How to become an explosives engineer

Explosives engineers, also known as blasters, are trained and certified to safely execute explosive blasts used to free spaces from obstacles. Working primarily in construction projects designed to erect buildings, homes or roads, the engineer is responsible for reviewing the blast site and selecting the proper explosives and measures to contain and manage the severity of the blast. Explosive engineers receive on-the-job training and classroom instruction. While a college degree is not required for this position, college programs and instruction provided by professional associations can assist individuals looking to begin and advance a career in this potentially hazardous job.

Acquire a high school diploma or GED and secure construction work experience in an entry-level or apprentice position. This will help you get the construction background required for an explosives engineer.

Consider your education preferences. While a college degree is not required for a career in explosives engineering, it can be a good way to broaden your professional options and make you a better job candidate. There are bachelor's and master's degree programs, like the ones offered at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, that offer course work in explosives safety and blasting design and technology. These programs can help you secure professional licensing while developing a professional network for future job opportunities.

Enrol in training seminars if you are not pursuing a degree. Acquiring learning credits through additional instruction can greatly supplement your work experience. If you are already employed in the construction industry and do not wish to pursue a degree, you may can enrol in training seminars independently. Industry training seminars and certification preparation are available through programs accredited by the International Society of Explosives Engineers (ISEE), such as the Explosives Academy (explosivesacademy.org/certification.htm) and RAM Inc. Explosives Educational Services (ramets.com/).

Secure licensing for explosives engineering based on the guidelines of your state and/or employer. If you are working for a construction firm that handles federal contracts, you will need to meet the licensing and certification requirements for explosive engineers in your area. Certification can be secured independently through the Explosives Academy. If you are enrolled in a degree program through a college or university, your adviser will recommend courses to prepare you for the licensing process. Licensing and registration for this profession must be applied for in the state where you will be employed.

Consult your professional association's career centre for updated employment listings and to post your resume. The ISEE features a career site for members and explosives engineers. This website is designed exclusively for individuals working or looking to work in explosives engineering. It is a perfect place to search for job openings and stay up to date on training and learning opportunities. Review current career offerings at isee.org/FPcareercenter.htm.

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Things Needed

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Construction experience
  • Explosives training and licensing

About the Author

CL Hardy is a communication professional based in Austin, Texas. In addition to writing corporate newsletters, proposals and technical white papers for Fortune 500 clients for more than 12 years, Hardy has been published in "Black Collegian" magazine; her articles on human resources, business and art topics can be found on eHow. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in communication.

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