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Summary Report for:
51-9199.01 - Recycling and Reclamation Workers

Prepare and sort materials or products for recycling. Identify and remove hazardous substances. Dismantle components of products such as appliances.

Sample of reported job titles: Bobcat Driver/Labor, Box Sorter, Convenience Recycle Center Tech, Crane Operator, Deconstruction and Decontamination Waste Operations Specialist, Equipment Operator, Non-Ferrous Material Handler, Sort Line Worker, Sorter, Transfer Station Operator

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings

Tasks

  • Sort materials, such as metals, glass, wood, paper or plastics, into appropriate containers for recycling. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Clean recycling yard by sweeping, raking, picking up broken glass and loose paper debris, or moving barrels and bins. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Operate forklifts, pallet jacks, power lifts, or front-end loaders to load bales, bundles, or other heavy items onto trucks for shipping to smelters or other recycled materials processing facilities. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Sort metals to separate high-grade metals, such as copper, brass, and aluminum, for recycling. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Clean, inspect, or lubricate recyclable collection equipment or perform routine maintenance or minor repairs on recycling equipment, such as star gears, finger sorters, destoners, belts, and grinders. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Collect and sort recyclable construction materials, such as concrete, drywall, plastics, or wood, into containers. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Extract chemicals from discarded appliances, such as air conditioners or refrigerators, using specialized machinery, such as refrigerant recovery equipment. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Deposit recoverable materials into chutes or place materials on conveyor belts. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Operate balers to compress recyclable materials into bundles or bales. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Clean materials, such as metals, according to recycling requirements. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Record logs of recycled materials or waste chemicals removed from products. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Operate processing equipment, such as fiber-sorters and grinders, to sort, crush, or grind recyclable materials. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Cut discarded products, such as appliances and automobiles, into small pieces using saws, blow torches, or other hand or power tools. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Collect recyclable materials from curbside for delivery to designated facilities. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Operate automated refuse or manual recycling collection vehicles. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Adjustable wrenches — Adjustable hand wrenches See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Belt conveyors — Belt conveyor systems See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Blow torch — Blow torches See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Cargo trucks — Recycling collection trucks; Tractor-trailer trucks See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Claw hammer — Claw hammers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Crushers — Crushing machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Desktop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Ear muffs — Protective ear muffs See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Forklifts See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Front end loaders — Utility work machines; Wheeled front end loaders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Grinding or polishing machines — Grinders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Hex keys — Hex wrenches See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Hoists — Material hoists See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Ladders — Extension ladders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laser fax machine — Laser facsimile machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Lifts — Power lifts See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Locking pliers — Channel lock pliers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Minivans or vans — Work vans See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Packaging compactors — Cardboard balers; Horizontal balers; Material compactors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Pallet trucks — Pallet jacks See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Paper shredding machines or accessories — Paper shredders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Photocopiers — Photocopying equipment See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Pocket calculator — Handheld calculators See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Power drills — Cordless drills See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Power saws See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Refrigerant compressors — Refrigerant reclamation equipment See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Safety glasses See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Screwdrivers — Phillips head screwdrivers; Straight screwdrivers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Skid steer loaders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Sorters — Fiber sorters; Magnetized can sorters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Special purpose telephones — Multi-line telephone systems See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Two way radios — Mobile radios See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Utility knives See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Wire cutters See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Calendar and scheduling software — Work scheduling software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base user interface and query software — Oracle software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

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Knowledge

  • Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Personnel and Human Resources — Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

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Skills

  • Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speed of Limb Movement — The ability to quickly move the arms and legs. See more occupations related to this ability.

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Work Activities

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles). See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Record operational or production data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Cut industrial materials in preparation for fabrication or processing. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Load materials into production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate recycling equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Sort materials or products for processing, storing, shipping, or grading. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate grinding equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Clean production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Clean work areas. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Disassemble equipment for maintenance or repair. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Clean materials to prepare them for production. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Sort recyclable materials. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Lubricate production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Repair production equipment or tools. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate forklifts or other loaders. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 93% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 78% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 69% responded “More than 40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 70% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Standing — 59% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 60% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 52% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 51% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 47% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 37% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Outdoors, Under Cover — 50% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 37% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • In an Open Vehicle or Equipment — 53% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 40% responded “Very high responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 61% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 31% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 30% responded “High responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 39% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 39% responded “About half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 34% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 33% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 49% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 26% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Physical Proximity — 44% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 28% responded “Important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 40% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 42% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 41% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 42% responded “Important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 26% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 43% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.

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Job Zone

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)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
74   High school diploma or equivalent Help
15   Associate's degree
8   Doctoral degree

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Credentials

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Interests

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. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Styles

  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.

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Work Values

  • 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. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions. See more occupations related to this work value.

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Production Workers, All Other.
Employment data collected from Production Workers, All Other.
Industry data collected from Production Workers, All Other.

Median wages (2014) $13.59 hourly, $28,260 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 242,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Slower than average (3% to 7%) Slower than average (3% to 7%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 80,600
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "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.

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Job Openings on the Web

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