Explosives Specialists

Architecture & Construction > Construction

Projected Growth: Average

Projected Job Openings

Some Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to 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. Includes seismograph shooters.

Common job titles of Explosives Specialists include:

Experience and Education

Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

  • 62.5% said they needed a High School Diploma.

  • 20.83% said they needed a Post-Secondary Certificate.


    Connect electrical wire to primers, and cover charges or fill blast holes with clay, drill chips, sand, or other material.

    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.

    Mark patterns, locations, and depths of charge holes for drilling, and issue drilling instructions.

    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.

    Repair and service blasting, shooting, and automotive equipment, and electrical wiring and instruments, using hand tools.

    Drive trucks to transport explosives and blasting equipment to blasting sites.

    Move and store inventories of explosives, loaded perforating guns, and other materials, according to established safety procedures.

    Examine blast areas to determine amounts and kinds of explosive charges needed and to ensure that safety laws are observed.

    Assemble and position equipment, explosives, and blasting caps in holes at specified depths, or load perforating guns or torpedoes with explosives.

    Measure depths of drilled blast holes, using weighted tape measures.

    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.

    Verify detonation of charges by observing control panels, or by listening for the sounds of blasts.

    Compile and keep gun and explosives records in compliance with local and federal laws.

    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.

    Set up and operate equipment such as hoists, jackhammers, or drills, in order to bore charge holes.

    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.

    Observe odometers, weight indicators, and instrument panels in trucks in order to position guns at predetermined points in wells.

    Connect gun chambers to electric detonating devices, and operate controls at panelboards, in order to detonate charges in guns or to ignite chemical charges.

    Maintain inventory levels, ordering new supplies as necessary.

    Tie specified lengths of delaying fuses into patterns in order to time sequences of explosions.

    Signal hoist operators to lower torpedoes or sample-taking guns into wells and to raise equipment for sampling from blast holes after detonation.

    Insert powder charges into chambers of sidewall sample-taking cylinders, and assemble cylinders, using special wrenches.

    Cut specified lengths of primacord and attach primers to cord ends.

    Lay primacord between rows of charged blast holes, and tie cord into main lines to form blast patterns.

    Repair electrical instruments, using electricians' hand tools.

    Obtain samples of earth from sidewalls of well boreholes, using electrically exploding devices.

    Lower perforating guns into wells, using hoists; then use measuring devices and instrument panels to position guns in correct positions for taking samples.

    Clean, gauge, and lubricate gun ports.


Wood wedges

Wire strippers

Wire loop pullers

Wire cutting tools

Wire cleaning brushes

Wheeled wire dispensers

Weighted tape measures

All Tools

Warning sirens

Vernier calipers

Transport trucks

Tractor-trailer trucks

Torpedo levels

Tongue and groove pliers

Tie-down equipment

Test lamps

Temperature data loggers

Tamping rods

Surveyors leveling rods

Surface connector blocks

Stakebed trucks

Stake flags

Spring scales

Short-wave radios

Short period delay detonators

Shock tube detonators

Seismic activity recorders

Safety harnesses

Safety goggles

Safety fuses

Safety cones

Rubber mallets

Ring gauges

Right angle prisms

Resistance testers

Remote firing devices

Remote blasting systems

Protective safety glasses

Protective respirators

Protective ear plugs

Precision tweezers

Portable signal generators

Portable cranes

Portable air compressors

Pneumatic drilling equipment

Plumb bobs

Plastic plugs

Phillips head screwdrivers

Phase rotation meters

Personal computers

Perforating casing guns

Perforating capsule guns

Pallet jacks

Padded gloves

Overhead cranes

Non-electric delay detonators

Non-contact voltage testers

Mobile radios



Lowering hooks

Longnose pliers

Long period delay detonators

Loading poles

Laser rangefinders

Laptop computers


Insulated pliers

Instantaneous electrical detonators

Hydraulic pressure gauges

Hole savers

Hoisting equipment

Harpoon retrievers

Hard hats

Hand shears

Hand chisels


Grappling hooks


Fuse testers

Fuse cutters


Folding knives

Flashing warning lights

Fixed blade knives

Extension ladders

Explosives time delay fuses

Explosives handling robots

Explosives funnels

Explosive blasting caps

Equipment dollies

End cutting pliers

Electronic shock tube initiators

Electricians’ knives

Electrical circuit testers

Discharge hoses

Digital wattmeters

Digital voltmeters

Digital ohmmeters

Digital multimeters

Digital micrometers

Digital calculators

Digital ammeters

Dewatering pumps

Detonating cords

Depth measurement gauges

Day boxes

Crescent wrenches

Conduit bending tools

Coated gloves


Bore hole thermometers

Blasting machines

Blasting cap crimpers

Blasthole drills

Blast hole tubing

Balance scales


Ammonium nitrate fuel oil ANFO loaders


ESRI ArcGIS software

Blaster’s Tool and Supply Company Blaster’s Calculator

Datavis DBS Designer

DetNet ViewShot

Global positioning system GPS software


Quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

Fine Manipulative Abilities › Psychomotor Abilities › Manual Dexterity

See details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Sensory Abilities › Visual Abilities › Near Vision

Arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Information Ordering

Quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.

Psychomotor Abilities › Reaction Time and Speed Abilities › Reaction Time

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