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Career and Education Opportunities for Hazardous Materials Handlers in Oceanside, California

If you want to be a hazardous materials handler, the Oceanside, California area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 5,000 working hazardous materials handlers in California; this should grow 6% to about 5,300 working hazardous materials handlers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for hazardous materials handlers, which sees this job pool growing by about 14.8% over the next eight years. 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.

Hazardous materials handlers earn approximately $19 hourly or $40,050 annually on average in California. Nationally they average about $17 per hour or $37,310 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Waste Management, people working as hazardous materials handlers in California earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Waste Management nationally.

The Oceanside area is home to fifty-seven schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Oceanside 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 training to become 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

MiraCosta College - Oceanside, CA

MiraCosta College, One Barnard Drive, Oceanside, CA 92056-3899. MiraCosta College is a large college located in Oceanside, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,910 students. MiraCosta College has a two to four year program in Hazardous Materials Management & Waste Technology/Technician.

Cuyamaca College - El Cajon, CA

Cuyamaca College, 900 Rancho San Diego Pky, El Cajon, CA 92019. Cuyamaca College is a medium sized college located in El Cajon, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,926 students. Cuyamaca College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Hazardous Materials Management & Waste Technology/Technician which graduated twenty-three, twenty-five, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Palomar College - San Marcos, CA

Palomar College, 1140 W. Mission, San Marcos, CA 92069-1487. Palomar College is a large college located in San Marcos, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 28,093 students. Palomar College has 2 areas of study related to Hazardous Materials Handler. They are:

  • Hazardous Materials Management & Waste Technology/Technician, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated one and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Construction Trades, Other Specialties, associate's degree and two to four year.

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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Oceanside, California

Oceanside, California
Oceanside, California photo by FlickreviewR

Oceanside is situated in San Diego County, California. It has a population of over 169,684, which has grown by 5.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Oceanside, 136, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Oceanside are valued at $388,600 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, fifty-two new homes were constructed in Oceanside, down from one hundred forty-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Oceanside are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 29 minutes. More than 22.2% of Oceanside residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.3%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Oceanside is 10.0%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Oceanside residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.7%, is less than both the national and state average. King of Kins Lutheran Church, Temple Solel and Temple Juda are some of the churches located in Oceanside. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Oceanside is home to the Oceanside Community Center and the Oceanside-Carlsbad Country Club as well as Heritage Village Park and Libby Lake City Park. Shopping centers in the area include Fire Mountain Shopping Center, Rancho del Oro Plaza Shopping Center and Best Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Oceanside can choose from Beachwood Motel, Best Western Oceanside Inn and Best Western - Oceanside Inn for temporary stays in the area.