Top High-Demand Jobs After a Natural Disaster

High-Demand Jobs After a Natural Disaster

Natural disasters destroy cities, wipe out communities, and tear apart families. From floods to tornadoes, wildfires to earthquakes, the American people have consistently been a target to some of history’s most vicious natural tragedies. According to ReliefWeb, there is an average of 22 natural disasters in the United States each year, killing hundreds of innocent civilians while costing the U.S economy billions of dollars in the process.

The aftermath of a natural disaster is often unfathomable, and impacted areas are almost unrecognizable when the dust settles, and the rebuilding process begins. Impacted areas are in dire need of help in the form of government aid, charitable donations, and physical labor. When there’s a city to be rebuilt and livelihoods to restore, there’s a huge demand for outside workers from neighboring cities. From construction workers to mold inspectors, there are plenty of opportunities for employees in all sectors to make a difference after a natural disaster. We’ve outlined a few of those jobs below, along with the job’s requirements needed to earn the title.

Construction Workers

With every destructive natural disaster comes an enormous task to cleanup and rebuild. Thousands of workers from around the country make their way to demolished communities to clear away the wreckage of collapsed offices, homes, schools, shops, and more.

A California-based publication, High Country News, detailed the influx of construction workers that fled to the impacted regions impacted by the 2018 wildfires, noting, “While some of the recovery after a natural disaster is done by people trained to handle hazardous materials, many subcontractors utilize an informal labor force made up of construction crews, domestic workers and day laborers.”

After a natural disaster, companies will be looking for trained workers, regardless of their experience, to get the job done. The construction industry is highly regulated, and those looking to find work after a natural disaster will be required to complete training that’s compliant with national and state-specific standards. The most basic form of training is OSHA 10, and is a nationwide requirement for all construction workers. With that said, there are many other helpful online courses that can help new construction workers quickly learn the ropes before heading to help relief efforts.

Hazardous Waste Cleanup

While a lot of the rebuilding will be done by certified construction workers, the majority of the cleanup, especially in more dangerous areas, will be done by individuals with a more advanced level of training. Natural disasters, specifically earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes, often release hazardous materials (HAZMAT), which poses a serious health and safety risk to the public.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information even released a paper detailing the effects of hazardous materials after a natural disaster, inferring that the impact of such occurrences goes much further than infrastructural damage. For this reason, areas hit by natural disasters call out for trained, licensed professionals to carefully and safely dispose of such hazardous materials.

To work as a HAZMAT removal specialist, or work in a position that handles hazardous materials after a natural disaster, one must take and complete the required training program. The program, which can be taken online, covers how to properly identify, handle, and dispose on harmful substances that can cause serious health risks. Given the risks associated with this job, professionals in this category often receive significantly higher salaries than the average construction worker.

Mold Inspector

Mold is extremely dangerous to humans, and can cause serious, long-lasting health conditions if the mold is not dealt with in a timely manner. Unfortunately, mold is very common after natural disasters, increasing the demand for mold inspectors tenfold.

According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, referred to as the CDC, “After natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods, excess moisture and standing water contribute to the growth of mold in homes and other buildings. When returning to a home that has been flooded, be aware that mold may be present and may be a health risk for your family.” The job of a mold inspector is to enter into homes, offices, and other impacted buildings to assess the damage, identify mold contaminated areas, and take the necessary next steps to eradicate the mold from the structure, even if it means calling in outside help. To become a mold inspector, individuals must first progress through the necessary training courses before finding work. Fortunately, this training can be found online, and can be complete at the student’s own pace.

Truck Drivers

Truck drivers are known to go out their way after a natural disaster strikes. While such disasters can cause dangerous driving conditions in the surrounding areas, many truckers will drive extreme lengths just to provide their services to those that need it. With so much waste and wreckage to move out, and so many supplies to bring in, there is plenty of opportunity for truckers to lend their services.

After Hurricane Harvey struck Houston, causing mass flooding and evacuations, it was the trucking industry that played the hero role. As stated in a Wired Magazine article, “There to defy the impossible are the truck drivers, who are eager to work, even when roads have flooded, even when power lines are down, even when warehouses and distribution centers may be damaged or inaccessible.”

While many are driving away from the chaos, brave truckers from across the country drive toward it. For those that want to take advantage of the booming demand for truckers after a disaster, there are plenty of online training courses that can help cover the basics. With that said, there are more advanced courses available for those truck drivers that carry, transport, and dispose of hazardous materials. Learn more about DOT HAZMAT training for truck drivers here.


With each natural disaster comes a new sense of urgency among emergency responders. As the disaster passes, a ruined, devastated region is left in its tracks. Volunteers and workers from around the country are called upon to leave the comfort of their community to help rebuild another.

Natural disasters leave a high demand for outside workers to come in and provide various services. From construction to truck driving, there are plenty of opportunities for workers looking to play a part in the rebuilding efforts. Learn more about various training options at Providing individuals with the training they need to get the job they want.

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