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Career and Education Opportunities for Hazardous Materials Handlers in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for hazardous materials handlers in the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma area. There are currently 380 jobs for hazardous materials handlers in Oklahoma and this is projected to grow by 13% to about 430 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 $11 hourly or $24,290 yearly on average in Oklahoma. Nationally, their income is about $17 hourly or $37,310 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Waste Management, people working as hazardous materials handlers in Oklahoma earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Waste Management nationally.

There are forty-four schools of higher education in the Oklahoma City area, including two within twenty-five miles of Oklahoma City where you can get a degree to start your career as a hazardous materials handler. 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 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

Moore Norman Technology Center - Norman, OK

Moore Norman Technology Center, 4701 12th Avenue NW, Norman, OK 73069-8399. Moore Norman Technology Center is a small school located in Norman, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 857 students and an admission rate of 61%. Moore Norman Technology Center has a one to two year program in Construction Trades, Other Specialties which graduated eight students in 2008.

Canadian Valley Technology Center - El Reno, OK

Canadian Valley Technology Center, 6505 E Hwy 66, El Reno, OK 73036. Canadian Valley Technology Center is a small school located in El Reno, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 380 students. Canadian Valley Technology Center has a one to two year program in Construction Trades, Other Specialties which graduated seven 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

AHERA Asbestos Management Planner

Licensing agency: Department of Labor
Address: Asbestos Division, 4001 N. Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73105-5212

Phone: (405) 528-1500
Website: Department of Labor Asbestos Division

Asbestos Abatement Contractor

Licensing agency: Department of Labor
Address: Asbestos Division, 4001 N. Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73105-5212

Phone: (405) 528-1500
Website: Department of Labor Asbestos Division

Asbestos Abatement Worker

Licensing agency: Department of Labor
Address: Asbestos Division, 4001 N. Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73105-5212

Phone: (405) 528-1500
Website: Department of Labor Asbestos Division

Lead-Based Paint Abatement Worker

Licensing agency: Department of Environmental Quality
Address: Air Quality Division, 707 N. Robinson St., Oklahoma City, OK 73101

Phone: (405) 702-4100
Website: Department of Environmental Quality Air Quality Division

Lead-Based Paint Project Designer

Licensing agency: Department of Environmental Quality
Address: Air Quality Division, 707 N. Robinson St., Oklahoma City, OK 73101

Phone: (405) 702-4100
Website: Department of Environmental Quality Air Quality Division

Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Contractor

Licensing agency: Department of Labor
Address: Asbestos Division, 4001 N. Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73105-5212

Phone: (405) 528-1500
Website: Department of Labor Asbestos Division

LOCATION INFORMATION: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma photo by CPacker

Oklahoma City is located in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma. It has a population of over 551,789, which has grown by 9.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Oklahoma City, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Oklahoma City cost $142,600 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, 1,474 new homes were built in Oklahoma City, down from 2,559 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Oklahoma City are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 21 minutes. More than 24.0% of Oklahoma City residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.1%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Oklahoma City is 6.5%, which is less than Oklahoma's average of 7.1%.

The percentage of Oklahoma City residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 65.7%, is more than both the national and state average. Grace Place Baptist Church, Grace Presbyterian Church and Grace United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Oklahoma City. The most prominent religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Oklahoma City is home to the Colonial Square and the 50 Penn Place as well as Rotary Park and River Park. Shopping malls in the area include 240 Plaza Shopping Center, 74 South Shopping Center and Council Crossings Shopping Center. Visitors to Oklahoma City can choose from Rodeway Inn Oklahoma City, Harvey Janitorial Sales and Market Source for temporary stays in the area.