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Career and Education Opportunities for Hazardous Materials Handlers in Hartford, Connecticut

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for hazardous materials handlers in the Hartford, Connecticut area. About 640 people are currently employed as hazardous materials handlers in Connecticut. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 17% to about 750 people employed. This is better than the national trend for hazardous materials handlers, which sees this job pool growing by about 14.8% over the next eight years. 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.

Income for hazardous materials handlers is about $18 hourly or $37,650 annually on average in Connecticut. Nationally, their income is about $17 per hour or $37,310 per year. Earnings for hazardous materials handlers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Waste Management in Connecticut and better than general Waste Management category earnings nationally.

There are sixty-two schools of higher education in the Hartford area, including one within twenty-five miles of Hartford where you can get a degree to start your career as a hazardous materials handler. The most common level of education 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

Naugatuck Valley Community College - Waterbury, CT

Naugatuck Valley Community College, 750 Chase Parkway, Waterbury, CT 06708-3089. Naugatuck Valley Community College is a medium sized college located in Waterbury, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,880 students. Naugatuck Valley Community College has an associate's degree 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.

LICENSES

Asbestos Abatement Worker & Site Supervisor

Licensing agency: Department of Public Health
Address: Health Care Systems Branch, Practitioner Licensing & Investigations Section, 410 Capitol Avenue, P.O.Box 340308, Hartford, CT 06134-0308

Phone: (860) 509-7603
Website: Department of Public Health Health Care Systems Branch Practitioner Licensing & Investigations Section

Asbestos Contractor

Licensing agency: Department of Public Health
Address: Health Care Systems Branch, Practitioner Licensing & Investigations Section, 410 Capitol Avenue, P.O.Box 340308, Hartford, CT 06134-0308

Phone: (860) 509-7603
Website: Department of Public Health Health Care Systems Branch Practitioner Licensing & Investigations Section

Lead Abatement Worker

Licensing agency: Department of Public Health
Address: Health Care Systems Branch, Practitioner Licensing & Investigations Section, 410 Capitol Avenue, P.O.Box 340308, Hartford, CT 06134-0308

Phone: (860) 509-7603
Website: Department of Public Health Health Care Systems Branch Practitioner Licensing & Investigations Section

Lead Contractor

Licensing agency: Department of Public Health
Address: Health Care Systems Branch, Practitioner Licensing & Investigations Section, 410 Capitol Avenue, P.O.Box 340308, Hartford, CT 06134-0308

Phone: (860) 509-7603
Website: Department of Public Health Health Care Systems Branch Practitioner Licensing & Investigations Section

LOCATION INFORMATION: Hartford, Connecticut

Hartford, Connecticut
Hartford, Connecticut photo by Contimm

Hartford is situated in Hartford County, Connecticut. It has a population of over 124,062, which has grown by 2.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Hartford, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Hartford cost $82,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, eight new homes were constructed in Hartford, down from twelve the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Hartford are health care, finance and insurance, and educational services. For men, it is administrative and support and waste management services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 24 minutes. More than 12.4% of Hartford residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Hartford is 14.4%, which is greater than Connecticut's average of 8.3%.

The percentage of Hartford residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.4%, is more than both the national and state average. Our Lady of Sorrows Church, All Saints Orthodox Church and Sacred Heart Church are all churches located in Hartford. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.

Hartford is home to the Albany Avenue Branch Hartford Public Library and the North Meadows Industrial Park as well as Little Hollywood Historic District and West End North Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Park Plaza Shopping Center, Pavillion at State House Shopping Center and Civic Center Mall Shopping Center.