The qualifications required for a career as an explosives worker depend largely on the specific type of work involved. All explosives workers must have a thorough understanding of the explosives with which they're working, and must know how to handle, assemble and/or transport those substances without causing harm to themselves or others. Due to the dangerous nature of this type of work, explosives workers must be able to concentrate in stressful, dangerous and potentially frightening situations, even when they are mentally and physically exhausted. They must have an excellent memory for details and be able to remember the properties and handling procedures for different explosive components.
In many cases, explosives workers must also have significant experience in chemistry and engineering. Demolitions work is the most obvious example of this; an explosives professional who plans and executes structural collapses must thoroughly understand the materials that need to be demolished, the structural forces at play and the proper composition and placement of the explosive charges used to accomplish this. In many cases, these explosives workers will have a college degree in engineering or chemistry, and a graduate or doctoral degree in either engineering or materials science. Explosives workers must be able to synthesize data from a variety of sources and make executive decisions based on that information; they must be able to do this quickly and effectively to keep themselves and everyone else as safe as possible at all times. Explosives professionals must also be able to examine data and determine, quickly and accurately, if a job site conforms to current safety standards and regulations.