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Career and Education Opportunities for Hazardous Materials Handlers in Little Rock, Arkansas

If you want to be a hazardous materials handler, the Little Rock, Arkansas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 240 working hazardous materials handlers in Arkansas; this should grow by 12% to 270 working hazardous materials handlers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for hazardous materials handlers are expected to grow by about 14.8%. Hazardous materials handlers generally identify, remove, or dispose of hazardous materials, including asbestos, lead-based paint, waste oil, fuel, transmission fluid, radioactive materials, contaminated soil, etc.

The income of a hazardous materials handler is about $19 per hour or $40,030 yearly on average in Arkansas. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $17 hourly or $37,310 annually on average. Incomes for hazardous materials handlers are better than in the overall category of Waste Management in Arkansas, and better than the overall Waste Management category nationally.

The Little Rock area is home to twenty-five schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Little Rock where you can get a degree as a hazardous materials handler. Hazardous materials handlers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a hazardous materials handler if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Hazardous Materials Handler

Hazardous Materials Handler video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, hazardous materials handlers identify, remove, or dispose of hazardous materials, including asbestos, lead-based paint, waste oil, fuel, transmission fluid, radioactive materials, contaminated soil, etc. They also specialized training and certification in hazardous materials handling or a confined entry permit are generally required.

Hazardous materials handlers follow prescribed safety procedures, and comply with federal laws regulating waste disposal methods. They also load and unload materials into containers and onto trucks, using hoists or forklifts. Equally important, hazardous materials handlers have to clean contaminated equipment or areas for re-use, using detergents and solvents and steam cleaners. Finally, hazardous materials handlers operate machines and apparatus to remove or transport loads of waste materials.

Every day, hazardous materials handlers are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they maintain precise control of objects and devices through a range of movements.

It is important for hazardous materials handlers to record numbers of containers stored at disposal sites, and specify amounts and types of equipment and waste disposed. They are often called upon to drive trucks or other heavy apparatus to convey contaminated waste to designated sea or ground locations. They also construct scaffolding or build containment areas before beginning abatement or decontamination work. They are sometimes expected to clear away asbestos and/or lead from surfaces, using hand and power tools such as scrapers and high-pressure sprayers. Somewhat less frequently, hazardous materials handlers are also expected to follow prescribed safety procedures, and comply with federal laws regulating waste disposal methods.

Hazardous materials handlers sometimes are asked to identify asbestos or other hazardous materials that need to be removed, using monitoring devices. and package and move irradiated fuel elements in the underwater storage basin of a nuclear reactor plant, using machines and equipment. And finally, they sometimes have to unload baskets of irradiated elements onto packaging machines that automatically insert fuel elements into canisters and secure lids.

Like many other jobs, hazardous materials handlers must be reliable and believe in cooperation and coordination.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Hazardous Materials Handler Training

Pulaski Technical College - North Little Rock, AR

Pulaski Technical College, 3000 W Scenic Dr, North Little Rock, AR 72118-3347. Pulaski Technical College is a medium sized college located in North Little Rock, Arkansas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,092 students. Pulaski Technical College has an associate's degree program in Construction Trades, Other Specialties which graduated five students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Environmental Technician: NREP provides an Environmental Registry listing for individuals conducting environmental technician job functions.

For more information, see the National Registry of Environmental Professionals website.

LICENSES

Asbestos Abatement Contractor/Consultant

Licensing agency: Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality
Address: Air Division, Asbestos/Lead Section, 5301 Northshore Drive, North Little Rock, AR 72118-5317

Phone: (501) 682-0718
Website: Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Air Division Asbestos/Lead Section

Asbestos Abatement Worker

Licensing agency: Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality
Address: Air Division, Asbestos/Lead Section, 5301 Northshore Drive, North Little Rock, AR 72118-5317

Phone: (501) 682-0718
Website: Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Air Division Asbestos/Lead Section

Lead-Based Paint Abatement Contractor/Consultant

Licensing agency: Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality
Address: Air Division, Asbestos/Lead Section, 5301 Northshore Drive, North Little Rock, AR 72118-5317

Phone: (501) 682-0718
Website: Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Air Division Asbestos/Lead Section

Lead-Based Paint Abatement Worker

Licensing agency: Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality
Address: Air Division, Asbestos/Lead Section, 5301 Northshore Drive, North Little Rock, AR 72118-5317

Phone: (501) 682-0718
Website: Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Air Division Asbestos/Lead Section

LOCATION INFORMATION: Little Rock, Arkansas

Little Rock, Arkansas
Little Rock, Arkansas photo by Broooooooce

Little Rock is located in Pulaski County, Arkansas. It has a population of over 189,515, which has grown by 3.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Little Rock, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Little Rock cost $236,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, three hundred sixty-one new homes were built in Little Rock, down from seven hundred thirty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Little Rock are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 35.5% of Little Rock residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Little Rock is 6.1%, which is less than Arkansas's average of 6.9%.

The percentage of Little Rock residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 59.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Macedonia Spiritual Church, Baseline Christian Church and Baseline Missionary Baptist Church are all churches located in Little Rock. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Little Rock is home to the Rock Creek Golf Course and the Barton Coliseum as well as McArthur Park Historic District and Meriwether Park. Shopping malls in the area include Mainstreet Market Shopping Center, Market Street Plaza Shopping Center and Markham Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Little Rock can choose from LA Quinta - Inns- Medical Center Area, Hampton Inn & Suites and Acme Motel for temporary stays in the area.