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

There are many career and education opportunities for hazardous materials handlers in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. There are currently 850 working hazardous materials handlers in Pennsylvania; this should grow 13% to about 950 working hazardous materials handlers in the state 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.

Income for hazardous materials handlers is about $19 hourly or $41,070 yearly on average in Pennsylvania. Nationally, their income is about $17 per hour or $37,310 annually. Incomes for hazardous materials handlers are better than in the overall category of Waste Management in Pennsylvania, and better than the overall Waste Management category nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can study to be a hazardous materials handler, among eighty-three schools of higher education total in the Pittsburgh area. Given that the most common education level 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

Community College of Allegheny County - Pittsburgh, PA

Community College of Allegheny County, 800 Allegheny Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233-1895. Community College of Allegheny County is a large college located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 19,366 students. Community College of Allegheny County has an associate's degree program in Construction Trades, Other Specialties which graduated two 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: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.