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Be an Asbestos Insulation Worker: Job Description and Requirements

Learn how to become an asbestos insulation worker. Explore the job description and licensing requirements, and find out how to start a career in asbestos insulation removal. View article »

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  • 0:00 Asbestos Insulation Workers
  • 1:02 Key Skills & Salary
  • 1:33 Step 1: High School Diploma
  • 1:46 Step 2: Training
  • 2:22 Step 3: License

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Video Transcript

Asbestos Insulation Workers

Degree Level High school diploma or equivalent
Licensure/Certification Licensure required and varies by state
Experience None
Key Skills Detail-oriented and ability to work as a team; mathematics and troubleshooting skills; use of internet browser, database, and spreadsheet software; use of protective equipment such as a fitted respirator; physical stamina
Salary (2015) $39,500 (2016 median for asbestos removal workers)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*Net OnLine

Asbestos insulation workers ensure that asbestos is safely removed from buildings during renovation or demolition processes. They are responsible for identifying and disposing of asbestos-containing materials; complying with state and federal laws regarding the disposal of asbestos; testing of a range of surfaces to make sure that all hazardous materials have been successfully removed; and cleaning tools and equipment, such as scrapers and vacuums.

Asbestos insulation workers must stand and move about for long periods of time while performing tasks. Because these workers interact with asbestos and other dangerous materials, they must wear protective clothing and gear in order to keep themselves safe. In spite of safety precautions, they may experience work-related injury or illness. The majority of asbestos insulation workers are employed full-time.

Key Skills & Salary

Asbestos insulation workers should be attentive to detail and able to work as members of a team. Key career skills also include an understanding of math and database and spreadsheet software and troubleshooting. Physical stamina is important, along with knowing how to don protective equipment, such as fitted respirators. As of November 2016, asbestos removal workers earned a median annual salary of about $39,500, according to Payscale.com.

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Step 1: High School Diploma

The majority of asbestos insulation workers have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. High school courses in mathematics are important for those interested in removing hazardous materials, such as asbestos.

Step 2: Training

Asbestos insulation workers must take a hazardous materials training course, typically sponsored by employers. A hazardous materials training course typically takes forty hours to complete and covers the technical and safety aspects of removing asbestos from buildings. Though both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have minimum standards, the training requirements for asbestos removal vary from state to state. Job seekers should contact state officials for more information about specific requirements.

Step 3: License

Asbestos insulation workers need a state license. Again, requirements vary from state to state, and may include testing and/or a properly fitted OSHA-approved respirator. Workers maintain their licenses through continued training and testing, as dictated by individual states.

Let's review. A high school diploma, hazardous materials training course, and state license are the usual requirements for asbestos insulation workers. As of November 2016, they earned a median yearly salary of $39,500.

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