Hazardous Materials Removal Workers

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About the Job

Identify, remove, pack, transport, or dispose of hazardous materials, including asbestos, lead-based paint, waste oil, fuel, transmission fluid, radioactive materials, or contaminated soil. Specialized training and certification in hazardous materials handling or a confined entry permit are generally required. May operate earth-moving equipment or trucks.

It is also Called

  • Waste Handling Technician
  • Waste Disposal Attendant
  • Site Worker
  • Radiological Control and Safety Technician
  • Material Specialist
  • Material Handling Technician
  • Junk Removal Specialist
  • Irradiated Fuel Handler
  • Hazmat Technician (Hazardous Materials Technician)
  • Hazardous Waste Remover
show all

What They Do

  • Package, store, or move irradiated fuel elements in the underwater storage basins of nuclear reactor plants, using machines or equipment.
  • Apply bioremediation techniques to hazardous wastes to allow naturally occurring bacteria to break down toxic substances.
  • Mix or pour concrete into forms to encase waste material for disposal.
  • Organize or track the locations of hazardous items in landfills.
  • Process e-waste, such as computer components containing lead or mercury.
  • Upload baskets of irradiated elements onto machines that insert fuel elements into canisters and secure lids.
  • Identify or separate waste products or materials for recycling or reuse.
  • Drive trucks or other heavy equipment to convey contaminated waste to designated sea or ground locations.
  • Operate cranes to move or load baskets, casks, or canisters.
  • Sort specialized hazardous waste at landfills or disposal centers, following proper disposal procedures.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: I.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Relationships and Independence in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Building and Construction - Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Additional Resources


Preparation Required

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in California was $44,860 with most people making between $28,280 and $71,080

Outlook

1.91%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 4,700 people in California. It is projected that there will be 5,600 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 90 openings due to growth and about 100 replacement openings for approximately 190 total annual openings.