Bomb Disposal Technician

Job Description:

Bomb disposal technicians identify, defuse and destroy explosive devices.

Job Category:
Aerospace & Defence

What you will do:

You’ll usually start in one of the armed forces, and work in a warzone or civilian setting.

Your job title will depend on the branch of the armed forces you join:

  • in the army you’ll be known as an ammunition technician or an ammunition technical officer
  • in the Air Force you’ll be a weapons technician
  • in the Navy you could be either a mine warfare specialist or a mine clearance diver

You’ll identify, make safe or dispose of different kinds of explosive devices, including:

  • unexploded military ammunition, like grenades, shells or depth charges in water
  • landmines
  • improvised explosive devices, makeshift explosives like pipe or car bombs

Your duties might include:

  • working with the police to make sure dangerous areas have been evacuated
  • finding, identifying, defusing and destroying explosive devices using remote control robots and metal detectors
  • making sure your colleagues are safe in dangerous areas

Disposal of explosive devices might only be part of your job. You might also work in ammunitions storage facilities, looking after and maintaining munitions and weapons or loading missiles onto fighter aircraft.


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • thinking and reasoning skills for making quick decisions
  • concentration skills and fast reactions
  • the ability to keep calm in difficult situations
  • excellent judgement and problem-solving skills
  • an eye for detail and a steady hand
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • persistence and determination (drive)
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to work well with others in a team (teamwork)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

Becoming a Bomb Disposal Technician typically requires a strong educational background and specialized training. While there are no specific GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) subjects that are absolutely mandatory, certain subjects can be helpful in preparing for a career in this field. Here are some GCSE subjects that can be beneficial:

  1. Mathematics: A solid foundation in mathematics is crucial for understanding complex calculations and measurements involved in bomb disposal.
  2. Science (Physics and Chemistry): Knowledge of physics and chemistry can be valuable in understanding the principles behind explosives and their behavior, as well as the safe handling of chemicals.
  3. Information and Communication Technology (ICT): Proficiency in ICT can be important for using specialized equipment and computer systems involved in bomb disposal.
  4. English: Strong communication skills are essential for any profession, including bomb disposal, as you may need to convey information clearly and follow written instructions precisely.
  5. Physical Education (PE): Physical fitness is important in this field, as bomb disposal technicians may need to wear heavy protective gear and work in physically demanding conditions.
  6. Design and Technology: Some knowledge of engineering principles and technical design can be useful, as bomb disposal often involves the disarming or disposal of intricate devices.

Post School

Entry requirements will vary according to the country you will be studying and working in. In the UK, the most common way to become a bomb disposal technician is by joining the armed forces and applying to work in the bomb disposal unit.

You can train in the:

  • British Army, as a soldier before moving into the Royal Logistics Corps (RLC) or the Corps of the Royal Engineers
  • Royal Air Force, as a weapons technician before volunteering for training
  • Royal Navy, as a mine warfare specialist or mine clearance diver

Working Hours and Environment:

Your working hours will depend on which armed forces you join and the particular job.

When you’re not on exercises or operations, a working day can be from 8am to 5pm. During exercises and operations you may work much longer and irregular hours, and be away from home for long periods of time.

You could serve in the at home or overseas in combat or ex-combat zones.

You’ll work in a variety of conditions, ranging from onboard a ship or a submarine, to working in an ammunitions store or destroying terrorist bombs in a warzone or civilian setting.

You’ll wear a bomb suit or heavy suit of body armour.

You’ll spend a lot of time on training exercises.

Career Path & Progression:

With extensive experience, you could work as a consultant for organisations like governments, environmental companies, non-governmental organisations, or the United Nations.