How CNM's New Explosives Technician Program is Helping This Student Pursue His Dream Career

Aaron Kieling is adding an Explosives Technician degree to his portfolio in hopes of one day working for a cutting edge lab
August 22, 2023

When Aaron Kieling graduated from CNM’s Welding program he thought a four-year engineering degree was his next step. But then he found out about the college’s brand new Explosives Technician Program and immediately enrolled. He was intrigued by the field and knew it would be an important addition to his academic portfolio.  

“I really enjoy learning as many different disciplines as I can so staying at CNM for this program seemed like a great fit,” he says. 

He also liked that the program is a collaboration between CNM and Sandia National Laboratories.

“One of the classes called Explosives Safety was taught by a representative from Sandia and I learned so much from him about everything from general safety best practices to transporting explosives, as well as some crazy physics equations that I wouldn’t have known otherwise,” he says.

To help him pay for his continued schooling, CNM connected Aaron with Norma Mendoza, who helped him get the Bridge to Success Scholarship.

“That scholarship was huge and really brought down the cost of my tuition by a significant degree,” he says. 

Aaron says there is math and chemistry involved in the program, but everything is doable even if you don’t have a math or science background. 

In really good news, Aaron just got word that he scored an internship with Sandia Labs for the upcoming Fall Term, where he’ll get hands-on experience in the explosives field.  

“It will be a great opportunity to meet and work with people who are passionate about science and engineering,” he says.

After Aaron completes that internship and his last two terms in the Explosives Technician program, his plan is to transfer to New Mexico Tech for a bachelor’s degree in Material Engineering.

Once he has his degree, he’d love to eventually work at the labs in Los Alamos and has dreamed of working in Antarctica. 

“The idea of being in the midst of scientific communities like those is really exciting to me,” he says. “

Aaron’s advice to students new to the Explosives Technician program? 

“Don’t be afraid to just stick to it and learn it. Sometimes the science or math doesn’t come easily to everyone, but the more you work with it, the more it becomes a part of you,” he says.