Bomb technicians are specially trained security personnel charged with the identification, detonation and disposal of explosive devices in the safest way possible. Their job involves disarming suicide bombers, rescuing hostages and handling unidentified luggage or objects. Nerves of steel, superior technical skills and the ability to remain calm under extreme pressure are the tools you need to succeed in this profession.
What Do Bomb Technicians Do?
Bomb technicians work with well-trained dogs and other security experts to ensure public safety. Their duties include:
- Identifying and detecting potential explosives
- Safely deactivating and disposing bombs
- Evacuating people from hostage situations involving potential explosions
- Disarming individuals wearing suicide vests and other explosives
- Preparing reports and testifying in court cases
- Carrying out controlled explosions on explosive devises
Bomb technicians typically work on an on-call basis. When not responding to a bomb threat, they spend long hours learning and training on how to best handle new versions of explosives. Many bomb technicians also have other duties within the law enforcement setting.
Aspiring bomb techs must be prepared to work in difficult environments, such as underwater, car parks and roof tops. While at work, they wear special protective gear that can weigh up to 90 pounds, and operate sophisticated equipment like robots.
The following table shows the salaries for bomb techs in various cities:
New York, NY
Los Angeles, CA
San Diego, CA
Source: Salary Expert
Bomb technicians are experienced law enforcement agents or military personnel who complete a specialized training program. As such, to become a bomb tech, you must begin by joining either a law enforcement agency such as the Federal Bureau of Investigations or the armed forces. Although each agency has its own entry requirements, applicants must generally meet the flowing requirements:
- Hold a high school diploma
- Be American citizens
- Pass a criminal background check
- Pass the Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery – for those looking to work in the armed forces
After working for at least five years and demonstrating competence, you can be chosen to pursue a bomb tech training program at a specialized facility. This training covers areas such as:
- Explosives storage laws and regulations
- Counterterrorism strategies
- Bomb disposal
- Using protective equipment
- Teamwork and effective communication
After completing training, you will be ready to practice as a bomb technician.
Source: Education Portal
To be a competent bomb technician, you must have:
- Superior practical and technical skills
- Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
- Excellent communication and teamwork skills
- The ability to stay calm under pressure
- Good eye-hand coordination
- A good level of manual dexterity
There are limited career development opportunities for bomb technicians. This is mainly because bomb tech is not typically a full-time job. However, you can pursue an undergraduate certificate in explosive ordnance to improve your competence.
The employers of bomb technicians include:
- The FBI
- The Navy’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit
- The Transportation Security Administration
- Local and state police forces
- Private security firms
With vast experience and an additional qualification, you can become a first-line supervisor or an instructor in a training facility. Here, your job will be to train aspiring bomb technicians.
Finally, within the next 8-year period the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates an 8 percent job growth for all protective service occupations. Given that only a small number of law enforcement officers proceed to become bomb technicians, your determination can get you there. So go on and pursue this profession. Good luck!
Given the dangerous nature of this job and the tough selection process, you need to have the right attributes and drive to succeed. However, if you feel that you have all of these then this may well be the career for you.
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