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Career and Education Opportunities for Hazardous Materials Handlers in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for hazardous materials handlers in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area. There are currently 700 jobs for hazardous materials handlers in Minnesota and this is projected to grow 2% to about 720 jobs 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%. 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.

Income for hazardous materials handlers is about $27 hourly or $57,710 annually on average in Minnesota. Nationally, their income is about $17 hourly or $37,310 annually. Incomes for hazardous materials handlers are better than in the overall category of Waste Management in Minnesota, and better than the overall Waste Management category nationally.

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

Hennepin Technical College - Brooklyn Park, MN

Hennepin Technical College, 9000 Brooklyn Blvd, Brooklyn Park, MN 55445. Hennepin Technical College is a medium sized college located in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,617 students. Hennepin Technical College has a less than one year program in Hazardous Materials Management & Waste Technology/Technician which graduated one student 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 Contractor License

Licensing agency: Health, Minnesota Dept. of
Address: Division of Health Policy and Systems Compliance, Minnesota Department of Health, 121 East Seventh Place or PO Box 64975, St. Paul, MN 55101

Phone: (651) 215-5800
Website: Health, Minnesota Dept. of Division of Health Policy and Systems Compliance Minnesota Department of Health

Lead Interim Control Worker

Licensing agency: Health, Minnesota Dept. of
Address: Division of Health Policy and Systems Compliance, Minnesota Department of Health, 121 East Seventh Place or PO Box 64975, St. Paul, MN 55101

Phone: (651) 215-5800
Website: Health, Minnesota Dept. of Division of Health Policy and Systems Compliance Minnesota Department of Health

Lead Worker License

Licensing agency: Health, Minnesota Dept. of
Address: Division of Health Policy and Systems Compliance, Minnesota Department of Health, 121 East Seventh Place or PO Box 64975, St. Paul, MN 55101

Phone: (651) 215-5800
Website: Health, Minnesota Dept. of Division of Health Policy and Systems Compliance Minnesota Department of Health

LOCATION INFORMATION: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota photo by BenFranske

Minneapolis is situated in Hennepin County, Minnesota. It has a population of over 382,605. The cost of living index in Minneapolis, 101, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Minneapolis are priced at $451,300 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, forty-five new homes were constructed in Minneapolis, down from one hundred fifteen the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Minneapolis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 37.4% of Minneapolis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.1%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Minneapolis is 7.0%, which is the same as Minnesota's average of 7.0%.

The percentage of Minneapolis residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.7%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Minneapolis is home to the Saint Josephs Orphanage and the Hiawatha Municipal Golf Course as well as Beards Plaisance and Mississippi Park. Visitors to Minneapolis can choose from COE Mansion Carriage House, Radisson Hotel Metrodome and Best Western Kelly Inn for temporary stays in the area.