How to Become a Hazardous Waste Technologist: Career Guide
To become a hazardous waste technologist, you must begin by deciding if this career is right for you. If you are dedicated to protecting the environment, able to recognize unsafe conditions, enjoy working in a team environment and you are highly organized, then you may be well suited for a career as a hazardous waste technologist!
Below we've outlined what you'll need to become a hazardous waste technologist. We've also included helpful information for a hazardous waste technologist career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!
Education Needed to Become a Hazardous Waste Technologist
Educational requirements to become a hazardous waste technologist can vary from employer to employer, however in most cases, the minimum education requirement is a university undergraduate degree or an associate’s degree or diploma from a college or vocational school.
The following university and college fields of study are most applicable if you want to become a hazardous waste technologist:
• Environmental Science
• Environmental Engineering
• Waste Management
Hazardous Waste Technologist Job Description
Hazardous waste management technologist are responsible for providing advice related to the safe and proper handling, packaging and disposal of toxic waste. They must also monitor the cleanup of contaminated land, water and air.
Hazardous Waste Technologist Job Duties
• Investigate the waste systems and disposal methods of commercial and municipal organizations
• Classify waste and determine its characteristics by collecting representative samples
• Assist in the clean-up of toxic waste spills
• Measure the extent of environmental damage caused by toxic waste spills
• Inform the general public and industry about proper hazardous waste management practices and procedures
• Prepare inspection and technical reports, and gather evidence for use in legal actions
• Assist government in developing or amending rules and regulations for managing hazardous waste
Working Conditions for Hazardous Waste Technologist
Working conditions for hazardous waste technologists can vary quite a bit from job to job, or from day to day. Some technologists may work in an office environment, while others may work around dirty, noisy industrial sites.
Depending on the circumstances, hazardous waste technologists may be required to wear personal protective equipment, work outdoors in all kinds of weather, travel frequently or lift equipment weighing up to or over 50 pounds.
Career Advancement for Hazardous Waste Technologists
With a sufficient amount of experience and industry training, hazardous waste technologists may advance to supervisory positions. To move into management, consulting roles, a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business, management, environmental science or a related field is typically needed.
If a hazardous waste technologist wants to move into professional roles, such hazardous waste materials engineer or environmental auditor, a degree in environmental engineering may be required.
Further Training Needed to Become a Hazardous Waste Technologist
Hazardous waste technologists need specialized training on how to safely handle and dispose of chemical, biohazard, and radioactive wastes. The following hazardous material courses may be required or recommended:
• WHMIS (Workplace Hazards Management Information System) training
• H2S Alive training
• Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG)
Please Note: Some employers may pay for or subsidize employees for taking these courses, although many will not.
Hazardous Waste Technologist Certification
It is not mandatory to be certified in order to work as a hazardous waste technologist, though many practitioners choose to become certified through their provincial association for a variety of reasons, including:
• Demonstrate their commitment to their profession
• Improve their credentials
• Gain access to more senior level positions or a higher pay grade
• Improve their industry knowledge
Who Hires Hazardous Waste Technologists?
There are employers representing different sectors of industry that are interested in the specific skill set and knowledge base of hazardous waste technologist. Below is an example of the types of employers that hire hazardous waste technologist.
• Companies that generate hazardous waste, such as those in manufacturing, mining and transportation
• Engineering firms
• Environmental contracting and consulting firms
• Government environmental regulatory services
• Health care facilities
• Municipal water and wastewater treatment facilities
• Oil and gas exploration companies and contractors
• Petrochemical companies
• Public works departments
• Pulp and paper processing companies
• Regional solid waste management facilities
• Waste management companies and recyclers
Hazardous Waste Technologist Jobs
Our job board below has "Hazardous Waste Technologist" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.
Hazardous Waste Technologist Salary
There are a lot of variables that determine how much money a hazardous waste technologist makes, such as where they work, their level of education and training, their level of experience, and many others.
Hazardous Waste Technologist Salary Alberta: According to the 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Inspectors in Public and Environmental Health and Occupational Health and Safety occupational group earn an average of between $31.30 and $41.28 per hour.
Hazardous Waste Technologist Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for American workers in the Environmental Engineering Technicians occupational group is $43,390 (2010 figures).
Careers Related to Hazardous Waste Technologist
Listed below are jobs that are similar in nature to that of a Hazardous Waste Technologist, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.
References: Hazardous Waste Technologist Career
Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a Hazardous Waste Technologist.
Alberta Learning and Information Services website: alis.alberta.ca
ECO Canada website: www.eco.ca
United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website: www.bls.gov
Scholarships for Becoming a Hazardous Waste Technologist
Scholarships in Canada and the United States listed for majors that apply to becoming a Hazardous Waste Technologist can be found on our All Scholarships by Major page.
Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!
Becoming a Hazardous Waste Technologist: Applicable Majors
Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming a Hazardous Waster Technologist. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!