Explosive Specialist Career

Job Description: 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.

*A job as an Explosive Specialist falls under the broader career category of Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, and Blasters. The information on this page will generally apply to all careers in this category. We are still seeking more specific information about this career from experts in this field. If you can provide us with more information, .

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Explosive Specialist Career

What Explosive Specialists do:

  • Connect electrical wire to primers, and cover charges or fill blast holes with clay, drill chips, sand, or other material.
  • Drive trucks to transport explosives and blasting equipment to blasting sites.
  • Examine blast areas to determine amounts and kinds of explosive charges needed and to ensure that safety laws are observed.
  • Move and store inventories of explosives, loaded perforating guns, and other materials, according to established safety procedures.
  • 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.
  • Assemble and position equipment, explosives, and blasting caps in holes at specified depths, or load perforating guns or torpedoes with explosives.
  • Maintain inventory levels, ordering new supplies as necessary.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Measure depths of drilled blast holes, using weighted tape measures.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Tie specified lengths of delaying fuses into patterns in order to time sequences of explosions.
  • Repair and service blasting, shooting, and automotive equipment, and electrical wiring and instruments, using hand tools.
  • 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.
  • Lower perforating guns into wells, using hoists; then use measuring devices and instrument panels to position guns in correct positions for taking samples.
  • Repair electrical instruments, using electricians' hand tools.
  • Clean, gauge, and lubricate gun ports.
  • Insert waterproof sealers, bullets, and/or powder charges into guns, and screw gun ports back into place.
  • Signal hoist operators to lower torpedoes or sample-taking guns into wells and to raise equipment for sampling from blast holes after detonation.
  • Connect gun chambers to electric detonating devices, and operate controls at panelboards, in order to detonate charges in guns or to ignite chemical charges.
  • Insert powder charges into chambers of sidewall sample-taking cylinders, and assemble cylinders, using special wrenches.
  • Observe odometers, weight indicators, and instrument panels in trucks in order to position guns at predetermined points in wells.
  • Obtain samples of earth from sidewalls of well boreholes, using electrically exploding devices.

What work activities are most important?

Importance 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.

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.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

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.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment - Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment - Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment - Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Holland Code Chart for an Explosive Specialist

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