Saturday, June 30, 2012

FAQ: What job opportunities can an EOD tech expect after his time in the Navy?

Serving as a U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician is about the best job on the planet. After all, we’re the guys who “Blow shit up!” Still, everyone must move on eventually whether it is after their first enlistment or upon retiring from a 30 year career. The skills one learns as an EOD Tech are invaluable, and thus make the individual highly sought after. Most important, “Blowing shit up!” does not have to end after Navy  life.

Here are perhaps the three most obvious examples.

Law Enforcement (LEO) – One can easily move into the law enforcement field at any level from federal to local. You can serve as a member of a police department bomb squad, dive team, or both. (Note: In some cases bomb squad and dive teams fall under the fire department) EOD Techs often serve as member of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Teams because they have a proven ability to all the required skillsets. Former Navy EOD Techs can serve in the FBI as Bomb Techs ( or in the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Bomb Appraisal Officer (BAO).  There are similar positions in the ATF, Secret Service, …and  myriad of other government agencies.

An important thing to recognize is that if you decide to join law enforcement, one may need to go through a police academy, and may need to spend time as a patrolman or “beat cop” before applying to a specialized unit. Similarly, the FBI may require you to work as a special agent before becoming a bomb tech.

Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) – The world is covered with unexploded ordnance – munitions that failed to detonate when expended or that are in a storage configuration and due to age or other necessity must be destroyed. UXO companies send teams to find and render safe and/or dispose of this ordnance. In many cases, the task is simply picking up ordnance from a post-war battlefield, gathering it to a single location, and detonating it. Naturally, one has to know how to handle each type of ordnance encountered. This work is similar to military life in that one is often on site in a foreign country for months at a time. Due to the danger involved, it pays very well.

Government contracting – First, U.S. Navy EOD Technicians receive a security clearance. This alone makes them valuable to government contractors.  Sometimes it is easier to train an individual who has a clearance than to get a clearance for someone who has the needed skills. Naturally, the possibilities are multiplied if the former Tech decides to work for a contract that does EOD work, like providing equipment or training to EOD Techs whether foreign or domestic.

These are just three major categories...there are a wide variety of opportunities for EOD Techs in the civilian world.


Carter Woodward said...

I am joining the eod division of the Air Force. I have not shipped to basic yet, but I will be soon. How does one find these jobs when they get out of the military? I am a bit older than most recruits and I want to be prepared for life after the military as I am starting a family and can not afford any gaps of unemployment. Any advice/help would be awesome.

Chandler Dobson said...

Focus on one thing at a time. Right now it's basic, after that, EOD school. Hacking it at Eglin is no easy task. Once you make it through school and get to your operational unit you can begin to network and decide what's right for you, if and when you get out. Like I said though first things first make it through school.