Becoming a certified HAZMAT driver refers to the process of adding an endorsement to your existing Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). This eliminates the need to obtain a new license altogether. Instead, you will have to undergo another layer of training designed specifically for those who are involved in transporting and handling of Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT).
In addition to stringent background checks and application requirements, individuals wondering how to become a HAZMAT driver are also expected to pass a Hazardous Materials Endorsement Knowledge test.
Many professionals elect to get trained and certified through convenient, affordable, online training providers like 360training.com. By getting certified online, professionals are able to take training at their own pace in the comfort of their own home.
Now that you have a general idea of how to become a HAZMAT driver, let’s break down the specifics of what you need to do in order to earn your HAZMAT driver certification.
Obtain a Valid Commercial Driver’s License
First of all, the successful applicant must have an active Commercial Driver’s License (CDL- Class A). Given that truck drivers are required by law to have a valid commercial driver’s license, there’s a good chance that those looking to become a HAZMAT driver have already checked this box and can proceed to getting their HAZMAT endorsement.
If, for whatever reason, an individual does not have a valid commercial driver’s license when attempting to become a HAZMAT driver, then steps must be made to earn this license through their local DMV.
Get HAZMAT Endorsement
After you’ve officially obtained a CDL, you may then take steps to pursue a HAZMAT endorsement. You’ll have to complete an application that requires the following:
- ID proof of being at least 21-years-old
- Proof of citizenship or legal residence
- A medical exam and eye exam
- HAZMAT knowledge test (must pass)
Along with the application process, expect to pay anywhere from $80-$110. Finally, you’ll also have to undergo a mandatory TSA background check which can take up to 60 days.
To prepare, take HAZMAT training from an accredited training provider. DOT HAZMAT Training focuses on OSHA’s regulations as well as the training requirements contained in 49 CFR of the Federal DOT regulations.
Thanks to the emergence of the eLearning industry, individuals looking to become a HAZMAT driver can now complete this course online. This way, students can progress through their training at their own pace, in their own time.
The training program includes key modules on how to identify HAZMAT, how to handle and transport them, and how precautionary measures must be implemented according to certain standards that are set per industry.
Getting Hired as a HAZMAT Driver
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, heavy tractor and truck related jobs are expected to grow 5% from 2017-2024. If we focus on HAZMAT removal workers, employment in this area alone is expected to grow by 7%, creating an additional 3,300 jobs over the same period. Aside from the requirements mentioned above, it would definitely boost your application if you have an outstanding accident-free record. At the very least, many companies hiring for this position require applicants to have a clean record over the last three years.
As far as salary is concerned, truck driving remains one of the most lucrative professions out there that only needs minimum education (High School Diploma). As it stands, HAZMAT drivers can expect to earn an average of around $54,000. With that said, according to ZIPRecruiter, salaries for this position vary from one state to the next.
Keep in mind though, that as a HAMZAT driver you can even earn more with an additional tanker endorsement. Regardless, if you’re considering a truck driving career long-term, it’ll be in your best interest to invest on your HAMZAT training early on and work your way to an endorsement.
360training.com is a leading online eLearning marketplace, where professionals can find the courses they need for the career they want. Over thousands of courses across the largest industries in the country, we continue to expand on our growing catalog of regulatory approved training courses.
Part of this catalog includes hundreds of accredited safety programs for construction workers, truck drivers, supervisors, and skilled laborers. As one of the largest OSHA-Authorized training providers, 360training.com has become a go-to destination for the Environmental Health and Safety industry.