BLASTERS/EXPLOSIVE WORKERS place and detonate explosives to demolish structures or to loosen and remove earth, rock, or other materials. Explosives may also be used in coal mining and oil and gas drilling. Blasters must decide the type, amount, and where to put the explosives. They also plan the results they want from the blast, and what the blasted material is to be used for. Blasters must be sure there will be no damage to nearby property or injury to people. They must also choose the right system to set off the explosives to get the needed result. Blasters are also involved in seismic exploration, forestry, avalanche control, special effects, and pyrotechnics. They may also perform specialized handling, storage, and accounting procedures.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $45,500 average per year ($22.00 per hour)
- A small occupation (5,700 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow slowly (0.4% per year)
There are no well-defined paths leading to a job as a BLASTER/EXPLOSIVE WORKER. Many people take jobs in the mining, oil, or construction fields and wait for an opening as a blaster. They learn their skills on the job from experienced workers. Some companies offer courses in blasting. Blasters may get their experience in the armed services. Many states require blasters to have a license or certificate.