Hazardous Waste Inspector

Hazardous Waste Inspector Careers

Public service jobs have a great track record for advancement and job stability.  Many of these positions include careers that are necessary for the maintenance of social and community health, and are thus funded by the local government.  This creates a chance at a solid salary and a steady position for people interested in becoming a hazardous waste inspector.

Public health jobs are always in need of individuals who wish to support the community while bettering their own quality of life.  The job of a hazardous waste inspector fills a necessary position for ensuring social welfare, but also offers a high paying career track that supports advancement.  If you are interested in a position that will better your community and better your own path in life, then a career in public health as a hazardous waste inspector could be for you.

What Is A Hazardous Waste Inspector?

Hazardous waste inspectors promote public wellness by ensuring that all businesses and industrial facilities adhere to the government regulations for safety codes and waste disposal.  This job includes inspecting facilities and evaluating procedures that are implemented in the handling, usage, and disposal of products that could pose a threat to public health.

Along with the tasks that center around businesses and industry, hazardous waste inspectors are also involved in educating the public about substances that could cause a threat to the general environment.  Thus, a hazardous waste inspector would not only ensure that companies are doing their part to preserve the health of the community and the environment, but also that citizens are acting in accordance with the state, local, and federal laws regarding hazardous materials.  This position would include an up to date knowledge of these laws, as well as the ability to effectively communicate their importance.  An understanding of chemistry and environmental concerns is combined with effective public relations skills to create a career that is rewarding.

Some of the basic duties of a hazardous waste inspector would include:

  •   Inspecting municipal, government, and private waste management operations to ensure that procedures follow code.
  •   Collecting and testing soil and water samples for possible hazardous threats.
  •   Observing waste handling and processing procedures in facilities.
  •   Inspecting equipment and holding techniques for hazardous waste.
  •   Identifying potential threats to public health with the facility or process of the facility.
  •   Educating manager and employees at waste facilities in proper treatment and handling of hazardous substances.
  •   Creating community outreach for waste disposal education.
  •   Visiting community household to provide knowledge regarding the disposal of household hazardous waste.

Characteristics

If you are interested in becoming a hazardous waste inspector, the following skills are necessary for this position:

  •   Leadership:  You will need to be able to act confidently in situations where management or employees of a facility are improperly handling materials.  This will include diplomatically assessing and addressing the situation, as well as taking charge in implementing proper procedures.
  •   Public Relations:  You will need to be able to interact with the community and individuals with ease.  This can include education and outreach, as well s raising awareness regarding practices that can be unsafe to the environment and to the community.
  •   Communication:  You will need to be able to educate people and to explain the importance of acting in accordance with state, local, and federal mandates about the handling of hazardous wastes.  This will also include clarifying any new changes in these laws and outlining the parameters of safe and unsafe measures.
  •   Observation:  You will need to be able to watch procedures in waste management facilities and be able to identify potential points of contamination.  This will also include evaluating the condition of the equipment that is used and following the routes that are used for hazardous waste transport.
  •   Chemistry Aptitude:  You will need an understanding of chemistry, and of the impact that chemicals can have on the environment.  This will include not only analyzing samples that are taken from the soil and the water, but also having extensive knowledge of the interactions these chemicals can have in regards to health and the eco-system.

Nature Of The Work

Although much of the time of a hazardous waste inspector is spent in and around waste management facilities, this career path can also take you into the public sector for education and awareness on a home to home basis.  You may be required to take samples from the soil and water, and to investigate whether any contamination is occurring.  While much of this job is field work can cover a fairly extensive area of ground, there will be some lab work and paperwork involved as well.

Along with in the field duties, you will also be required to write and submit reports of your finding.  These reports will include a combination of the raw data and suggestion as to improve the function and efficiency of waste management facilities.  In regards to the public sector, you may be required to develop interventions to address adverse behavior, and this will be based on your observations of the community’s knowledge of and adherence to laws about handling dangerous substances.

Education And Training

To get into a career as a hazardous waste inspector, you will require a four year degree.  It is usually preferable if you major in chemistry, toxicology, ecological studies, environmental health, or waste management.  Majors in fields that are related, such as public health and wellness or biology, are also acceptable, but a strong science background is needed for this job path.

Along with a four year degree, most localities will require that you have some previous experience in waste management.  Some study programs offer field training or internships for gaining such hands on knowledge.  If this is not offered, acquiring work in a waste management facility on an entry level can also fill this expectation before you progress forward to a career as a hazardous waste inspector.

For hazardous waste inspectors who work at a local or a state level, salaries can range between $37,000 to $43,000 annually.  If you are considering a job at the federal level, you will make a higher salary, but the opportunity for advancement is high for any of these positions.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects that the demand for hazardous waste inspectors will continue to increase over the next decade at least, so your job security in the public health sector is ensured.


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