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Careers: Police/Explosive Ordnance Disposal


John wrote at 2007-05-20 04:02:15
I would like to add to the answer given about being an EOD tech in the military and it transferring to civilian jobs.  The answer given could NOT have been more incorrect.  If you are wondering about a job in the military your best bet is to ask someone who does it for a living.  Asking someone who reads books about it, watches TV, has friends who used to, etc.  is going to give you a completely inaccurate view of the field.  

    I am an EOD tech in the United States Marine Corps and the job opportunities as a civilian are plentiful.  Most companies will ONLY hire former military for two reasons.  1)  You have a discipline and work ethic most civilians can't relate to and don't understand - no matter how many movies they watch and friends they have that "used to do that". 2)  The second reason is  a monetary one - to become an EOD tech you must be capable of holding a Secret Security Clearance with specialties for certain weapon systems.  These clearances cost thousands and thousands of dollars.  If you have been granted one previously you have just saved your employer not only the money to get the clearance, but you have already passed a school on ordnance training that far outweighs the training you receive for a "police department bomb squad".   (6 months of school vice a few weeks for civilians, and that is just the basic school).  As far as EOD being a calling, as it was described, I totally agree.  This field is for those that are, as I would describe it,  "terminally curious".  You have to have a love of the work and a love of your contribution to the field.  This job has higher re-enlistment bonuses than any other MOS in the military ( that is a fact) for a reason - people can make a lot of money as a civilian and they do not have to go to Iraq.  The bonuses and extra pay wears off, I can assure you, and all you will be left with is a love of your profession.  It is a select few who are capable of doing this job well and most importantly SAFELY.  The error in  your work can be counted by human lives including your own.  My advice to you is that if you feel this is something you want to be a part of contact local military personnel in the field and ask them for advice.  This job is certainly as demanding as it is rewarding and is something that only a special few are qualified for.  Best of luck and if you want answers on an expert field - ask the experts.  Not the wannabe-be's.

Michele wrote at 2007-06-11 18:56:37
I am sorry but I have to disagree with you. My husband just left the military with an honorable discharge because of an injury in Afghanistan. Because we want to live in the Boston area he can find NO civilian work as an EOD tech. Most of the jobs are in the South training military.

My husband was good at his job and received the Bronze Medal of Honor. But I am sorry it did not train him for any civilian job since he is unemployed right now. And because there are a limited supply of EOD technicians in the Army he was constanly being deployed. If you have a family or plan on having one I would seriously think again before choosing this position.  

EOMFD wrote at 2009-02-15 03:45:45
I really hope you have changed you view on AFEOD and stop giving people bad advice. WE dont get medals!!! I do understand it was 03 so you need to change you views thanks.

Mike wrote at 2009-09-23 21:25:14
I'm sorry but I have to say that the experts answer to this question is terrible to say the least.

Military EOD, from any service sets the person up for numerous jobs once they leave the service.

Back to the posters questions:

Can you convert your training and experience into a civilan job with a police or fire department?

The honest answer is that it depends. Most departments require you to serve at least 5 years before moving from regular patrol into a specialized unit. There are a few that make exceptions but those are rare. If you are willing to work on a department for that long you have a chance of crossing over. As for the civilian squads not accepting your qualification, that is true to a certain extent. It doesn't mean that they beleive that you don't know anything, it just means that you are still going to have to go to HDS and get their certificate. For a military trained EOD tech it's like going back to High school after you graduated college. It's a  refresher for your skills.

You are more likely going to be able to convert your EOD experience into the Anti-terrorism or Physical Security field. There are numerous jobs that are looking for Military EOD trained personnel that will readily take you. Military EOD being as small as it is has quite a large "Good Ol' Boy" network (and not to mention the IABTI, International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators) that are always looking to help employ EOD/HDS trained personnel so getting a job isn't that hard once you get out. You could even decide to be a UXO contractor traveling all over cleaning up old military bases as $30.00/hr.

Getting your degree goes a long way to getting a job but it is by no means a requirement. There are many places that will accept a comparable amount of military service in place of a degree. I don't have a degree but my military and EOD experience has carried my quite far and I make as much if not more than those around me with a degree.  

bayshew wrote at 2009-10-21 18:18:32
EOD is Spec Ops community, The do, do lots of Jumps and some do go through free fall school. My husband is an EOD Tech with 17 years in.  He has been to every school available, has wok with Army Special Forces and Marine Special Forces on every deployment he has been on.   Please check with people in the community before making assumptions.

BomberMan wrote at 2010-04-22 08:33:57
You all have NO idea what you're talking about. Not only did I watch The Hurt Locker, but I blow up MAJOR fireworks every July 4. I'm not talking about lady fingers and stuff, I mean M80s and M800s. Not just one, PILES of them. If I wasn't careful, I could get killed. Sometimes the fuse goes out and I have to approach them. I use thick coats and jeans pants. Mostly, if I had one of those suits from the movie it would be way easier. Plus they have rad boots too. Anyway, I could be the EOD easy because I defused so many M80s that didn't blow and I wasn't even scared.

