Hazardous material removers identify, remove, pack, transport, or dispose of hazardous materials, including asbetos, lead-based paint, waste oil, fuel, transmission fluid, radioactive materials, contaminated soil, etc. Specialized training and certification in hazardous materials handling or a confined entry permit are generally required. May operate earth-moving equipment or trucks.

Hazardous materials removal workers often respond to emergencies where harmful substances are present, and are sometimes called abatement, remediation, or decontamination specialists. Increased public awareness and federal and state regulations are resulting in the removal of hazardous materials from buildings, facilities, and the environment to prevent contamination of natural resources and to promote public health and safety.

Working Conditions

Hazardous materials removal workers function in a highly structured environment to minimize the danger they face. Each phase of an operation is planned in advance, and workers are trained to deal with hazardous situations. Crews and supervisors take every safety measure to ensure that the worksite is safe. Whether they work with asbestos, mold, lead abatement, or in radioactive decontamination, hazardous materials removal workers must stand, stoop, and kneel for long periods. Some must wear fully enclosed personal protective suits for several hours at a time; these suits may be hot and uncomfortable and may cause some individuals to experience claustrophobia.


Hazmat removal workers need a high school diploma and are trained on the job. Most workers complete up to 40 hours of training in accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. Some hazmat workers need a license.

Ohio Wage Averages

Hourly: $21.62
Annual: $44,980

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, [June 6, 2016] [http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes474041.htm]

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