You can become an abatement contractor by first working as a general contractor and then choosing to specialize in mold, asbestos, lead, or general hazardous material abatement. The abatement of a specific type of hazardous material is usually regulated by a regional or local authority. This means that individuals who specialize in this service must be certified by a local government before they can legally offer the service. Abatement contractors usually gain experience in construction and renovation before beginning to work for another company or individual offering abatement service. Once experience is gained working for someone else in the field, it is possible to earn certification and become an abatement contractor who works independently or leads a team.
Contractors interested in what it takes to become an abatement contractor should be aware that the removal of hazardous material is a dangerous job by the very nature of the work itself. Breathing in asbestos or mold can seriously damage lungs and lead to future breathing complications. Lead exposure may cause certain types of internal organ issues. Given the hazards, abatement contractors wear full safety gear and practice extreme caution in all environments. The work is dangerous manual labor, but is necessary to renovate and improve a building so that it can eventually be habitable by others.
To become an abatement contractor, a high school level education is usually necessary. Many individuals in the field first get their start by working any type of construction job that can be secured. Once experience is gained, it is possible to network and find a job working for a home or commercial building renovation company. Techniques used in rehabilitating properties can be applied to the abatement of hazardous materials because older buildings are usually in need of lead and asbestos abatement. Mold abatement takes place in areas that have been exposed to prolonged water damage, and requires the removal and restructuring of any area that is affected.
When choosing to become an abatement contractor, it is necessary to learn the proper techniques to remove and dispose hazardous material. Materials with toxic mold, lead, or asbestos must be properly handled and discarded according to regional regulations. Courses in safety and disposal are offered by regional governments. Completion of these classes is typically necessary to gain abatement certification. Abatement contractors are employed by home owners, commercial construction companies, and the government to rehabilitate residential and commercial properties.