The median annual wage of hazardous materials (hazmat) removal workers was $37,600 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $24,720, and the top 10 percent earned more than $63,800.
Although most hazmat removal workers are employed full time, overtime and shift work are common, especially for emergency and disaster response workers. Hazmat removal workers may be required to travel outside their normal working areas to respond to emergency cleanups, which sometimes take several days or weeks to complete. During a cleanup, workers may be away from home for the entire time. Hazmat removal workers who work at nuclear facilities are busiest during refueling and may experience unemployment during other times.
Some hazmat removal workers are union members. The Laborers’ International Union of North America is one of the largest organizers of these workers.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition