Explosives apprenticeship

Explosives apprenticeship

The apprenticeship in Explosives provides a structured programme of learning and practical experience with an emphasis on explosives safety.

Apprentices will have the opportunity to undertake a variety of functions, including the storage, quality maintenance and inspection, safe handling, transport, movement and hand over of explosives to others.

Although the key target group for this apprenticeship is the Army’s ammunition technicians, it is open to anyone seeking a career in ammunition management and related areas. This includes the other Armed Forces, MoD civilians and those employed in or seeking to be employed in the private sector.

Intermediate Level – The Intermediate Level apprenticeship includes three pathways: Explosives Operations, Explosives Storage and Maintenance and Munition Clearance. As an explosives operator, you will be responsible for the test and evaluation, manufacture, maintenance/ processing, storage, transport and disposal of explosive substances and articles. Ammunition technicians deal with storage, quality maintenance and inspection, safe handling, transport, movement and handover of explosives to others (e.g. issuing of ammunition), while Munition clearance operators locate and assist in the disposal of unexploded munitions and explosives –this covers the land and sea aspects of humanitarian mine clearance, and battlefield clearance.

Advanced Level – The Advanced Level apprenticeship offers pathways in Explosives Supervision and Defence Range Safety Supervision. As an explosives supervisor, you would work in a multi-functional role, supervising work in a number of areas which could include the test and evaluation, manufacture, maintenance/processing, storage, transport and disposal of explosive substances and articles. Defence range supervisors oversee safety on all types of defence ranges – both Defence Training Estate (DTE) ranges and Test, Evaluation, Research and Proof (TERP) ranges.

Safety is critical in this industry and apprentices need to be aware that failure can carry a high cost at a strategic, tactical and financial level as well as potentially leading to loss of life. You will need to be prepared to operate in conditions that could be both hazardous and hostile, as well as to accept the demands of antisocial working hours both at home and abroad.

In return, successful completion of this apprenticeship will arm you with the skills, knowledge and occupational competence that you need to work with explosives within a military environment, in MoD civilian establishments and in the private sector, for example in de-mining companies and defence manufacturers.


Intermediate (Level 2), Advanced (Level 3)

Starting salary (once qualified):

Regular soldiers receive over £275 a week in Phase 1 training, which rises to at least £17,767 a year depending on which Army job you do. Some roles get specialist pay, which can be worth at least an extra £19 per day

Job roles:

Explosives operator, Ammunition technician, Munition clearance operator, Explosives supervisor, Defence range supervisor

Issuing Authority:

Cogent – www.cogent-ssc.com