There are currently an estimated 46,200 hazardous materials removal workers in the United States. The hazardous materials removal worker job market is expected to grow by 17.1% between 2016 and 2026.

How employable are hazardous materials removal workers?

CareerExplorer rates hazardous materials removal workers with a D employability rating, meaning this career should provide weak employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 15,700 hazardous materials removal workers. That number is based on 7,900 additional hazardous materials removal workers, and the retirement of 7,800 existing hazardous materials removal workers.

Are hazardous materials removal workers in demand?

In the United States, employment growth and demand for these workers will be driven by the need to safely remove and clean up hazardous materials at sites identified by the Environmental Protection Agency. Some additional jobs may be created by the need to recycle waste on a larger scale. As nuclear plants continue to be decommissioned, hazmat removal workers will be called upon to decontaminate equipment, store radioactive waste, and prepare these facilities for safe closure. On the other hand, as the number of structures containing asbestos and lead declines, the need for workers who remove these materials will decrease. Hazmat removers may face competition from construction and insulation workers who may also be trained in the removal of hazardous materials. The industry is not greatly affected by economic fluctuations because most hazmat removal is by nature urgent and generally cannot be delayed. Job applicants who have experience with reactors in a military environment may enhance their employability, especially with nuclear facilities. Hazmat removal workers are typically unlikely to remain in this industry for their entire working life. Many stay in the occupation for only short periods and most eventually seek jobs with safer, less physically demanding, and more comfortable working conditions. Turnover in the occupation is therefore high. The Alliance of Hazardous Materials Professionals (AHMP) is the industry’s international organization. The AHMP provides support for individuals and companies involved in hazardous materials management.

What’s the supply of hazardous materials removal workers?

The hazardous materials removal worker industry is concentrated in California, New York, Texas

Hazardous Materials Removal Worker job market by state

State Name Employed Hazardous Materials Removal Workers
California 5,790
New York 4,770
Texas 4,130
Ohio 2,140
Florida 1,630
Washington 1,430
North Carolina 1,410
Colorado 1,240
Pennsylvania 1,220
Massachusetts 1,210
Virginia 1,180
Illinois 1,120
New Jersey 1,080
Louisiana 1,000
Georgia 890
Michigan 810
Indiana 800
Maryland 790
Idaho 750
Oregon 720
Connecticut 690
Tennessee 560
South Carolina 540
New Mexico 540
Alabama 520
Hawaii 480
Minnesota 460
Arizona 410
Oklahoma 410
Iowa 380
Alaska 370
Utah 360
Nevada 320
Rhode Island 310
Wisconsin 290
Kansas 280
Kentucky 270
Arkansas 260
Missouri 230
West Virginia 220
Maine 170
Nebraska 160
District of Columbia 150
Mississippi 90
Montana 90
South Dakota 80
Vermont 70
Wyoming 50
Delaware 40