How to Become an Explosives Technician
Explosives Technician Careers & Degrees

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Explosives Technicians can work in a variety of fields but some can end up specializing in the mining industry.

These workers provide their skills in order to search and find substances such as metal and coal.

These professionals help in facilitating the extraction of the earth’s natural resources in order to make consumer goods or to use as energy resources.

Explosives Technicians are experts in handling explosives or bombs and make sure to use precaution in order to protect other people’s safety.

For people who want to become an Explosives Technician , being able to work well under pressure is a must.

Candidates should be able to feel comfortable working in dangerous situations and be accustomed to handling and being around chemicals and explosives.

Because of its nature, Explosives Technicians also require special equipment and protective gear in order to accomplish their job duties.

Other industries an Explosive Technician can work in include the following:

  • Construction
  • Fire Departments
  • Military
  • Police Department

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Education Requirements to Become an Explosives Technician

Candidates can learn how to become an Explosives Technician in the mining industry by working and gaining experience as an assistant.

Mining Explosives Technicians can enter this field by having a minimum of a high school diploma.

A recent high school graduate will need to work under an experienced mining technician performing other mining operations in order to gain the necessary skills and learn safety precautions that are expected of this job.

Because of the constant advancements in technology, those who want to become an Explosives Technician should take the time to complete a degree specializing in mining in order to be highly competitive in the field.

The advancements in technology require highly skilled applicants who are knowledgeable in using computerized equipment.

Candidates can gain these skills by attending a mining program at a vocational school or by completing a mine technology degree at a technical school.

Mining programs are typically located in a town or city that has a mining area.

For a comprehensive list of schools in North America visit: Mining Schools

One important aspect of this job is the extensive safety precautions employees have to implement.

The nature of the job requires someone who is experienced and trained in safety protocol.

Under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, individual mines have to provide a worker training program focusing on health and safety issues.

New miners must complete a minimum of 24 to 40 hours of safety training in order to work in the field.

To continue working in this field, current employees must complete 8 hours of a safety training program per year.

Explosives Technician Job Description

Mining Explosives Technicians are required to use safety precautions in order to perform their duties.

The nature of this position is to use a variety of explosive materials in order to make way for raw materials.

Their overall objective is to facilitate mining operations by using explosives to move debris or other material to make way for valuable raw materials such as coal, gold or other precious metals.

The type of explosives used will depend on whether the mining is being done underground or on the surface.

In some instances, repeating exploding techniques is required in order to bring as much raw material to the surface as possible.

Explosives Technician Salary and Career Path

Even though the demand for raw materials that mining provides has increased over the years, the job outlook for this industry looks meek for all positions.

The mining industry is expected to lose many jobs due to the advancements in technology.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics wages for all professionals in the mining industry are also expected to decrease by 14% until the year 2018.

Experienced or highly trained Explosives Technicians are the most sought out candidates in this field.

Wages for these professionals depends on the type of mining they perform.

The national average wage for mining professionals ranges from $18 to $27 per hour for all mining positions.

Because Explosives Technicians professionals are highly experienced, they will earn more than the entry wage of $18 per hour.

The below information is based on the 2019 BLS national averages.
  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary

$48,890
$32K
$37K
$48K
$57K
$71K
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
Alabama$42,420
Alaska$60,560
Arizona$53,020
Arkansas$41,550
California$53,710
Colorado$52,150
Connecticut$49,380
Delaware$52,360
Florida$41,070
Georgia$45,060
Hawaii$62,060
Idaho$55,640
Illinois$54,650
Indiana$47,310
Iowa$46,590
Kansas$48,820
Kentucky$48,990
Louisiana$60,110
Maine$42,230
Maryland$50,480
Massachusetts$58,480
Michigan$39,260
Minnesota$55,100
Mississippi$48,850
Missouri$44,460
Montana$53,720
Nebraska$43,180
Nevada$50,710
New Hampshire$54,190
New Jersey$61,770
New Mexico$55,810
New York$60,920
North Carolina$48,100
North Dakota$47,590
Ohio$47,480
Oklahoma$43,510
Oregon$54,390
Pennsylvania$48,800
South Carolina$42,820
South Dakota$49,540
Tennessee$47,120
Texas$41,930
Utah$50,840
Vermont$46,680
Virginia$49,110
Washington$54,930
West Virginia$42,920
Wisconsin$57,880
Wyoming$59,060

The top earning state in the field is Hawaii, where the average salary is $62,060.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

Hawaii - $62,060
New Jersey - $61,770
New York - $60,920
Alaska - $60,560
Louisiana - $60,110
* Salary information based on the May 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Earth Drillers, Except Oil and Gas; and Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, and Blasters, OCC Code 47-5097, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

QuestionWhat does an explosives technician do?

Explosives technicians evaluate, deploy, destroy and detonate explosives.

They may work as part of construction teams, mining operations, bomb squads or other industries and their exact job duties vary depending on the field of employment.

If you want to work in construction, your main responsibility will be to demolish structures, remove or displace rock and other materials through explosives detonation.

You can choose to work for the military or law enforcement and specialize in identifying and diffusing military ammunition, landmines or improvised explosives.

Other explosive technicians work in the mining industry and specialize in detonating explosives to extract materials from the earth.

Working hands-on with explosive devices can be dangerous and you will need rigorous training and a special set of skills in order to be able to do this job.

You will also need steady hands, the ability to remain calm in stressful situations, analytical thinking, math skills, and physical strength.

If you’re passionate about science and you have the ability to keep your calm in stressful and potentially dangerous situations, a career as an explosives technician may be the right path for you.

QuestionHow much does an explosives technician make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for explosives workers, ordnance handling experts and blasters was $49,860 as of May 2018.

Salaries vary depending on the field of employment, the technician’s level of experience and expertise.

As an explosives technician, you can make anywhere between less than $35,000 and more than $75,000.

QuestionHow much does it cost to become an explosives technician?

The exact educational requirements vary depending on the industry of employment.

If you want to work in construction or mining industries you will need a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field and you will typically have to complete safety training classes after being hired.

Tuition costs vary widely depending on the school you choose and the program itself.

For example, a 4-year construction engineering program will cost you, on average, around $150,000-$155,000 in total.

QuestionWhat is the demand for explosives technicians?

Job opportunities depend on the industry, the region, and the local economy.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment for explosives workers, ordnance handling experts, and blasters will grow by 6 percent from 2018 to 2028.

If you have some experience in the field and you hold a degree in a relevant area, your job prospects should be good.

QuestionHow long does it take to become an explosives technician?

Exact education requirements vary depending on the field of employment.

If you want to work for the military, you can start with only a high school diploma and you will be trained on the job.

If you want to work in construction and demolitions you will need to complete at least a 4-year bachelor’s degree program in engineering, constructions or another relevant field.

Programs that will prepare you for a career in this field should include courses in explosives safety, fuse identification, demolitions, physics, electricity, and engineering.

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