Brian wrote at 2010-05-07 01:32:36

I am an Army scout and have learned nothing useful in five years, also Sappers are completely retarded compared to EOD, you are way more than wrong. Unless you're looking to "shoot people in the face"  spec ops is useless on the outside. I am currently in EOD school and can tell you the the training is second to none. Wherever you get your information it is not a credible source. William, EOD is a great career but it not for the weak hearted. The enormously increasing threat of explosive devices will undoubtedly create a huge demand for bomb techs, but if your a coward Id suggest not even wasting your time in any job in any branch of service.


John wrote at 2010-05-23 21:50:08
You watch too many movies Shawn. You have no idea what EOD is about. You clearly demonstrated that by telling someone to go SpecOPs to do all "the high speed" stuff. I'll fill you in. EOD Techs go everywhere Special Operations teams do as an integral part of that team for multiple reasons including breaching. The only way you get into that team is to prove you are an operator. Your not taking up 1 of 20 slots on a team if all you can do is EOD work. You have to be able to operate as a part of that unit. You need to stop giving advice on subjects your ignorant on.  

bill wrote at 2010-09-02 13:22:21
I don't think your husband was an eod tech and there is no such thing as a bronze medal of honor he is most likely lying to you and was an admin clerk who did paperwork for real eod techs.

By the way i did not have a problem getting a civilian job after my military time i actually turned down several offers. Maybee your husband is a wanabee.

student wrote at 2011-02-02 01:32:42
i dont know who this guy above is or what experience he has in EOD. to me it sounds like a lot of i heard, or i have a buddy who, type stuff. i am just about to finish up EOD school now, but i am on the Navy side of things. as far as no shooting or parachuting and such... i know for a fact 100% he is wrong. the navy is the only EOD program recognized as a special operation and not just another MOS. we go to jump school immediatly following EOD school. EOD does and will transfer into a civilian job. i work personally with them everyday.

eod wrote at 2011-02-13 20:31:01
hey student,  you havnt graduated yet,  so shut up, you may know more than those who havnt even started school,  but your not a tech yet,  you dont "work" with anybody,  your a student.  And eglin is not the real world

Supply wrote at 2012-06-12 03:56:19
I was in an EOD company and married a tech, got out of the army myself last year so i know quite a bit about EOD. I can tell you of many EOD techs who got out when I did who have civilian jobs. A few are at the school house in VA, a few are at the school house in FL ( Eglin AF base), a couple travel and do UXO work for a pretty penny, and one is training to be on a police department bomb squad but as a previous comment stated, some police departments require you to have experience as a policeman before allowing you to be a member of the bomb squad. You may also become a contractor abd go back to the middle east and do the same thing as a civilian and make nearly twice as much as you did than in the military. It all depends on which badge you obtained while in the military (basic, senior, master) ,deployment experience, and security clearance.

As for Mr. Bomberman who thinks he can be EOD, you are retarded. Fireworks are nothing compared to an IED ( improvised explosive device) or a bomb. The fact that you used "The Hurt Locker" as a reference to what EOD is about alone shows your ignorance on the subject.

As for Mr. Student, you are a newb and until you graduate you have not earned the title of EOD tech. Until you are at a duty station and have earned the title of "Team Member", you are titled "Newb". Until you have had the proper training after that and achieve your "Team Leader certification", you are titled "monkey". So don't get on your high horse yet, you have quite a climb ahead and it is not easy

As for which branch is more tough, as far as I'm concerned there is one memorial site in Destin, FL where the names of Army, Marine, Navy, and Air force men and women are who made the ultimate sacrifice for the same cause no matter what training they received.

EODCHOP wrote at 2012-10-20 21:03:51

Good points and of course bad ones too! Yep, I graduated from NAVSCOLEOD back in 2000; And I'm also a prior member of an EOD unit for a Valley (PHX AZ) agency (FBI HDS GRAD). Yes, its a calling and if you get the chance to go to the NAVY side, (DO IT!) Yes they are the ONLY EOD community that are QUALIFIED for the SOCOM Community; now bear in mind, that there are however; Many TECHS that are picked up by DELTA and go that route!! again research research RESEARCH!!!!! Go out and talk to techs both from the military and the PD/Fire side...One is not necessarily better than the other, it all comes down to the individual (BELIEVE ME, I've met plenty of TOOLS from both sides of the community.)

SSG, US ARMY wrote at 2013-11-28 19:07:35
To Michelle,

You are the wife of an EOD tech, which makes you qualified to speak about absolutely nothing concerning the specifics of this.  And when you say things like "bronze Medal of Honor", you show your ineptitude even further.  Stick to giving advise to other spouses, not to actual military members.

Sapper Pride wrote at 2014-02-08 05:31:42
I am a Sapper in the United States Army & I assure you sir I am not a retard.EOD & Sappers are completely different idiot. Your mother loves me.

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Shawn Hughes


I can answer questions pertaining to all areas of Law Enforcement, but since there appear to be a plethora of General Subject Matter Experts, I will specialize in questions pertaining to Explosive Ordnance Disposal / Public Safety Hazardous Device Disposal, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Electronic and Technical Surveillance, and the truth about obtaining / keeping employment in this fickle field.


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