Occupation Spotlight: Hazardous Materials Removal Workers

Occupation Spotlight: Hazardous Materials Removal Workers

Hazardous materials removal workers are responsible for identifying, removing, and disposing of hazardous materials such as asbestos, lead, and mold to ensure environmental health and safety. This occupation requires physical labor and exposure to dangerous substances; therefore, selecting and using appropriate protective equipment is essential.

Examples of Hazardous Materials Removal Jobs:

Asbestos Abatement Worker: These workers remove asbestos from buildings, pipes, and ducts while wearing protective suits, respirators, and gloves to avoid inhaling asbestos fibers.

Lead Abatement Worker: Lead abatement workers remove lead-based paint and other products from buildings using special equipment and protective suits to avoid lead exposure.

Radioactive Materials Removal Worker: Radioactive materials removal workers remove radioactive materials from sites such as nuclear power plants and medical facilities in protective suits using specialized equipment to safely handle and dispose of the materials.

Education and Training:

Most of these workers receive on-the-job training from their employer. However, some employers prefer employees who have completed training programs in hazardous waste management, safety, or environmental health. These programs are often offered at technical or community colleges. Moreover, they must pass a medical exam, have good vision, and a valid driver’s license while clearing a background check.

Progression in the Field:

They begin their career as helpers and move up to higher skilled positions after gaining experience. Workers may need certifications or licenses that demonstrate their expertise in handling hazardous materials to advance in this field.

Hazardous Materials Removal Workers: Job Level and Salary Data:

Entry-level workers in this occupation require a high school diploma or equivalent, while senior workers may have additional certifications or specialized training. On average, hazardous materials removal workers make about $47,216 annually. Furthermore, unionization can provide workers with better working conditions, higher wages, increased job security, and access to training programs.

Geographic Salary Data:

Geographic location plays a significant role in determining average salaries for hazardous materials removal workers.

Region Average Salary
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX $67,300
Manchester-Nashua, NH $36,440


Becoming a hazardous materials removal worker takes rigorous training and physical work. However, it is also a rewarding career path as these workers help protect the environment and keep people safe from hazardous materials. With the right education, training, and experience, anyone interested in this career path can start as a helper and work their way up the ladder to higher skilled positions.