Hazmat truck drivers move dangerous substances not to expose these materials to the public. They ensure the safe disposal of toxic chemicals. If you are looking at becoming a hazmat driver, you need to know the requirements and abilities one needs to fulfill to become one.
In this article, we explain a few tips on becoming a hazmat driver plus its benefits and job duties.
What is a Hazmat Driver?
A hazmat driver is a professional driver responsible for moving hazardous materials. Their goal is to transport these toxic materials and prevent exposure to humans. They use their knowledge to double-check the packaging and labeling of such cargo. They also are responsible for the stable transport of these materials to their destination.
Hazardous materials include:
- Flammable gases and liquids
- Nuclear waste
- Poisonous chemicals
- Corrosive materials.
Tips On How To Become A Hazmat Truck Driver?
We have made a list of tips on becoming a professional hazmat driver.
Review Job Requirements:
The first step any of you has to take is to review the job requirements of this profession. This will help you decide if a career in this field is really for you. Here are the general job requirements:
- Age: You must be above 20 years to become a hazmat driver.
- Education: Most companies require hazmat drivers to have a high school diploma or GED. They also need additional training in hazardous materials.
- Driver experience: Hazmat jobs require all applicants to have at least three years of driving experience. You should not have any traffic violations on your record.
- The government stipulates that hazmat drivers should not have any criminal activity on their records.
If you have chosen this career, the next step is to meet the educational prerequisites. If you don’t already have a GED, you will need to obtain one as soon as possible.
Commercial Driver’s License:
You will have to apply for a commercial driver’s license that allows you to drive large trucks and trailers. To get a CDL:
- Check your state requirements.
- Pass the written test.
- Earn the permit and take a commercial driving skills test.
You need to have a little experience as a truck driver before becoming a hazmat driver. There are different options available for you.
- Some companies offer paid training opportunities to drivers as hazmat drivers are in great demand.
- Join a trucking company while you study for the hazmat course.
- When you work as a commercial driver, you will network with drivers and get valuable insight into the job opportunities in this field.
The next step will be to learn about hazardous materials. There are three different certifications listed below that you can obtain.
- Hazardous materials endorsement: This endorsement will give you the basic knowledge and ability to move dangerous materials.
- Tank vehicle endorsement: This endorsement allows you to drive a tank vehicle to move hazardous substances.
- Combination endorsement: If you want to earn both simultaneously, you can enrol in a combination endorsement.
Whenever a candidate applies for an endorsement, he will go through a complete background check by the U.S. Transport Security Administration. They will check your criminal history and citizenship.
Prepare Your Resume:
After you’re successful in getting your endorsements, you can write up your resume. This resume should have all the necessary experience and qualifications listed to pursue your career. Some valuable tips include:
- Add all endorsements to show any employer that you’re legally capable of transporting hazardous materials.
- Describe relevant skills like organization, safety, and record-keeping.
- Highlight any previous experience you have in bold.
Apply For Jobs to Become Hazmat Truck Driver:
To get job opportunities, you can search for job openings online. You can also network with other drivers to learn about hazmat driver job opportunities.
Hazmat Driving is a great career opportunity for drivers. Not only does it pay more, but there is a lot less competition in the field. So, to become a professional hazmat driver, follow the above pro tips and get your career started.
Also, read 7 Trip Planning Tips For Truckers In 2022.