How to Become a Certified Blaster
If you are interested in working with explosives and becoming a blaster, then you will love this post. It shows you the steps you need to take to get certified and licensed to work as a blaster, including the necessary training and certification exams you have to take to get into the career.
Please, continue reading ….
Who is a Blaster?
Blasters are explosive engineers who take care of explosives needed in mining and construction sites.
They use explosives for weakening and removal of earth or rock, mostly for construction or building. Sometimes, blasters gain access to metals, fuels or minerals in the earth.
Educational Requirements and Career Pathway to Become a Blaster
The educational requirements for blasters to get into the career include a high school diploma or its equivalent, though postsecondary education can be an advantage.
How to Obtain Certification as a Blaster
Obtaining a blaster’s certification may not be easy as you have to take lectures, sit for exam, pay for course fee and the materials needed, and then stay all through the duration of the program.
Here are some certification programs you might consider taking to become a certified blaster:
Explosives Academy Certification Program: The Explosives Academy provides perhaps the largest collection of courses on explosives
that applicants can take online and on their phones.
ISEE Certificate Program: The ISEE Certificate Program has three segments of the program – Practical Blasting Fundamentals, Construction, and Quarrying.
- The Practical Blasting Fundamentals: This is an eight-lesson package bearing information about the basics of explosives engineering and other procedures.
These eight lessons are Blasting Safety, Geological Effects on Blasting, Field Controls and Drilling Accuracy, Explosives Products and Selection, Detonators and Initiation Systems, Blast Design, Ground Vibrations and Airwaves, and Explosives Regulation and Compliance.
- Construction: Construction involves classroom activities, tests, and updated materials bearing all the lessons. Construction is ideal for new blasters and professionals who need updates on blasting. These lessons highlight safety moves related to flyrock, initiation, overbreak control, and vibration monitoring.
- Quarrying: This is performance-based lesson on drilling and blasting in quarries. Students must study all practical blasting applications, and submit a 25-question exam. The topics of study comprise drilling, vibration monitoring, and safe effective blast pattern design.
Licensing for Blasters
Licensing is a way that blasters can be given permission to handle explosives, guns, and some other blasting equipment and tools without fear of police or any other law enforcement agency.
Here are some licensing organizations you can use:
ESRA Consulting Corporation: The ESRA Consulting Corporation, located in Boca Raton, Florida, offers classroom lectures to prepare applicants for the Blasting Contractor’s License. A licensed blasting operator and engineer teach the courses, and the successful completion of it results to issuance of the license.
WorkSafe Victoria: WorkSafe Licensing program permits the use and purchase of blasting explosives, and may authorize limited manufacture of ammonium nitrate, storage and transportation of limited amounts of explosives.
Applicants must undertake a training course and assessment in the application of blasting explosives and shot-firing methods performed by an authorized training provider.
The fees for the licensing program are as follows:
- $62.50 for license
- $21.88 for license amendment
- $40 for National Police check
- $20 ASIO security assessment applies if you have not completed an ASIO security assessment through WorkSafe.
The WorkSafe license is valid for 5 years, and can be renewed after then.
Licensing of Blasters in Missouri
It is only licensed blasters that are allowed to use explosives in Missouri and many U.S. states. Without a valid blaster’s license, you cannot load, fire explosives, or direct another individual to do so.
If you must blaster without a license, it must be done under the supervision of a licensed blaster.
There is a standard examination for blasters pursuing a license, which must be taken after the individual has completed an approved training course for at least two years. Approval of training courses for blasters is done by the division.
The blaster’s license expires three years from the issuance date. Qualification for renewal includes provision of documentation of completing eight hours of approved explosive-related training.
Blaster Duties and Responsibilities
Here is a list of major duties and responsibilities performed by blasters:
- Delivery of blasting equipment and explosives to blasting site
- Assembling equipment, explosives, blasting cap, primer
- Loading performing gun with explosives
- Using hoist, rope, or hand to load certain amount of explosives into blast holes
- Climbing with rope and safety harness to plant explosive charge inside or outside buildings
- Lighting fuse
- Dropping detonating device into well
- Connecting wires to firing device
- Activating device to set blast off
- Cutting primacord
- Attaching primer to the end of cord
- Laying primacord between rows of charged blast holes
- Tying cord into main line to form blast pattern
- Tying lengths of delaying fuses into pattern
- Filling and tamping blasting hole
- Observance of control panel to verify detonation of charge
- Listening to sound of blast
- Exploring blast area to determine amount and kind of explosive needed for safety
- Marking location and depth of charge holes for drilling
- Measuring depth of drilled blast holes
- Setting up and operating drilling equipment
- Operating hoist, drill or jackhammer to bore charge holes
- Setting up radio or telephone equipment for receiving blast information
- Signaling workers to clear area and hoist operator to raise equipment
- Placing safety cones round about blast area to keep workers alerted
- Storing and maintaining inventories of high explosives
- Repairing and servicing blasting equipment and other relevant instruments and tools.
Average Salary for Blasters
According to Payscale.com, the average wage of a blaster is $16.50 per hour, whereas Simplyhired.com noted $27,769 as the average salary for blaster jobs.
Indeed.com blaster’s salary report is $30,000 for Sandblaster in Houston, Texas, and $32,000 for Hydro Blaster in Houston, Texas.
According to Careeroverview.com, a certified blaster’s low hourly pay is $13.78, while the annual salary is $28,700.
Moreover, the blaster’s median hourly wage is $19.18, while the annual salary is $39,900.
When certified blasters’ salary is high according to location, they receive an hourly wage of $27.01 and annual salary of $56,200.
And the Study.com’s report about the median annual salary for blasters is $55,305.