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Career and Education Opportunities for Hazardous Materials Handlers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

If you want to be a hazardous materials handler, the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 850 jobs for hazardous materials handlers in Pennsylvania and this is projected to grow 13% to 950 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for hazardous materials handlers, which sees this job pool growing by about 14.8% over the next eight years. 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.

The income of a hazardous materials handler is about $19 per hour or $41,070 yearly on average in Pennsylvania. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $17 per hour or $37,310 annually on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Waste Management, people working as hazardous materials handlers in Pennsylvania earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Waste Management nationally.

There are 156 schools of higher education in the Philadelphia area, including one within twenty-five miles of Philadelphia 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

Thomas Edison State College - Trenton, NJ

Thomas Edison State College, 101 W State St, Trenton, NJ 08608-1176. Thomas Edison State College is a large college located in Trenton, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 17,369 students. Thomas Edison State College has an associate's degree program in Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated thirty-one 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

Asbestos Management Planner

Licensing agency: PA Department of Labor & Industry
Address: Certification, Accreditation and Licensing Division, Room 1623, L & I Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120

Phone: (717) 772-3396
Website: PA Department of Labor & Industry Certification, Accreditation and Licensing Division

Asbestos Project Designer

Licensing agency: PA Department of Labor & Industry
Address: Certification, Accreditation and Licensing Division, Room 1623, L & I Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120

Phone: (717) 772-3396
Website: PA Department of Labor & Industry Certification, Accreditation and Licensing Division

Asbestos Supervisor

Licensing agency: PA Department of Labor & Industry
Address: Certification, Accreditation and Licensing Division, Room 1623, L & I Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120

Phone: (717) 772-3396
Website: PA Department of Labor & Industry Certification, Accreditation and Licensing Division

Asbestos Worker

Licensing agency: PA Department of Labor & Industry
Address: Certification, Accreditation and Licensing Division, Room 1623, L & I Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120

Phone: (717) 772-3396
Website: PA Department of Labor & Industry Certification, Accreditation and Licensing Division

Lead Project Designer

Licensing agency: PA Department of Labor & Industry
Address: Certification, Accreditation and Licensing Division, Room 1623, L & I Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120

Phone: (717) 772-3396
Website: PA Department of Labor & Industry Certification, Accreditation and Licensing Division

Lead Risk Assessor

Licensing agency: PA Department of Labor & Industry
Address: Certification, Accreditation and Licensing Division, Room 1623, L & I Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120

Phone: (717) 772-3396
Website: PA Department of Labor & Industry Certification, Accreditation and Licensing Division

Lead Supervisor

Licensing agency: PA Department of Labor & Industry
Address: Certification, Accreditation and Licensing Division, Room 1623, L & I Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120

Phone: (717) 772-3396
Website: PA Department of Labor & Industry Certification, Accreditation and Licensing Division

Lead Worker

Licensing agency: PA Department of Labor & Industry
Address: Certification, Accreditation and Licensing Division, Room 1623, L & I Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120

Phone: (717) 772-3396
Website: PA Department of Labor & Industry Certification, Accreditation and Licensing Division

LOCATION INFORMATION: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania photo by Apollo1758

Philadelphia is located in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 1,447,395, which has shrunk by 4.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Philadelphia, 102, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Philadelphia cost $212,900 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, five hundred forty-five new homes were constructed in Philadelphia, down from five hundred ninety-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Philadelphia are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 32 minutes. More than 17.9% of Philadelphia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is lower than the state average.

The percentage of Philadelphia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Boulevard Church, Mount Herman Church and Saint Michael Mission Center are all churches located in Philadelphia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Muslim Estimate.

Philadelphia is home to the Five Points and the Academy Gardens as well as Durham Park and Cloverly Park. Shopping malls in the area include Roosevelt Mall, Andorra Shopping Center and Red Lion Shopping Center. Visitors to Philadelphia can choose from Comfort Inn, Concordia Worldwide Hotel Reservations and Embassy Suites for temporary stays in the area.