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Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, and Blasters
SOC Code: 47-5031.00

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.

Sample of reported job titles: Blaster, Explosive Technician, Powderman, Unexploded Ordnance Quality Control Officer

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.
  • Set up and operate equipment such as hoists, jackhammers, or drills, in order to bore charge holes.
  • 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.
  • Signal hoist operators to lower torpedoes or sample-taking guns into wells and to raise equipment for sampling from blast holes after detonation.
  • Observe odometers, weight indicators, and instrument panels in trucks in order to position guns at predetermined points in wells.

Technology Skills

  • Analytical or scientific software - Blaster's Tool and Supply Company Blaster's Calculator; Datavis DBS Designer; DetNet ViewShot
  • Computer aided design CAD software - Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Map creation software - ESRI ArcGIS software
  • Mobile location based services software - Global Positioning System GPS software
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Presentation software - Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Air compressors - Portable air compressors
  • Ammeters - Digital ammeters
  • Ammonium nitrate and fuel oil ANFO loading machinery - Ammonium nitrate fuel oil ANFO loaders
  • Blaster tools - Blast hole tubing
  • Blasting caps - Explosive blasting caps
  • Cable reels - Wheeled wire dispensers
  • Calibrated resistance measuring equipment - Resistance testers
  • Calipers - Vernier calipers
  • Capsule guns - Perforating capsule guns
  • Cargo trucks - Stakebed trucks; Tractor-trailer trucks; Transport trucks
  • Casing guns - Perforating casing guns
  • Circuit tester - Electrical circuit testers; Fuse testers
  • Clinometers
  • Completion bull plugs - Hole savers; Plastic plugs
  • Compressed air gun - Avalaunchers
  • Conduit benders - Conduit bending tools
  • Core drills - Blasthole drills
  • Cylinder gauge - Ring gauges
  • Depth gauges - Depth measurement gauges
  • Detonator box - Blasting machines; Remote blasting systems
  • Detonators - Instantaneous electrical detonators; Remote firing devices; Shock tube detonators; Short period delay detonators (see all 6 examples)
  • Dewatering pumps
  • Dollies - Equipment dollies
  • Ear plugs - Protective ear plugs
  • End cut pliers - End cutting pliers
  • Explosive initiators - Electronic shock tube initiators
  • Explosive loading machinery spare parts or accessories - Loading poles
  • Explosives fuses - Detonating cords; Safety fuses
  • Fish tape - Wire loop pullers
  • Flags or accessories - Stake flags
  • Forklifts
  • Galvanometers
  • Goggles - Safety goggles
  • Grab hooks - Grappling hooks; Harpoon retrievers; Lowering hooks
  • Hacksaw - Hacksaws
  • Hard hats
  • Hazardous materials cabinets - Day boxes
  • Hoists - Hoisting equipment
  • Industrial funnels - Explosives funnels
  • Knife blades - Fixed blade knives
  • Ladders - Extension ladders
  • Levels - Torpedo levels
  • Linemans pliers - Insulated pliers
  • Longnose pliers
  • Measuring rods - Surveyors leveling rods
  • Mechanical balances - Balance scales
  • Megohmmeters - Meggers
  • Micrometers - Digital micrometers
  • Multimeters - Digital multimeters
  • Notebook computers - Laptop computers
  • Ohmmeters - Digital ohmmeters
  • Open end wrenches - Crescent wrenches
  • Pallet trucks - Pallet jacks
  • Personal computers
  • Phasemeters - Phase rotation meters
  • Pick or place robots - Explosives handling robots
  • Plumb bobs
  • Pneumatic drill - Pneumatic drilling equipment
  • Pneumatic hammer - Jackhammers
  • Pocket knives - Folding knives
  • Pressure indicators - Hydraulic pressure gauges
  • Prisms - Right angle prisms
  • Protective gloves - Coated gloves; Padded gloves
  • Pull spring balances - Spring scales
  • Radio frequency transmitters or receivers - Short-wave radios
  • Rangefinders - Laser rangefinders
  • Remote reading thermometers - Bore hole thermometers; Temperature data loggers
  • Respirators - Protective respirators
  • Rubber mallet - Rubber mallets
  • Safety glasses - Protective safety glasses
  • Safety harnesses or belts - Safety harnesses
  • Scientific calculator - Digital calculators
  • Screwdrivers - Phillips head screwdrivers
  • Seismic recorders or seismographs - Seismic activity recorders
  • Shears - Hand shears
  • Signal generators - Portable signal generators
  • Sirens - Warning sirens
  • Special hoses - Discharge hoses
  • Stonemason chisel - Hand chisels
  • Stripping tools - Wire strippers
  • Strobe or warning lights - Flashing warning lights
  • Tampers - Tamping rods
  • Tape measures - Weighted tape measures
  • Tie down anchors - Tie-down equipment
  • Time delay fuses - Explosives time delay fuses
  • Tongue and groove pliers
  • Track cranes - Overhead cranes
  • Traffic cones or delineators - Safety cones
  • Tweezers - Precision tweezers
  • Two way radios - Mobile radios
  • Utility knives - Electricians' knives
  • Voltage or current meters - Digital voltmeters; Millivoltmeters; Non-contact voltage testers; Test lamps
  • Wattmeters - Digital wattmeters
  • Wedges - Wood wedges
  • Wire brushes - Wire cleaning brushes
  • Wire connectors - Surface connector blocks
  • Wire cutters - Fuse cutters; Wire cutting tools
  • Wire lug crimping tool - Blasting cap crimpers
  • Workshop cranes - Portable cranes

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.
  • 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.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

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.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Management of Personnel Resources - Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.

Abilities

  • 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.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • 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.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to 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).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Multilimb Coordination - The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Reaction Time - The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Depth Perception - The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Extent Flexibility - The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Hearing Sensitivity - The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
  • Static Strength - The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Time Sharing - The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
  • Trunk Strength - The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Interests

  • Interest code: RIC
    • Realistic - 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.
    • Investigative - 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.
    • Conventional - 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.

Work Context

  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather - 92% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions - 83% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 88% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 71% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 71% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 61% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Telephone - 78% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 50% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 67% responded “Every day.”
  • Time Pressure - 52% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 50% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 67% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 54% responded “Very important results.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 50% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 46% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 46% responded “Every day.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 67% responded “Every day.”
  • Consequence of Error - 71% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment - 50% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 58% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment - 59% responded “Every day.”
  • In an Open Vehicle or Equipment - 45% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 42% responded “Limited freedom.”
  • Physical Proximity - 50% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 58% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting - 35% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 48% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Letters and Memos - 29% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Exposed to Whole Body Vibration - 29% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 46% responded “Very important.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body - 35% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Level of Competition - 39% responded “Moderately competitive.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 33% responded “Very important.”
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment - 26% responded “Very important.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running - 43% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled - 42% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations - 35% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings - 27% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
63%High school diploma or equivalent
21%Post-secondary certificate
8%Some college, no degree

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Work Values

  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $23.87 hourly, $49,650 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 6,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Average (5% to 9%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 800

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