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Career and Education Opportunities for Hazardous Materials Handlers in Nampa, Idaho

Hazardous materials handlers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Nampa, Idaho area. There are currently 170 working hazardous materials handlers in Idaho; this should grow by 22% to 210 working hazardous materials handlers in the state by 2016. 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. 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 $18 hourly or $38,300 annually on average in Idaho. Nationally they average about $17 hourly or $37,310 annually. Earnings for hazardous materials handlers are better than earnings in the general category of Waste Management in Idaho and better than general Waste Management category earnings nationally.

There are eleven schools of higher education in the Nampa area, including one within twenty-five miles of Nampa where you can get a degree to start your career as a hazardous materials handler. Hazardous materials handlers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so 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

Boise State University - Boise, ID

Boise State University, 1910 University Dr, Boise, ID 83725. Boise State University is a large university located in Boise, Idaho. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 19,667 students and an admission rate of 81%. Boise State University has a two to four year program in Construction Trades, Other Specialties which graduated three students in 2008.


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.


Nampa, Idaho
Nampa, Idaho photo by J.B.

Nampa is located in Canyon County, Idaho. It has a population of over 80,362, which has grown by 54.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Nampa, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Nampa cost $122,200 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, one hundred ninety-one new homes were built in Nampa, down from two hundred eighty-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Nampa are health care, educational services, and computer and electronic products. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and food. The average travel time to work is about 21 minutes. More than 16.0% of Nampa residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Nampa is 11.2%, which is greater than Idaho's average of 8.3%.

The percentage of Nampa residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.5%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the LDS (Mormon) Church, the Catholic Church and the Church of the Nazarene.

Shopping malls in the area include Karcher Mall, Nampa Shopping Center and Holly Shopping Center. Visitors to Nampa can choose from Sleep Inn Nampa, Days Inn Nampa ID and Starlite Motel for temporary stays in the area.