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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: Abatement Worker, Asbestos Abatement Worker, Asbestos Hazard Abatement Worker, Asbestos Remover, Asbestos Worker, Decontamination / Decommissioning Operator (D & D Operator), Field Technician, Hazmat Technician (Hazardous Materials Technician), Site Worker, Waste Handling Technician

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Tasks  |  Technology Skills  |  Tools Used  |  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


  • Build containment areas prior to beginning abatement or decontamination work. Green Task Statement
  • Remove asbestos or lead from surfaces, using hand or power tools such as scrapers, vacuums, or high-pressure sprayers. Green Task Statement
  • Identify asbestos, lead, or other hazardous materials to be removed, using monitoring devices. Green Task Statement
  • Prepare hazardous material for removal or storage. Green Task Statement
  • Comply with prescribed safety procedures or federal laws regulating waste disposal methods. Green Task Statement
  • Load or unload materials into containers or onto trucks, using hoists or forklifts. Green Task Statement
  • Clean contaminated equipment or areas for re-use, using detergents or solvents, sandblasters, filter pumps, or steam cleaners. Green Task Statement
  • Remove or limit contamination following emergencies involving hazardous substances. Green Task Statement
  • Clean mold-contaminated sites by removing damaged porous materials or thoroughly cleaning all contaminated nonporous materials. Green Task Statement
  • Operate machines or equipment to remove, package, store, or transport loads of waste materials. Green Task Statement
  • Record numbers of containers stored at disposal sites, specifying amounts or types of equipment or waste disposed. Green Task Statement
  • Sort specialized hazardous waste at landfills or disposal centers, following proper disposal procedures. Green Task Statement
  • Operate cranes to move or load baskets, casks, or canisters. Green Task Statement
  • Drive trucks or other heavy equipment to convey contaminated waste to designated sea or ground locations. Green Task Statement
  • Identify or separate waste products or materials for recycling or reuse. Green Task Statement
  • Upload baskets of irradiated elements onto machines that insert fuel elements into canisters and secure lids. Green Task Statement
  • Process e-waste, such as computer components containing lead or mercury. Green Task Statement
  • Organize or track the locations of hazardous items in landfills. Green Task Statement
  • Mix or pour concrete into forms to encase waste material for disposal. Green Task Statement
  • Apply bioremediation techniques to hazardous wastes to allow naturally occurring bacteria to break down toxic substances. Green Task Statement
  • Package, store, or move irradiated fuel elements in the underwater storage basins of nuclear reactor plants, using machines or equipment. Green Task Statement

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Technology Skills

  • Data base user interface and query software — Database software
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software Hot technology — SAP Hot technology
  • Facilities management software — Computerized maintenance management system software CMMS
  • Internet browser software
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office Hot technology
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint Hot technology
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Word processing software

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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Tools Used

  • 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
  • Blowers
  • 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
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Desktop computers
  • Dosimeters
  • 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
  • Forklifts
  • 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
  • Hoists
  • Hydraulic truck cranes — Hydraulic booms
  • Hygrometers
  • Infrared spectrometers — Infrared IR spectrometers
  • Ion analyzers — Photoionization detectors PID
  • Ladders
  • 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
  • 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
  • Scaffolding
  • Scrapers
  • Screwdrivers
  • Shovels
  • 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
  • Winches
  • Wire cutters

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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • 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.
  • Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • 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.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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  • 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.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • 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.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.

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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.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • 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.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • 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.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • 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.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • 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.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
  • 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.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Assemble temporary equipment or structures.
  • Prepare hazardous waste for processing or disposal.
  • Inspect work sites to identify potential environmental or safety hazards.
  • Record operational or environmental data.
  • Operate cranes, hoists, or other moving or lifting equipment.
  • Drive trucks or truck-mounted equipment.
  • Load or unload materials used in construction or extraction.
  • Decontaminate equipment or sites to remove hazardous or toxic substances.
  • Mix substances or compounds needed for work activities.
  • Pour materials into or on designated areas.
  • Apply new technologies to improve work processes.

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Work Context

  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 84% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 69% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection — 69% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 58% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 42% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone — 60% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 42% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Contact With Others — 42% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 49% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Time Pressure — 34% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 35% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 52% responded “Very important.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 60% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 58% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Physical Proximity — 56% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 33% responded “About half the time.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 53% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 43% responded “Important.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 36% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 33% responded “Important results.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 54% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 54% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 57% responded “Important.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 35% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 45% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Outdoors, Under Cover
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 33% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Consequence of Error — 26% responded “Very serious.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 62% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Exposed to High Places — 56% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 35% responded “Very important.”
  • Letters and Memos — 30% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 35% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 18% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 35% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Spend Time Climbing Ladders, Scaffolds, or Poles — 35% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Spend Time Kneeling, Crouching, Stooping, or Crawling — 35% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 30% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 35% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
26   Less than high school diploma
25   High school diploma or equivalent Help
20   Post-secondary certificate Help

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Interest code: RC   Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.

  • 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.

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Work Styles

  • 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.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult 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.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • 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.

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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.
  • 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.

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2018) $20.21 hourly, $42,030 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
Employment (2016) 46,000 employees
Projected growth (2016-2026) Much faster than average (15% or higher) Much faster than average (15% or higher)
Projected job openings (2016-2026) 6,700
State trends Employment Trends
Top industries (2016)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2018 wage data external site and 2016-2026 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2016-2026). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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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.

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