The Benefits of HAZMAT Jobs

By Eric Hammer

Hazmat jobs are some of the few jobs left in the United States today that pay good, middle class wages, cannot be outsourced to foreign countries and do not require anything more than a high school diploma.

In most cases, hazmat (or hazardous materials) jobs involve removal of hazardous waste from various sites. If you’ve ever had asbestos removed from your home or if you’ve ever been warned about lead paint, then you know something about hazmat jobs. The work is labor intensive and requires on the job training. The training must be approved by OSHA (The Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and is typically provided by your employer.

In addition to removing things like asbestos and lead, some people who work in hazmat jobs also remove things like toxic waste from factories and even spent nuclear fuel rods from nuclear power plants. You may also work as a Hazmat driver, transporting hazardous waste to a disposal facility, though this sometimes pays less than other hazmat jobs.

Other hazmat jobs include emergency cleanup crews who step in when a train derailment or truck crash causes the dispersement of hazardous waste on the nation’s roads or train tracks and mold removal specialists, who work in homes and offices where water damage has occurred.

Experienced hazmat workers can also supervise cleanup and help to find specific hazardous materials that need to be cleaned up in buildings.

How Much Can You Make?

According to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), most hazardous waste removal workers earn in the range of $17.71 to $19.70 per hour while truck drivers who transport hazardous waste earn a wider range of returns, from $11.63 per hour to as much as $30.24 per hour.

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The hazmat industry is a large one and according to the BLS, is expected to grow significantly over the next few years. Given that there is such a variety of work in the industry, there should be plenty to choose from.

That said, there are other, related professions that involve use of hazmat training. Road kill cleanup for one sometimes requires similar skills to hazmat removal and removal of human remains, especially when someone was murdered or died without being noticed for some time also requires many of the same skills as hazmat crews.

Qualifications / Requirements

As previously noted, no college degree is required for hazmat jobs. You will get on the job training. However, you do need to be physically in good shape so that you can work in the physically demanding world of hazmat removal jobs. You should also be detail oriented and responsible. Finally, and this is by far the most critical part of the job, you need to be able to follow instructions exactly as they are given to you. Dealing with hazardous materials is after all a dangerous job and failure to follow safety procedures every single time you go to work can put your life and the lives of others in danger.

First Steps

Start by reading more about the hazmat industry in the resources provided below. After that, begin applying for jobs. You’ll need to look presentable when you appear for interviews. Be prepared to take the jobs that don’t pay much money and have the least respect and appeal at first. Like most jobs that don’t require a college degree, hazmat jobs involve putting in your time and working your way up the ladder to get to the better paid and or more interesting jobs.


Get Hazmat Jobs – A jobs board devoted to helping you find hazmat jobs of all kinds.

U.S. Department of Transportation: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration – Another government agency, this one deals specifically with work as a truck driver transporting hazardous materials. It is an extremely comprehensive site and offers a number of free publications which can be invaluable in your pursuit of a hazardous materials career.

Career Overview: Hazardous Materials Removal Career – This is a condensed guide which gives you a good overview of what the other materials above say about hazmat jobs.

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Every Way to Make Money | The Benefits of HAZMAT Jobs