How to become a Shotfirer

Shotfirers assemble, position and detonate explosives to break or dislodge rock and soil or to demolish structures.

Personal requirements of a Shotfirer

  • Enjoy practical and manual activities
  • Willing to adhere to safety requirements
  • Able to lead and supervise a team
  • Able to accept responsibility
  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • Able to pass a medical examination
  • Able to work in confined spaces, including underground
  • Basic skills in mathematics and science

Education & Training for a Shotfirer

To become a shotfirer you usually have to obtain a licence for the appropriate class of work. Training, work experience and supervision requirements may vary depending on the type of work you wish to carry out (construction, mining or fireworks, for example).

Additional Information

To be eligible to obtain a licence to work with explosives, you must be at least 18 years of age and pass a National Police Check.

Duties & Tasks of a Shotfirer


  • check blasting areas to make sure that safety regulations are met
  • establish safe exclusion to control movement of personnel, livestock and vehicles around and on the blast area
  • apply basic geology to assist in blast design, and interpret and apply blast design principals
  • cut channels under working faces
  • check bore-hole depths and ensure that they are clean
  • calculate quantity of explosives required to achieve desired result
  • insert detonators and charges into holes
  • connect and test or inspect the blasting circuit
  • fire charges
  • inspect the area to make sure all explosives have been detonated
  • manage explosives magazine stock control
  • check site safety after blasting (falling rock hazards, underground mine roof supports and harmful fumes, for example), and declare the area safe.

Working conditions for a Shotfirer

Shotfirers may be required to work in remote areas and in conditions which may be dusty, hot and noisy. They may be required to work shifts.

Employment Opportunities for a Shotfirer

Shotfirers are mainly employed by drilling and blasting contractors. Although mining companies, quarries, civil engineering and road construction firms require shotfirers, this role is often contracted out to specialist companies. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have industry experience on a mine site.

Avg. weekly wage:


Future growth:


Employment by state:

ACT ACT 0.2%

NSW NSW 24.3%

NT NT 1.5%

QLD QLD 33.8%

SA SA 3.8%

TAS TAS 2.2%

VIC VIC 6.5%

WA WA 27.7%

Hours worked:



Lower unemployment

Gender split:

Male 95%

Female 5%

Education level:

Not completed Year 10: 8.9%

Not completed Year 12: 32.9%

Highest qualification is secondary school: 22.8%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 24.6%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 7.2%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 3.5%

Age brackets:

15-19 - 0%

20-24 - 4.6%

25-34 - 26.7%

35-44 - 32.5%

45-54 - 20.7%

55-59 - 8.7%

60-64 - 4.8%

65 and Over - 1.9%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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