as hoists, jackhammers, and drills, in order to bore charge holes.
Operate machines to flush earth cuttings or to blow dust from holes.
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What does an Explosive Technician do?
Explosive Technicians place and detonate explosives to demolish structures or to loosen, remove, or displace earth, rock, or other materials.
In addition, Explosive Technicians may perform specialized handling, storage, and accounting procedures.
What kind of tasks does an Explosive Technician perform regularly?
Explosive Technicians are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:
Examine blast areas to determine amounts and kinds of explosive charges needed and to ensure that safety laws are observed.
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.
Repair and service blasting, shooting, and automotive equipment, and electrical wiring and instruments, using hand tools.
The above responsibilities are specific to Explosive Technicians. More generally, Explosive Technicians are involved in several broader types of activities:
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
What is an Explosive Technician salary?
The median salary for an Explosive Technician is
and the average salary is
Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Explosive Technician salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.
Many Explosive Technicians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors.
About 10% of Explosive Technicians earn less than $33,440 per year,
25% earn less than $39,690,
less than $60,190, and
less than $73,650.
Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Explosive Technicians is expected to change by 8.2%, and there should be roughly 3,000 open positions for Explosive Technicians every year.
Median annual salary
Typical salary range
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
What personality traits are common among Explosive Technicians?
Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.
Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Explosive Technician are usually higher in their
Explosive Technicians typically have very strong
interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Explosive Technicians typically have strong
interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Explosive Technicians typically have moderate
interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.
Compared to most people, those working as an Explosive Technician tend to value
Explosive Technicians very strongly value
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.
Explosive Technicians moderately value
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.
Explosive Technicians moderately value
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.
Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.
In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Explosive Technicians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as
attention to detail,
Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Explosive Technicians, ranked by importance:
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
What education and training do Explosive Technicians need?
Working as an Explosive Technician usually requires a high school diploma.
Explosive Technicians need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.
Educational degrees among Explosive Technicians
17.0% did not complete
high school or secondary school
high school or secondary school
some college coursework
5.6% earned a
5.9% earned a
0.9% earned a
0.2% earned a
doctorate or professional degree
Knowledge and expertise required by Explosive Technicians
Explosive Technicians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as
public safety and security,
law and government, or
The list below shows several areas in which most Explosive Technicians might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Important Abilities needed by Explosive Technicians
Explosive Technicians must develop a particular set of
to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.
For example, Explosive Technicians need abilities such as
problem sensitivity, and
in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Explosive Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Critical Skills needed by Explosive Technicians
are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.
Explosive Technicians frequently use skills like
to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Explosive Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.
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/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
What is the source of this information?
The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.
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