Demolition experts, also called blasters and explosives technicians, set up and detonate explosives to loosen or move earth materials or to bring down buildings and other structures. They examine areas scheduled for blasting to determine the appropriate explosive charges and to make sure procedures will follow all safety and other regulations. Most demolition experts make at least $17 per hour as of 2010.
The average salary for demolition experts as of May 2010 was $22.30 per hour, or $46,370 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The middle 50 percent of demolition experts were making $17.32 to $25.65 per hour, or $36,020 to $53,350 per year. The bottom 10 percent had pay rates at or below $14.56 per hour, or $30,280 per year. The top 10 percent of demolition experts had salaries of $31 per hour and higher, or $64,480 per year and more.
Types of Employment
The largest numbers of demolition experts work for the federal government, earning an average salary of $20.39 per hour in 2010, or $42,400 per year. Others find employment in nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying, with an average pay rate of $43,070 per year, in coal mining at $49,140, in metal ore mining at $52,200, with specialty trade contractors at $53,380 and in heavy and civil engineering construction at $56,380.
High Employment States
Kentucky was the state with the largest number of demolition experts in 2010, making $40,820 per year on average. Other states with large numbers of these workers included Oklahoma, where the average annual wage for blasters was $38,820, West Virginia at $41,580, Indiana at $42,370 and Arkansas at $34,370.
The top-paying state for demolition experts in 2010 was Nevada, where these workers had an average salary of $31.30 per hour, or $65,100 per year. Rounding out the top five states for explosives technician average pay were Alaska at $60,480, Wisconsin at $59,120, Illinois at $58,370 and Texas at $54,970.