How to Become a Hazardous Waste Manager


To become a hazardous waste manager, you must begin by deciding if this profession is right for you. If you are dedicated to protecting the environment, able to recognize unsafe conditions, can effectively delegate tasks and you are highly organized and responsible, then you may be well suited for it.


Below we've outlined what you'll need to get started. We've also included helpful occupational information, such as a general job description, job duties, a list of possible employers and much more!



Education Needed to Become a Hazardous Waste Manager

The educational requirements to qualify for work in this field can vary from employer to employer, however in most cases, the minimum education requirement is a university undergraduate degree. Some employers may require you to have a master’s degree to get a job as a hazardous waste manager.


The following university and college fields of study are most relevant:


• Biochemistry

• Chemistry

• Environmental Science

• Environmental Engineering

• Waste Management

• Toxicology





Further Training Needed

Hazardous waste managers 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)



General Job Description

Hazardous waste managers oversee and evaluate hazardous waste management processes, equipment and personnel. They confer with hazardous waste facility managers and other professionals to plan, coordinate and evaluate site operations.



Typical Job Duties & Responsibilities

• Advise government agencies and industry representatives regarding environmental policies and standards

• Advise government agencies and industry representatives regarding any clean up necessary to protect the environment

• Develop waste management plans for municipalities and industry representatives for the safe handling and treatment of waste

• Assist municipalities and industry representatives with the development of waste reduction and recycling programs

• Confer with industry representatives to acquire permits for the operation or construction of new facilities

• Research and develop improved methods for treating waste

• Determine whether past operations created environmental hazards that need to be mitigated





Typical Salary Level

The salary level of hazardous waste managers can vary greatly, typically depending on the following factors:


• Their level of experience

• Their level of responsibility within an organization

• The size and type of their employer

• The region in which they work


Unfortunately, there are no salary figures available from reliable sources for the specific profession "hazardous waste manager". 



Who Employs Hazardous Waste Managers?

There are employers representing different sectors of industry that are interested in the specific skill set and knowledge base of hazardous waste managers. Below is an example of the types of employers that hire hazardous waste managers.


• 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

• Laboratories

• 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 Manager Jobs - Current Postings

Our job board below has "hazardous waste manager" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, when available:




Working Conditions Typical to This Profession

Most hazardous waste managers work in an office environment, or an office located inside of an industrial facility, while others may work around dirty, noisy industrial sites.


Depending on the circumstances, hazardous waste managers 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.


Hazardous waste managers typically work normal weekday working hours, or hours that reflect the hours of operation of the waste facility they oversee. Some hazardous waste managers must be on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in case of hazardous spills during transportation of waste.



Similar Occupations

Listed below are jobs that are similar in nature to "hazardous waste manager", as they involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.


Hazardous Waste Technologist

Recycling Coordinator Career

Sanitation Engineer Career

Waste Reduction Coordinator

Wastewater Operator




Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a hazardous waste manager.


Occupations in Alberta: Water and Wastewater Operator.” (May 1, 2009). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved December 19, 2019.

Pollution and Waste Management:Management of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable material.” (November 2, 2016) Government of Canada website. Retrieved December 19, 2019.

College to Career:Hazardous Waste Management.” (n.d.) American Chemical Society website. Retrieved December 19, 2019.



Scholarships for Becoming a Hazardous Waste Manager

The scholarships in our system that are relevant for becoming a hazardous waste manager are all of those that can be found on our Environmental Engineering Scholarships 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!



Relevant Fields of Study

The majors listed below are highly relevant to this career, and can help set a great educational foundation for it. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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Hazardous Waste Manager