Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts Career Profile
If you watch a construction project from the beginning, you might see people setting explosives. They might blow up rocks, tree stumps, or even the foundation of old buildings to make space for the new construction. The same thing might happen near rockfalls. The job of explosive worker or ordnance handling expert can be complicated and dangerous, but it is also a good choice for people who are attentive to detail and enjoy working with their hands.
Explosive workers and ordnance handling experts work with construction companies, airlines, airplane manufacturers, the military, rock and gravel quarries where people get material for gravel roads and other projects, and the oil and gas industry. In most cases, people in this trade need a high school diploma or an equivalent education, but an apprenticeship can be helpful. High school courses in English and mathematics, as well as anything mechanical, are useful.
Much of the job of explosive workers and ordnance handling experts is outdoors and can be delayed in case of rain, wind, or other weather issues. Knowing when it is safe to use explosives is important. When the conditions are right, people in this trade examine the area to decide on the best places to set the charges to get the job done. Once everything is in place, they detonate the explosives. In some cases, they might need to try more than once if the first explosion fails to get the job done.
Choosing the right explosive material and using it the right way is important. Materials like dynamite and ammonium nitrate are two of the most common explosives, but others might be more appropriate for certain jobs. Once the explosives are in place, the worker packs the explosives tightly to make sure that they are as secure as possible. This can be very delicate work, and people need to be very sure that they know the right procedures to avoid accidentally setting off the explosion too early.
Once the blasting is finished, some people in this trade have other work to do. They might deal with storage and handling of the material. Accounting and daily bookkeeping can be part of the work. It is also a good idea to make sure that any unused explosives are stored properly and that no one can break in and steal them.
Because explosives can be very dangerous, it is important that ordnance handling experts follow all laws and safety procedures. In some cases, certain explosives may be illegal except in very special circumstances. Others might have regulations about the training that explosives workers must receive before they use it. Knowing these rules and laws is important, and people in this trade must constantly read and study to make sure that they know what they should be doing.
The explosives themselves can be very dangerous without proper handling, but other aspects of the work can be difficult. Sometimes, explosives workers must work long hours in the hot sun, setting and detonating the charges. Although the work itself is not otherwise physically demanding, it might get to be too difficult as people age and possibly develop vision problems or shaky hands.
Salaries for people in this trade start at about $27 per hour or $54,000 per year and can rise to about $46 per hour or $91,000 per year. If you are good with your hands and can work very precisely, this job could be right for you.
Career One Stop. Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, and Blasters.” https://www.careeronestop.org/Toolkit/Careers/Occupations/occupation-profile.aspx?keyword=Explosives%20Workers,%20Ordnance%20Handling%20Experts,%20and%20Blasters&onetcode=47-5032.00&location=UNITED%20STATES.
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