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Career and Education Opportunities for Hazardous Materials Handlers in Atlanta, Georgia

Hazardous materials handler career and educational opportunities abound in Atlanta, Georgia. Currently, 630 people work as hazardous materials handlers in Georgia. This is expected to grow 11% to 700 people 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.

Income for hazardous materials handlers is about $13 per hour or $27,980 yearly on average in Georgia. Nationally, their income is about $17 per hour or $37,310 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Waste Management, people working as hazardous materials handlers in Georgia earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Waste Management nationally.

The Atlanta area is home to ninety-one schools of higher education, including five within twenty-five miles of Atlanta where you can get a degree 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 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

North Metro Technical College - Acworth, GA

North Metro Technical College, 5198 Ross Rd, Acworth, GA 30102-3012. North Metro Technical College is a small college located in Acworth, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,498 students. North Metro Technical College has an associate's degree program in Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated one student in 2008.

Chattahoochee Technical College - Marietta, GA

Chattahoochee Technical College, 980 S Cobb Drive Dr SE, Marietta, GA 30060-3300. Chattahoochee Technical College is a medium sized college located in Marietta, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,616 students. Chattahoochee Technical College has an associate's degree program in Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated six students in 2008.

Griffin Technical College - Griffin, GA

Griffin Technical College, 501 Varsity Rd, Griffin, GA 30223-2042. Griffin Technical College is a small college located in Griffin, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,162 students. Griffin Technical College has an associate's degree program in Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated four students in 2008.

Lanier Technical College - Oakwood, GA

Lanier Technical College, 2990 Landrum Education Dr, Oakwood, GA 30566. Lanier Technical College is a small college located in Oakwood, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,168 students. Lanier Technical College has an associate's degree program in Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated one student in 2008.

Gwinnett Technical College - Lawrenceville, GA

Gwinnett Technical College, 5150 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville, GA 30043-5702. Gwinnett Technical College is a medium sized college located in Lawrenceville, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,299 students. Gwinnett Technical College has an associate's degree program in Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated two 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

Hazardous Material Workers

Licensing agency: World Safety Organization
Address: World Management Center, PO Box 518, Warrensburg, MO 64093

Phone: (660) 747-3132
Website: World Safety Organization World Management Center

LOCATION INFORMATION: Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia photo by Evilarry

Atlanta is located in Fulton County, Georgia. It has a population of over 537,958, which has grown by 29.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Atlanta, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Atlanta cost $173,200 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, five hundred two new homes were constructed in Atlanta, down from 1,247 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Atlanta are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 28 minutes. More than 34.6% of Atlanta residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Atlanta is 11.1%, which is greater than Georgia's average of 10.1%.

The percentage of Atlanta residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.7%, is more than both the national and state average. Aarons Tabernacle Church, Welcome Home Baptist Church and Adair Park Church are some of the churches located in Atlanta. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Atlanta is home to the Martin Luther King Junior Community Center and the Diuid Hills Golf Club as well as Alexander Park and Wesley Avenue Park. Shopping malls in the area include Rio Mall Shopping Center, Collier Heights Plaza Shopping Center and Northside Parkway Shopping Center. Visitors to Atlanta can choose from Country Inn-Stes Atl Dwntwn S, Comfort Inn and Comfort Inn Buckhead North for temporary stays in the area.