Career Guide  
Hazardous Waste/Materials Technician
 
I. Job Outlook:

II. Job Requirements/Prerequisites:

III. Education/Training Resources:

IV. Getting A Job:

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Occupation Overview

Environmental cleanup is of growing social concern, and as a result recent years have seen new legislation and regulations to govern it. This increased interest in protecting people and the environment has led to additional opportunities in the field of hazardous materials management. Not only will it take quite some time to cleanup existing waste, but hazardous materials continue to be created by most manufacturing processes.

The majority of companies generating waste contract with waste management companies to treat and dispose of waste. This is a major source of employment for Hazardous Waste Technicians, which are also 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 Super Fund toxic waste sites that must be cleaned up.

Computer applications and robotics are being introduced to this field at a steady rate. 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 on the machinery themselves.

    
 

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

Entry level ($9-12/hour)

The entry level Hazardous Waste/Materials 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.

Experienced ($11-22/hour)

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.

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