Summary Report for:
47-4041.00 - Hazardous Materials Removal Workers
Identify, remove, pack, transport, or dispose of hazardous materials, including asbestos, lead-based paint, waste oil, fuel, transmission fluid, radioactive materials, or contaminated soil. Specialized training and certification in hazardous materials handling or a confined entry permit are generally required. May operate earth-moving equipment or trucks.
Sample of reported job titles: Asbestos Abatement Worker, Decontamination / Decommissioning Operator (D & D Operator), Field Technician, Hazmat Technician (Hazardous Materials Technician), Nuclear Waste Handler, Radiological Control and Safety Technician, Sampler, Site Worker, Waste Handling Technician
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Comply with prescribed safety procedures or federal laws regulating waste disposal methods.
- Record numbers of containers stored at disposal sites, specifying amounts or types of equipment or waste disposed.
- Drive trucks or other heavy equipment to convey contaminated waste to designated sea or ground locations.
- Operate machines or equipment to remove, package, store, or transport loads of waste materials.
- Load or unload materials into containers or onto trucks, using hoists or forklifts.
- Clean contaminated equipment or areas for re-use, using detergents or solvents, sandblasters, filter pumps, or steam cleaners.
- Construct scaffolding or build containment areas prior to beginning abatement or decontamination work.
- Remove asbestos or lead from surfaces, using hand or power tools such as scrapers, vacuums, or high-pressure sprayers.
- Upload baskets of irradiated elements onto machines that insert fuel elements into canisters and secure lids.
- Apply chemical compounds to lead-based paint, allow compounds to dry, then scrape the hazardous material into containers for removal and/or storage.
- Identify asbestos, lead, or other hazardous materials to be removed, using monitoring devices.
- Package, store, or move irradiated fuel elements in the underwater storage basins of nuclear reactor plants, using machines or equipment.
- Organize or track the locations of hazardous items in landfills.
- Operate cranes to move or load baskets, casks, or canisters.
- Manipulate handgrips of mechanical arms to place irradiated fuel elements into baskets.
- Mix or pour concrete into forms to encase waste material for disposal.
- Apply bioremediation techniques to hazardous wastes to allow naturally occurring bacteria to break down toxic substances.
- Clean mold-contaminated sites by removing damaged porous materials or thoroughly cleaning all contaminated nonporous materials.
- Identify or separate waste products or materials for recycling or reuse.
- Process e-waste, such as computer components containing lead or mercury.
- Remove or limit contamination following emergencies involving hazardous substances.
- Sort specialized hazardous waste at landfills or disposal centers, following proper disposal procedures.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Absorbent booms — Curtain booms; Oleophilic booms
- Adjustable wrenches
- Air exhausters — Ventilation equipment
- Air pollutant samplers — Air pollutant monitors
- Air samplers or collectors — Aerosol meters; Air monitoring equipment; Air sampling devices; Personal air monitors
- Air sampling pumps
- Air scrubbers
- Borescope inspection equipment — Borescopes
- Cargo trucks — Large trucks
- Chemistry test kits or supplies — Lead testing kits
- Claw hammer — Claw hammers
- Concrete mixers or plants — Concrete mixers
- Conventional truck cranes — Truck cranes
- Decontamination shower — Decontamination trailers; Decontamination units
- Desktop computers
- Dredgers — Dredges; Robotic crawler dredges
- Dust collectors
- Explosimeters — Combustible gas indicators
- Eyewashers or eye wash stations — Eyewash fountains
- Facial shields — Chemical protective face shields
- Fans — Ventilation fans
- Filtering machinery — Filter pumps
- Fire retardant apparel — High-temperature protective clothing
- Flame ionization analyzers — Flame ionization detectors FID
- Gas chromatographs — Gas chromatographs GC
- Gas detector tubes — Colorimetric detector tubes/badges
- Gas detectors — Gas leak detection devices
- Hand sprayers — Chemical solution sprayers; High-pressure water sprayers
- Hazardous material protective apparel — Chemical protective clothing; Level B encapsulated suits; Liquid splash protective clothing; Vapor protective garments (see all 7 examples)
- Hazardous material protective footwear — Chemical protective boots
- Hydraulic truck cranes — Hydraulic booms
- Infrared spectrometers — Infrared IR spectrometers
- Ion analyzers — Photoionization detectors PID
- Light trucks or sport utility vehicles — Light trucks
- Liquid chromatographs — Fluorescence immunochromatography systems
- Liquid leak detectors — Liquid leak detection equipment
- Minivans or vans — Vans
- Moisture meters
- Multi gas monitors — Color changing gas detection devices; Electrochemical gas monitors; Total vapor survey instruments
- Notebook computers
- Nut drivers
- Personal computers
- Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers — Personal digital assistants PDA
- pH meters — pH indicators
- Pick or place robots — Mechanical arms; Remote control track robots
- Pneumatic sanding machines — Pneumatic scabbling tools; Sandblasters; Slurry blast equipment; Steel shot recyclable blasting equipment (see all 5 examples)
- Portable data input terminals — Dataloggers
- Positive displacement pumps — Positive displacement vacuum equipment
- Power grinders — Handheld concrete and coating removal systems
- Power sanders
- Pressure or steam cleaners — Steam cleaning equipment
