Hazardous Waste/Materials Technician
 
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II. Job Requirements/Prerequisites:

III. Education/Training Resources:

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Occupation Overview

Environmental cleanup has been a large social concern for the last decade, and has resulted in new legislation and regulations to govern it. A lot of headway has been made in cleaning up existing waste, but waste is still produced by many manufacturing processes, and new biotechnology-related waste also provides job opportunities in this field.

The majority of companies that generate waste contract with waste management companies to treat and dispose of their refuse. This is a major source of employment for Hazardous Waste Technicians, which are sometimes known as Field Technicians.

The areas people are likely to be most familiar with in this field are asbestos removal and lead abatement. Bay Area residents might also be familiar with the old Super Fund toxic waste sites that had to be cleaned up.

PC-based computer applications exist to facilitate the minimization, identification, and classification of hazardous waste. The use of robotics allows technicians to operate machinery remotely, eliminating the need to be so close to the hazardous waste.

    
 

Future Growth Opportunities

Opportunities for Advancement:
Advancement is most likely to occur by moving into supervisory roles (e.g., in Hazardous Materials Management), or working on larger and more complex projects.

Skills Transferable to:
Water and Waste Water Treatment Technician.

There are also new jobs in the field of "organizational health, safety and security." that are beginning to emerge in large private and public organizations, particularly in city government.

    
 

Job Descriptions

The entry level Hazardous Waste/Materials (Hazmat) Technician assists inspections of contaminated sites. Working with more senior technicians or a project manager, the entry level technician will identify the hazardous material, analyze it, document it, package it and ship it.

The experienced technician takes on the additional responsibility of preparing the documentation required by local regulatory agencies and the EPA. The experienced technician may also be called upon to speak in front of groups and respond in writing to certain queries, and to train new technicians.

In the future it is expected that Hazmat Technicians will need to be more knowledgeable in environmental and safety issues. At that time it may be necessary to also be familiar with one or more of these areas: secondary containment, personal protection equipment, emergency response, and Right-to-Know issues.

Once employed as a Hazmat Technician it is possible to move into other departments in your company, such as Environment Support Services (where one would work with environmental agencies on behalf of their company) or Safety (where one would work with OSHA).

Entry Level: $7 - 21 / hour ($17 / hour average)

Experienced, New to Job: $8 - 27 / hour ($21 / hour average)

Experienced in Job: $9 - 43 / hour ($27 / hour average)

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