How do I Become a Sanitation Worker?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2019
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Sanitation workers provide an essential service in most cities and towns of any size. Along with collecting trash, a sanitation worker may sometimes be involved in working in a sewage system or handling the disposal of items that are too larger to fit into standard garbage cans. While the qualifications to become a sanitation worker vary from one municipality to another, there is a core set of skills or aptitudes that are often required.

While this is not universally true, many cities and towns now require each individual hired as a city sanitation worker to have a high school diploma, a certificate of completion, or a General Education Degree (GED). While it is true that the main focus of sanitation work is to collect and properly dispose of trash and other debris, there are aspects of the job that also require basic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics. This minimum education requirement ensures all candidates possess those basic skills.

Most municipalities around the world also have a minimum age requirement that must be met in order to apply for any sanitation worker jobs. While the age varies slightly, most locations set the minimum age at somewhere between eighteen and twenty-one. Often, local laws and customs that govern the extension of the recognition of adulthood, such as voting privileges, are used as guidelines to determine the minimum age that a sanitation worker must be in order to obtain employment.


It is not unusual for a sanitation worker job to also require that the candidate be able to lift a minimum amount of weight without straining or hurting the back. This is to make sure that the new employee can meet the physical requirements of muscle strength and endurance that are required to cover an assigned route and collect garbage or function in some similar capacity. Both the employer and the employee benefit from this requirement; the employer can be confident in the ability of the sanitation worker to perform his or her responsibilities efficiently and without harm. The worker in turn does not have to be concerned about placing an inordinate amount of stress on the body that would lead to permanent injury.

The process for filing an application of employment is a simple one. In each city, town, county or parish, there is a general employment office that oversees the hiring of civil employees. This office provides the basic application, conducts the initial screening process, and makes a final determination on whether or not to hire a given candidate. Upon obtaining employment as a sanitation worker, the new employee is assigned an hourly wage, provided information about any available benefits like health coverage, vacation day accruals, paid holidays, and many of the other benefits offered to employees in other vocations.


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Post 2

How can I apply for a position as a sanitation worker in the city of New Jersey? How can I apply on online or in the office?

Post 1

Where can I go to apply for a position as a Sanitation worker for the City of Philadelphia? Where can I find an application online? Can you help me?

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