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Career and Education Opportunities for Hazardous Materials Handlers in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for hazardous materials handlers in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area. About 550 people are currently employed as hazardous materials handlers in Indiana. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 6% to about 580 people employed. 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%. 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 about $16 per hour or $33,510 yearly on average in Indiana and about $17 per hour or $37,310 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Waste Management, people working as hazardous materials handlers in Indiana earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Waste Management nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Fort Wayne where you can study to be a hazardous materials handler, among sixteen schools of higher education total in the Fort Wayne area. The most common level of education 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

Ivy Tech Community College-Northeast - Fort Wayne, IN

Ivy Tech Community College-Northeast, 3800 N Anthony Blvd, Fort Wayne, IN 46805-1489. Ivy Tech Community College-Northeast is a medium sized college located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,458 students. Ivy Tech Community College-Northeast has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Construction Trades, Other Specialties which graduated sixteen and twenty-four students respectively 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.


Fort Wayne, Indiana
Fort Wayne, Indiana photo by FTSKfan

Fort Wayne is located in Allen County, Indiana. It has a population of over 215,661. The cost of living index in Fort Wayne, 77, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Fort Wayne are valued at $141,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-eight new homes were constructed in Fort Wayne, down from one hundred seventy-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Fort Wayne are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and metal and metal products. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 19.4% of Fort Wayne residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fort Wayne is 10.5%, which is greater than Indiana's average of 9.4%.

The percentage of Fort Wayne residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.2%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Memorial Church, Bethany Church and Souls Harbor Church are some of the churches located in Fort Wayne. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the United Methodist Church.

Fort Wayne is home to the Orchard Ridge Country Club and the Georgetown Square as well as Swinney Park and Rockhill Park. Shopping centers in the area include The Uncommons Shopping Center, Decatur Road Shopping Center and Ayr-Way West Shopping Center. Visitors to Fort Wayne can choose from Days Inn Airport Plaza, Purofirst of Allen County and Hometown Inn for temporary stays in the area.