Hazardous Materials Removal Workers: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

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.

  • 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.
  • Identify asbestos, lead, or other hazardous materials to be removed, using monitoring devices.
  • Prepare hazardous material for removal or storage.
Read more about what does a Hazardous Materials Removal Worker really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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Average salary
$47050 per year

Average hourly wage
$23 per hour

Hazmat Removal Workers with little to no experience tend to make between $27910 and $33880 while the more experienced ones can earn over $57230 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
AK $31 $64,460
WA $30 $62,040
NY $30 $61,780
TN $29 $59,470
HI $28 $58,120

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Hazardous Materials Removal Worker is to move to a higher paying state like AK. Right now, the highest paying states for Hazmat Removal Workers are AK, WA, NY, TN and HI.

However, a higher pay at AK doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at AK might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Hazardous Materials Removal Worker is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
No degree required

We asked other Hazmat Removal Workers what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had less than a High School Diploma followed by a High School Diploma.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Hazardous Materials Management and Waste Technology/Technician
Read more about how to become a Hazardous Materials Removal Worker and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Hazardous Materials Removal Worker.

Suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
Suitable for people who wants to work in a supportive work environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work outdoors.
It is easy to get into this career. Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Not suitable for people who likes to work with designs
Salary is below average
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

63% of Hazmat Removal Workers said they were satisfied with their job and 56% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Builders and The Organizers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

Learn more about Hazmat Removal Workers

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Related career information

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Abatement Worker, Asbestos Abatement Worker, Asbestos Coverer, Asbestos Handler, Asbestos Hazard Abatement Worker, Asbestos Remover, Asbestos Worker, Decontamination / Decommissioning Operator (D & D Operator), Decontamination Worker, Field Technician

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