Like any other good, hazardous materials also need to get from one place to the next. However, unlike most products, not everyone is authorized to transport them. For ground-based travel, hazmat drivers are usually the go-to option. They are specially trained to take those materials from point A to point B safely, going the extra mile to avoid incidents that could be harmful to people or the environment.
If you’re curious about hazmat CDL jobs, here’s what you need to know about becoming a hazmat driver.
What You Need to Become a Hazmat Driver
While getting your CDL license is a big part of becoming a hazmat driver, it isn’t the only thing you’ll need to do if you go down this path. First, you’ll have to get some specialized training. Then, you’ll need to acquire the proper hazmat endorsements.
Hazmat Driver Training
All hazmat drivers are required to complete specialized training in accordance with Title 49, Chapter 51, Section 5107 of the United States code. Along with receiving training regarding the safe loading and unloading of hazardous materials, hazmat CDL drivers have to learn how to handle, store, and transport the material.
Additionally, hazmat drivers have complete training on how to handle an incident specifically. That way, if something unfortunate occurs – like an accident – they can respond promptly and appropriately based on the materials present. Security and safety coursework is also essential.
In some cases, additional courses are also required. For example, you might need to tackle function-specific training based on the exact nature of your role.
Generally speaking, there are three hazmat endorsements CDL drivers can obtain, each covering a different situation. The most comprehensive option is the (X) tanker/hazmat combination endorsement. It shows that you can both operate tank vehicles and handle hazardous materials, giving you the most options with it comes to hazmat CDL jobs.
However, you can also get a separate (H) hazardous material endorsement or (N) tanker endorsement. Still, since having both is beneficial to your career, going to the (X) endorsement is typically your best bet.
Acquiring each endorsement is relatively straightforward. You’ll need to space a specialized written test covering information relating to the particular endorsement and pay a corresponding fee. For hazardous materials endorsements, a background check is also required. Once everything clears, the DMV will place the proper endorsement directly on your CDL license.
The Benefits of Becoming a Hazmat Driver
Hazmat CDL jobs offer drivers a variety of benefits. Often, salaries are higher for truck drivers who can transport hazardous materials. Plus, you’ll be a more attractive candidate, making it easier to secure new opportunities when the need arises.
Finally, hazmat drivers enjoy extra job security. With the existing driver shortage, finding CDL drivers with additional endorsements is more complicated than ever. As a result, the odds are good that you won’t have any trouble securing or keeping a position.
Ultimately, becoming a hazmat driver could be a great option. If you’d like to learn more about hazmat CDL jobs, the team at PTS can help. Contact us today.