Search Advice

Bomb diffuser

Aimee Brown

When defusing unexploded bombs is what you do for a living, it goes without saying that confidence and calmness are essential attributes. Sergeant David Higgins has worked as an Ammunition Technician (Unexploded Ordinances) with the Australian Defence Force for seven years and is now training junior technicians at the army's Albury base. He says trainees quickly learn if they're cut out for the job.

"We try to put as much pressure on them, within reason, to see how they handle the stress and how they overcome it,'' he says. "Most people will develop their own way of dealing with it. Within the first few months of training you can see if they are handling it.''

Higgins has worked in high-danger zones such as Iraq and East Timor, but says there is plenty of work to keep ammunition technicians busy in NSW. Technicians are routinely called out to examine "souvenirs'' brought back from World War I and, increasingly, materials bought on Ebay and sent through the post.

"It's incredible. We'll get the call [from Customs] and rock in and have a look at it. If it's unsafe, we'll take it away.'' Higgins says there are countless types of explosives, and each one needs to be approached differently.

"It depends on the fusing. If you have a sensitive fuse you don't want to rush straight in and make a lot of noise. Every bit of ammunition is different and has to be taken on its own.''
When that unexploded material is in a populated area, the difficulty intensifies. "Most people don't know exactly what it is we do, so the challenge is in trying to get the civilians to move to another location,'' he says.

Qualifications: You need to be employed as a soldier with the Australian Regular Army for at least four years before you can apply to train as an ammunition technician.
You will then be classified as a Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps (RAAOC) soldier who is an ammunition and explosives specialist.

Course description: The eight-month training course takes place at the Army Logistics Training Centre Ammunition Platoon in Bonegilla, Victoria. The main role of an ammunition technician is to provide ammunition safety and performance assurance to commanders and staff, so you will learn all aspects of ammunition and explosives.

Costs: Training is provided as part of your career development. You continue to receive a salary while you train.

From the inside: Sgt Higgins says it is normal to experience some nerves while working in the field. "You never become immune to the stress because you're always exposed to it, but the biggest thing is to think about what you're going to do first,'' he says. "People who do this job have to have a level head; they need common sense and be able to think on their feet.''

He says the length of time it takes to defuse an explosive device can vary significantly, but regardless of the duration of the task, technicians must always remain alert. "Short jobs can take 15 to 20 minutes, but long jobs can take up to eight or 10 hours,'' he says. "When you're doing jobs that big you'll generally do 20 minutes, come back and have a 10-minute break and go back again.''

More information: Contact the Defence Force, 131 901 or

Latest Jobs

Love Property Wealth
Posted: 09/27/2016
Hobart, TAS, 7000
Healthcare Australia
Posted: 09/27/2016
Caloundra, QLD, 4551
Healthcare Australia
Posted: 09/27/2016
Gympie, QLD, 4570

Want more personalised results?  Update Your Profile



Preparing for an interview
Follow these techniques which will not just
cool an applicant's nerves, but help dazzle the
selection panel.


How to negotiate for your pay rise
Having that discussion is never an easy task
however knowing what needs to be done helps
in making the process easy.


And the most sought-after skills are...
Hiring in many sectors is back to pre-GFC
levels leaving many employers "bracing for a
skills shortage".


Alt text
We have seen the recruitment market improve,
with online job listings growing by over 33 per
cent over the previous year.


Ten tips to hire the right candidate
You need to ask the right questions to see if the candidate has the attributes you need to grow your business.


Toolkit for employers
Our resource centre will you keep you informed on the latest industry trends and help you manage your workforce.


Advance your career
Higher education, vocational education and professional development.
Email me jobs
Save a customised job search and get new job alerts sent to your inbox.
High impact resume
Want a professional, keyword-rich resumes crafted by the experts?
Post your resume
Upload your resume for free and let employers come to you.
Job Seeker's Toolkit
All the tools and advice you need to start your job hunt.
Career Advice
Browse more than 20 specialised sections to get ahead in your career.
Create a Cover Letter
A cover letter is the best way to put a face on your resume.

>>More Career Advice


Post a job
Post your job in minutes. It's simple and affordable from $170.
Bundled Offers
Find the offer that's right for your business.
Resume Database
Access thousands of qualified candidates.
Optimise your ad
How to enhance the performance of your job posting.
Online Tutorials
Need help to post your job? See our online demonstations.
Resource Centre
Workforce management advice, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Employer Toolkit
Most popular material for employers to get you started.

>>More Employer Advice


Interact with us, have your say or just get helpful career advice.
Watch our career advice videos and TV commercials.
Follow us to receive the latest employment and industry news.
Twitter InspireMe
Receive a dose of inspiration to start each working day.
Personality Profiler
Do the test to find out your personality and work style.
CareerOne iPhone app
Now you can search and apply for jobs anytime, anywhere.
Blog: Cube Farmer
Kate Southam gets to grips with the highs and lows of work.


Jobs and Career Resources
Find Jobs and Explore Career Resources
Company Profiles
Research companies, view company profiles and find thousands of recruiters.
Advance your career with higher education, vocational education and professional development.
What's new?
Take advantage of the new and improved features and functionality of our website.
Security Centre
Expert advice on avoiding online fraud.
Read our help topics, privacy policy and FAQs.
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About CareerOne | Work for CareerOne | Partner with Us | Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Centre | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2016 CareerOne - All Rights Reserved Australia.
- V: 2016.19.0.140-217