How to Become a Demolition Expert
Explore the career requirements for demolition experts. Get the facts about education requirements, employment outlook, job duties, and average salary to determine if this is the right career for you.
Career Information At a Glance
Demolition experts demolish old buildings, homes, and structures using explosives in the safest and most efficient ways possible. Deductive reasoning and manual dexterity are important skills required to succeed in this profession. Check out the following table for more details.
|Common Education||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Key Skills||Operation and control, judgment and decision-making, time management, coordination, and monitoring skills|
|Training Required||Long-term on-the-job training|
|Work Experience in a Related Occupation||Less than 5 years|
|Licensure/Certification||Vary by state|
|Job Outlook (2018-2028)||6%* (for all explosives workers, ordnance handling experts, and blasters)|
|Average Annual Salary (2018)||$52,780* (for all explosives workers, ordnance handling experts, and blasters)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Does a Demolition Expert Do?
Demolition experts, also known as explosive workers, ordnance handling experts, and blasters, are responsible for dismantling, razing, wrecking or demolishing any structure or any part thereof. Their work also often involves loosening, removing, or displacing earth, rock, or other materials using explosives. Their day-to-day tasks include inspecting blast areas to ensure safety laws are being followed; determining the quantity and type of explosives needed; coordinating the time sequences of the explosions; keeping the records according to local and federal laws; and setting up, maintaining, and operating various pieces of equipment.
Do I Need a Degree?
The typical education entry requirement for demolition experts is holding a high school diploma or equivalent. Although a traditional college degree is not required for this profession, employers may prefer their demolition experts to possess a post-secondary certificate, vocational school training, or bachelor's degree related to construction management.
What Are the Training Requirements?
Most demolition experts train on the job under an experienced demolition expert. On-the-job training can last between a few months to one year. Alternatively, the necessary training is also provided by labor unions, vocational training schools, and contractor associations through specialized apprenticeship programs.
Possessing work experience in a related occupation, preferably in the construction industry, is another requisite for becoming a demolition expert. Since this profession requires a high level of supervision and responsibility for others' safety, generally around 4 to 5 years of work experience in a related occupation is required.
Do I Need to Be Licensed or Certified?
Although license and certification requirements vary from one state to another, demolition experts are required to hold a federal license to remove asbestos, lead-based paint or other hazardous material. This license is obtained by completing the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) certification course. Some states might require demolition experts to obtain state-mandated safety certification by clearing a test before they can start working with explosives. Other states might require demolition experts to obtain permits based on the size of the structure they plan on demolishing.
How Much Might I Earn?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, explosives workers, ordnance handling experts, and blasters earned an average annual salary in 2018 of $52,780. Demolition professionals who worked in top paying industries earned an average annual salary around $70,000 and up. In 2018, the top paying industries for this occupation were heavy and civil engineering construction; management, scientific, and technical consulting services; and scientific research and development services.