Have you ever considered pursuing a waste management career? If not, it may be due to the assumption that positions are low paying and have little benefits. You may be surprised to learn that this is not the case.
Every community has some type of waste management service, so there are job opportunities where you live. Besides the widespread availability of positions, there are many advantages to a career in waste management. Here are some to consider:
Availability and Qualifications
Whether at a private waste collection company, or a county or municipal sanitation department, most entry-level positions require very little education or qualifications. To be a driver, you may need a clean driving record and a Class B driver’s license. Otherwise, no special training is likely required to make you eligible to apply for a waste management job.
There is a job security aspect to this. As long as populations continue to increase, there will be a growing demand for waste management services. You don’t have to worry about garbage collection jobs going away anytime soon.
Competitive Wages, Salary, and Benefits
Pay for waste management jobs varies by position and location. The average wage for all waste management employees nationwide is about $19 an hour. But supervisors and managers can make much more.
In fact, according to the job site, Indeed.com, the average waste management manager’s salary is over $62,000. And the average senior district manager’s salary is slightly under $100,000 a year.
Also, many companies and departments offer strong incentives for staying on board. So, even if you are not seeking upper-level positions, you may be able to advance to the top of your wage scale in only a few years.
Benefits are another incentive. Full-time employees are likely to receive paid vacation, holidays, and sick leave. They also will have access to health insurance programs.
Companies and departments may also offer dental or vision coverage. And you are likely to find matching 401K programs, life insurance, and long- and short-term disability benefits.
Although it is not considered a glamorous job, waste management services impact almost all citizens. People recognize the importance of garbage collection, and this appreciation continues to grow. Many municipalities and other government agencies issue regular proclamations recognizing the importance of these services.
There also is an environmental aspect to waste management. Besides being part of a service that helps dispose of waste, many companies and departments are going even further.
For instance, there is an increase in programs that divert restaurant scraps for composting. This can help local farms or community gardens while keeping food waste out of landfills.
You should be realistic about some of the less appealing aspects of a waste management career. It could involve longer hours, getting dirty, and working outside. Positions on collection vehicles can be dangerous since you are exposed to traffic.
But many people enjoy working outdoors, and routes are canceled in severe weather. And companies and waste management departments want to do everything possible to keep their workers safe.
Things like “smart waste management” techniques are being implemented to help tweak routes and improve efficiency and safety. These use smart trash bins that indicate how full they are or send notifications that they need emptying. This saves on fuel and keeps workers off unnecessary routes and roads.
Consider a Waste Management Career
If you are thinking about a waste management career, hopefully, the information above has given you more of a sense of what to expect. Like any job, there are some challenges that you should be realistic about. But many of the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.
We hope you found this information helpful and that you enjoyed learning more about jobs in waste management. Be sure to check out our other lifestyle and career posts, as well as those on topics like education, health, travel, and much more.