Career Definition for a Bomb Technician
Bomb technicians are highly trained explosives experts who carry out the inspection, deactivation, and safe removal of explosive devices. They also conduct bomb sweeps and safely destroy unused ammunition, commercial explosives, and fireworks. Bomb technicians conduct investigations, write reports, and testify in court as expert witnesses.
|Required Education||High school diploma or equivalent, law enforcement training, associate's or bachelor's degree recommended for advancement|
|Necessary Skills||Ability to work under stress, physical fitness, writing, deductive reasoning|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$61,050 (for police patrol officers)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)*||7% growth (for police patrol officers)|
*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Bomb technicians begin their careers as members of police forces or other law enforcement agencies and later choose to undertake intensive training. A high school diploma or GED is required to become a police officer, and an associate's or bachelor's degree may be required to advance to a career as a bomb technician. Training for bomb technicians is certified by the FBI and includes classes in post-blast investigation, hazardous device training, and explosive breaching training. Bomb technicians must train and re-certify throughout their careers.
The most important skill for a career as a bomb technician is the ability to work under severe stress. Bomb technicians also must possess excellent writing and deductive reasoning skills and maintain a high level of physical fitness.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), the number of jobs for police patrol officers is expected to increase 7% from 2016-2026; however, there are few openings for bomb technicians because once officers enter this specialization, they rarely move into other fields. According to the BLS, the median salary for police patrol officers in May 2017 was $61,050; salary data specifically for bomb technicians was not available. In addition to salary, bomb technicians are usually entitled to hazard pay, as well as insurance and retirement benefits.
Alternate Career Options
Some skills needed to be a bomb technician will help prepare you for jobs in other areas.
Detectives are specially trained police officers who conduct investigations to solve crimes. They may follow and interview suspects, collect evidence, and arrest suspects. Detectives also write up reports and prepare paperwork necessary for prosecution; testifying in court is sometimes required. Detectives are typically working police officers who have earned a promotion. The BLS reports that detectives and criminal investigators can look forward to 5% job growth from 2016-2026. Median pay for detectives and criminal investigators was $79,970 in 2017, according to the BLS.
Firefighters are emergency responders who use their training and knowledge of fire science to combat blazes and rescue people who may be in danger. In addition to the technical knowledge needed to hook up pumps and hoses and fight fires, firefighters also know how to provide first aid. Firefighter jobs may require post-secondary education, up to the associate's degree level, in fire science or a related field. They usually have to pass a physical to be eligible for fire academy training. Some states also require certification. The employment of firefighters is expected to grow 7% from 2016-2026, per the BLS. The agency also reported that the median pay for firefighters was $49,080 in 2017.