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Career and Education Opportunities for Hazardous Materials Handlers in San Bernardino, California

There are many career and education opportunities for hazardous materials handlers in the San Bernardino, California area. There are currently 5,000 jobs for hazardous materials handlers in California and this is projected to grow by 6% to about 5,300 jobs 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%. 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.

Hazardous materials handlers earn approximately $19 per hour or $40,050 yearly on average in California. Nationally they average about $17 hourly or $37,310 per year. Incomes for hazardous materials handlers are better than in the overall category of Waste Management in California, and better than the overall Waste Management category nationally.

There are fifty-one schools of higher education in the San Bernardino area, including one within twenty-five miles of San Bernardino where you can get a degree to start your career as a hazardous materials handler. Given that the most common education level for hazardous materials handlers is a high school diploma or GED, it will take only a short time to learn 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

Palo Verde College - Blythe, CA

Palo Verde College, One College Drive, Blythe, CA 92225. Palo Verde College is a small college located in Blythe, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,100 students. Palo Verde College has an associate's degree and a two to four year program in Hazardous Materials Management & Waste Technology/Technician.

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: San Bernardino, California

San Bernardino, California
San Bernardino, California photo by Ie909

San Bernardino is situated in San Bernardino County, California. It has a population of over 198,580, which has grown by 7.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in San Bernardino, 125, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Bernardino cost $182,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, twenty-one new homes were constructed in San Bernardino, down from one hundred fifty-nine the previous year.

The three big industries for women in San Bernardino are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 28 minutes. More than 11.6% of San Bernardino residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 3.9%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in San Bernardino is 18.6%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of San Bernardino residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 42.0%, is less than both the national and state average. Golden Avenue Church, Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church and Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses are among the churches located in San Bernardino. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

San Bernardino is home to the Warm Creek Golf Course and the San Bernardino Public Golf Course as well as Plaza Park and Palm Field Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wildwood Plaza Shopping Center, Highland Avenue Plaza Shopping Center and Mountain Shadows Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to San Bernardino can choose from American Inn, Best Western Hospitality Lane and American Tex-Chem Corporation for temporary stays in the area.