Mining, Energy & Utilities
Shotfirer or Blaster
Shotfirers assemble, position and detonate explosives at a mining or demolition site.
Private training course
What does a Shotfirer or Blaster do?
Shotfirers assemble, position and detonate explosives at a mining or demolition site. Shotfirers may also be known as blasters.
As a shotfirer, you would:
- check blasting areas to ensure they meet safety regulations
- establish exclusion zones around and on the blast area
- decide on the quantity of explosives required
- insert detonators and charges into blast holes
- connect and test or inspect the blasting circuit
- fire charges
- inspect the blasting area to make sure all explosives have detonated
- check the site safety after blasting and declare the area safe.
Key skills and interests
To become a shotfirer or blaster, you would need:
- strong concentration skills
- critical thinking and decisiveness
- willingness to adhere to safety requirements
- excellent attention to detail
- good physical and medical fitness
- the ability to work in confined spaces, including underground
- maths and science skills.
Working hours and conditions
In many cases, as a shortfirer or blaster, you would travel and spend long periods away from home. The hours can be very long.
Shotfirers work outside or underground, and they are expected to work in a variety of weather conditions. This job can be dirty, dangerous and also loud.
Shotfirers work in many industries including mining, oil & gas exploration, agriculture, construction, tunnelling and pyrotechnics (fireworks).
How to become an Shotfirer or Blaster?
Entry Level Education
To become a shotfirer you usually have to obtain a licence for the appropriate class of work, and demonstrate knowledge in and practical application of the safe assembly of detonation and explosive materials. Licences are issued by the regulatory body in the State in which you reside. Training, work experience and supervision requirements may vary depending on the type of work you wish to carry out (for example, construction, mining or fireworks).
To apply for a licence to work with explosives, you must be at least 18 years of age, pass a National Police Check, and provide a medical report.
As the mining industry, in particular, experiences a prolonged slowdown, employment opportunities for shotfirers are expected to decline.
More opportunities may be available in the construction and agricultural industries, which are going through a period of strong expansion.