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 youve
ever had asbestos removed from your home or if youve 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
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 nations 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
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
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
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.
Start by reading more about the hazmat industry in the resources
provided below. After that, begin applying for jobs. Youll
need to look presentable when you appear for interviews. Be prepared
to take the jobs that dont pay much money and have the
least respect and appeal at first. Like most jobs that dont
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.
Jobs A jobs board devoted to helping you find hazmat
jobs of all kinds.
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.