Explosive, Ordnance Handling Experts, Blasters

Also called: Aircraft Ordnance Technician, Ammunition and Explosives Handler, Blast Driller, Blast Hole Driller, Blast Setter

Varies

estimated salary

Explosives workers, ordnance handling experts, and blasters place and detonate explosives to demolish structures or to loosen, remove, or displace earth, rock, or other materials. May perform specialized handling, storage, and accounting procedures.

  • 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.
  • Set up and operate short-wave radio or field telephone equipment to transmit and receive blast information.
  • Insert waterproof sealers, bullets, and/or powder charges into guns, and screw gun ports back into place.
  • Clean, gauge, and lubricate gun ports.
  • Connect gun chambers to electric detonating devices, and operate controls at panelboards, in order to detonate charges in guns or to ignite chemical charges.
  • Lower perforating guns into wells, using hoists; then use measuring devices and instrument panels to position guns in correct positions for taking samples.
  • Insert powder charges into chambers of sidewall sample-taking cylinders, and assemble cylinders, using special wrenches.
  • Obtain samples of earth from sidewalls of well boreholes, using electrically exploding devices.
  • Create and lay out designs for drill and blast patterns.
  • Document geological formations encountered during work.
  • Operate machines to flush earth cuttings or to blow dust from holes.
  • Set up and operate equipment such as hoists, jackhammers, and drills, in order to bore charge holes.
  • Signal crane operators to move equipment.
Work Context

Work Context information for this career will be available soon.

Work Activities
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • 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.
  • 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 of materials.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
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Detailed Work Activities
  • Develop equipment or component configurations.
  • Record operational or environmental data.
  • Remove debris or vegetation from work sites.
  • Drill holes in earth or rock.
  • Signal equipment operators to indicate proper equipment positioning.
  • Determine operational compliance with regulations or standards.
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Knowledge

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.
Law and Government
  • Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Mathematics
  • Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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Skills

Active Listening
  • 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
  • Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Critical Thinking
  • 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.
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Abilities

Near Vision
  • The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Manual Dexterity
  • The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Problem Sensitivity
  • The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Arm-Hand Steadiness
  • The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
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Personality

People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Achievement/Effort
  • Persistence
  • Initiative
  • Leadership
  • Cooperation
  • Concern for Others
  • Social Orientation
  • Self Control
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Technology

You might use software like this on the job:

Computer aided design CAD software
  • Autodesk AutoCAD Hot Technology
Data base user interface and query software
  • Data entry software Hot Technology
Map creation software
  • ESRI ArcGIS software Hot Technology
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