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Hazardous Materials Removal Workers

Hazardous Materials Removal Workers
Quick Facts : Hazardous Materials Removal Workers*
2010 Median Pay$37,600
Entry Level EducationHigh school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 201238,100
Job Outlook23% (Faster than average)
Employment Change8,800

Hazardous materials (hazmat) removal workers identify and dispose of asbestos, radioactive and nuclear waste, arsenic, lead, and other hazardous materials. They also clean up materials that are flammable, corrosive, reactive, or toxic. Hazmat removal workers clean up materials that are harmful to people and the environment. The work they do depends on the substances they are cleaning.

What Hazardous Materials Removal Workers Do

  • Construct scaffolding or build containment areas before cleaning up
  • Remove or clean up hazardous materials that are found or spilled
  • Clean contaminated equipment for reuse
  • Operate equipment that removes and stores waste materials
  • Keep records of cleanup activities

Work Environment

Hazmat removal workers face different working conditions, depending on their area of expertise. Some must wear fully enclosed protective suits for several hours at a time. Completing projects often requires night and weekend work. Overtime also is common, especially for emergency or disaster response workers.
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Job Outlook

Employment of hazardous materials (hazmat) removal workers is expected to grow 23 percent from 2010 to 2020 due to the need for decontamination technicians, radiation safety technicians, and decommissioning workers in response to increased pressure for cleaner electric generation facilities is expected to drive employment growth.
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The average salary of hazardous materials (hazmat) removal workers was $37,600 in May 2010.
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Hazardous Materials Removal Workers*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Hazardous Materials Removal Workers


Construction Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.

Hazardous Materials Removal Workers*
Percent Change in Employment

Hazardous Materials Removal Workers


Construction Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.


Becoming a Hazardous Materials Removal Workers

Hazardous materials (hazmat) removal workers learn on the job. They take at least 40 hours of mandatory Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training. There are no formal educational requirements beyond a high school diploma. Employers are responsible for ensuring that employees complete a formal 40-hour training program, given either in house or in OSHA-approved training centers.
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