- Protective aprons — Chemical protective aprons
- Protective coveralls — Chemical protective coveralls
- Protective gloves — Chemical protective gloves; Safety gloves
- Pry bars — Crowbars
- Putty knives
- Radiation detectors — Beta radiation meters; Gamma radiation meters; Radiation survey meters; Thermoluminescent dosimeters (see all 6 examples)
- Radon detectors — Radon detection devices
- Reagent kits for use with air samplers — Chemical agent detectors; Portable chemical agent detection devices
- Respiration air supplying self contained breathing apparatus or accessories — Positive pressure self contained breathing apparatus
- Respirators — Negative pressure respirators
- Safety glasses
- Safety hoods — Chemical protective head covers
- Sample holders — Asbestos sample containers
- Single gas monitors — Oxygen concentration instruments
- Soil core sampling apparatus — Soil samplers
- Soil testing kits — Soil vapor extraction units
- Spectrofluorimeters or fluorimeters — X ray fluorescence XRF lead testing analyzers
- Spectrophotometers — Flame spectroscopy detection instruments
- Tablet computers
- Track excavators — Excavators
- Two way radios
- Utility knives
- Vacuum cleaners — Filtered vacuums; High-efficiency particulate air HEPA vacuums
- Vacuum pumps — Vacuum blast equipment
- Water samplers — Groundwater sampling equipment; Water sampling pumps
- Wheel bulldozers — Bulldozers
- Wire cutters
Technology used in this occupation:
- Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Response Orientation — The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Rate Control — The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
- Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
- Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment — Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
- Staffing Organizational Units — Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
Detailed Work Activities
- Operate cranes, hoists, or other moving or lifting equipment.
- Prepare hazardous waste for processing or disposal.
- Pour materials into or on designated areas.
- Mix substances or compounds needed for work activities.
- Record operational or environmental data.
- Drive trucks or truck-mounted equipment.
- Inspect work sites to identify potential environmental or safety hazards.
- Assemble temporary equipment or structures.
- Load or unload materials used in construction or extraction.
- Decontaminate equipment or sites to remove hazardous or toxic substances.
- Apply new technologies to improve work processes.
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 74% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 75% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 63% responded “Extremely important.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 78% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Time Pressure — 61% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 71% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 58% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 46% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 21% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 59% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 23% responded “Very important results.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 48% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 34% responded “Very important.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 45% responded “Every day.”
- Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection — 40% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 38% responded “Very important.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 37% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 42% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 47% responded “Very important.”
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 51% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 39% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 52% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 38% responded “Very important.”
- Spend Time Standing — 35% responded “More than half the time.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 31% responded “Some freedom.”
- Outdoors, Under Cover — 34% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Level of Competition — 53% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 41% responded “Some freedom.”
- Electronic Mail — 29% responded “Never.”
- Physical Proximity — 44% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 39% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 29% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 28% responded “Not important at all.”
- Exposed to High Places — 42% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Letters and Memos — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 37% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 34% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
|Title||Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed|
|Education||These occupations usually require a high school diploma.|
|Related Experience||Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, salespersons (retail), and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|72||High school diploma or equivalent|
|2||Some college, no degree|
Interest code: RC
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$18.52 hourly, $38,520 annual|
|Employment (2012)||38,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Average (8% to 14%)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||13,400|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Hazardous Materials Removal Workers . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.