What Does a Surface Blaster Do?

Surface Blasters (278B) fill blast holes with explosives and detonate explosives to dislodge coal, ore and rock to demolish structures.

Job Related Skills, Interests and Values

  • planning and designing blast patterns
  • hooking up and firing a variety of blasts
  • handling misfires and missed holes
  • disposing of unwanted or excessive explosives
  • supervising blasting helpers and security in the area of the blast
  • observing safety in accordance with government and company standards

Additional information on training standards for this particular trade in the Industrial sector may be found on the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) website at: http://www.collegeoftrades.ca/trades/training-standards1/industrial

What Preparation and Training Do You Need?

In order to register as an apprentice, you must be at least 16 years of age or older in the province of Ontario and have completed Grade 12 or equivalent. Senior credits in English, Advanced Math or Science (Physics) would be helpful. Completion of this type of apprenticeship will take 2240 hours of on-the-job experience and two 6-week in-class sessions (360 hours). This is the minimum to be apprenticed in this trade under the (OCTAA) Ontario College of Trades Apprenticeship Act (2009). Please note that minimum entry requirements to this and other trades are currently under review by the Ontario College of Trades.

What’s Your Future as a Surface Blaster?

Surface Blasters primarily work outdoors. As a result, they may have to work in cold temperatures or even in remote locations. They are generally paid on an hourly basis, and the job can require overtime. Employees who hire Surface Blasters include:

  • Mining companies
  • Quarrying companies
  • Construction companies
  • Drilling and blasting contractors

For additional information about this career, check out www.CareersInConstruction.ca.

Wage Rate

  • An Apprentice earns less than a Journeyperson, but as your skills and expertise improve, your wage increases
  • Wages for fully qualified Surface Blasters vary from $25.00-$40.00 per hour


Ask Yourself: Is Working as a Surface Blaster For You?

Are you comfortable around hazardous materials?

Yes      No

Do you have strong analytical problem solving skills?

Yes      No

Are you good at making quick and important decisions?

Yes      No

Are you able to concentrate in busy or stressful situations?

Yes      No

Are you of good physical fitness, able to lift, carry and manipulate heavy objects?

Yes      No

Do you like working outdoors?

Yes      No

Can you read and interpret blueprints and diagrams?

Yes      No

If you answered Yes to most of these questions, a career as a Surface Blaster may be for You!

You may also want to explore other careers that require similar interests and skills, such as:

  • Mine Support & Service Worker
  • Mining and Quarrying Supervisor
  • Mining Machine Operator


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