Recycling Coordinator: Education, Training & Certification

Nov 28, 2017

Recycling coordinators manage the operations of recycling centers. This article specifically looks at the training requirements for this career, as well as the duties these professionals perform.

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Career Definition of a Recycling Coordinator

Recycling coordinators are responsible for scheduling recyclable materials for pick-up. They may also oversee facilities people can bring recyclable materials to. Their work duties involve checking the materials to make sure that they are ones that the facility accepts and documenting all materials that their facility receives. If they have materials that they send to other facilities they also need to maintain records of those transfers and arrange for transportation.

Their work also involves supervising and training staff. They may assign tasks to recycling technicians and others who are involved with processing recyclable materials. As part of their duties recycling coordinators also perform inspections and take steps to ensure the workplace is safe and that the work performed meets expectations.

Educational Requirements High school diploma or GED
Job Skills Customer service skills, communication skills, leadership skills, organizational skills, ability to train others, computer skills
Median Salary (2016)* $47,230 (first-line supervisors of helpers, laborers, and materials movers, hand)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* 9% (first-line supervisors of helpers, laborers, and materials movers, hand)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education, Training and Certification

It is possible for recycling coordinators to learn the skills needed for their career through on-the-job training; O*NET OnLine reports that 47% of recycling coordinators have a high school diploma or GED, while an additional 23% have an associate's degree. A bachelor's degree in environmental resource management may be an advantage to those pursuing a career in this field and some states offer recycling certification programs such as the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania (PROP) certification available through Penn State. These programs can prepare graduates to oversee recycling programs. Although it isn't required, those interested in becoming recycling coordinators may benefit from taking leadership training or courses in management to gain practical experience.

Required Skills

Recycling coordinators spend time interacting with clients and potential clients when they schedule transportation of materials, accept materials being dropped off or consult with clients about their long-term recycling needs. This means that they need to have strong customer service skills and good communication skills. They also need communication skills to provide effective direction to their staff team. Since they are responsible for overseeing staff and volunteers and may provide training for their staff teams they need to be capable of teaching others and have effective leadership skills. Recycling coordinators will use computers to do things such as tracking inventories or updating staff records so recycling coordinators also need computer skills.

Career Outlook and Salary

Recycling coordinators are grouped with first-line supervisors of helpers, laborers and materials movers on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website. The BLS expects this occupational group to see a job growth rate from 2016 to 2026 that's slightly higher than the national average job growth rate of 7%. The BLS predicts these first-line supervisors will see job growth of 9% during the same time period. As of 2016, the BLS reported that first-line supervisors in this field took home a median annual income of $47,230.

Related Careers

Individuals considering a career as a recycling coordinator may also be interested in working as managers or directors in other fields that involve maintaining a safe environment or serving their community. The links listed here lead to information about occupations that share some common tasks with those performed by recycling coordinators.

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