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Career and Education Opportunities for Hazardous Materials Handlers in Tallahassee, Florida

Hazardous materials handlers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Tallahassee, Florida area. The national trend for hazardous materials handlers 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.

A person working as a hazardous materials handler can expect to earn about $15 per hour or $31,530 per year on average in Florida and about $17 hourly or $37,310 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Waste Management, people working as hazardous materials handlers in Florida earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Waste Management nationally.

There are nine schools of higher education in the Tallahassee area, including one within twenty-five miles of Tallahassee 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, 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

Southwest Georgia Technical College - Thomasville, GA

Southwest Georgia Technical College, 15689 US Hwy 19 N, Thomasville, GA 31792. Southwest Georgia Technical College is a small college located in Thomasville, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,512 students. Southwest Georgia Technical College has an associate's degree program in Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated three 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 Consultant

Licensing agency: Fl. Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation
Address: 1940 N Monroe Street, Ste 300, Tallahassee, FL 32399

Phone: None
Website: Fl. Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation

Asbestos Consultant (Doctoral Degree)

Licensing agency: Fl. Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation
Address: 1940 N Monroe Street, Ste 300, Tallahassee, FL 32399

Phone: None
Website: Fl. Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation

Asbestos Consultant (Engineer)

Licensing agency: Fl. Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation
Address: 1940 N Monroe Street, Ste 300, Tallahassee, FL 32399

Phone: None
Website: Fl. Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation

Asbestos Contractor

Licensing agency: Fl. Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation
Address: 1940 N Monroe Street, Ste 300, Tallahassee, FL 32399

Phone: None
Website: Fl. Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation

LOCATION INFORMATION: Tallahassee, Florida

Tallahassee, Florida
Tallahassee, Florida photo by Diligent Terrier

Tallahassee is located in Leon County, Florida. It has a population of over 171,922, which has grown by 14.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Tallahassee, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Tallahassee are priced at $166,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred new homes were built in Tallahassee, down from six hundred thirty-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Tallahassee are educational services, public administration, and health care. For men, it is public administration, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 19 minutes. More than 45.0% of Tallahassee residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 19.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Tallahassee is 7.1%, which is less than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Tallahassee residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Abundant Life Foursquare Church, Advent Episcopal Church and Aftermath Church are among the churches located in Tallahassee. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Tallahassee is home to the Miracle Plaza and the Tallahassee Community College Library as well as Old Fort Park and Alfred B Maclay Gardens State Park. Shopping malls in the area include Northwood Mall, Parkway Shopping Center and Tallahassee Mall. Visitors to Tallahassee can choose from Cactus Motel, Best Western Pride Inn Suites and Budget Inn for temporary stays in the area.