Hazardous Substances Engineer (Female, Age 24) in Berkeley, CA

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 24 who works as a Hazardous Substances Engineer in Berkeley, CA. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete our job profile survey so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job TitleHazardous Substances Engineer
Salary$58,000
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week40
Company Size(not answered)
LocationBerkeley, CA
Years Experience2 years

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career0
Education(not answered)
Income Rating0 / 10
Interest Rating0 / 10
Work-Life Rating0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating0 / 10

Table of Contents

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
Our government Department oversees hazardous waste facilities and gives out permits, closes facilities, and cleans up hazardous waste spills in the state of CA.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
I write hazardous waste facility permits.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
2 weeks vacation/year, kaiser health insurance, 401k plan, 1 sick day/month

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
I feel that I am well compensated for my job.

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
Yes, I have to work with various facilities and coworkers on a daily basis to get each hazardous permit completed. I enjoy this portion of my job.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?
Yes

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?
Yes

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
I work with my coworkers if there is something I am not sure about when writing a hazardous waste permit.

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 3
Benefits: 5
Hours: 4
Co-Workers: 1
Supervisors: 2
Job Title: 8
Level of Responsibility: 6
The Actual Work: 7

A day in the life of…

Please describe a typical workday for you in your current job:

5am to 6am
6am to 7am
7am to 8amTravel to work
8am to 9amCheck work emails and mailbox. Set up my laptop. Start preparing for the days work.
9am to 10amWrite or fix errors in Hazardous Waste Permits. Call facilities to clarify parts of their permit. Book meetings with facilities to discuss permits.
10am to 11amWrite or fix errors in Hazardous Waste Permits. Call facilities to clarify parts of their permit. Review title 22 California Code of Regulations to make sure that the permit follows all laws.
11am to 12pmWrite or fix errors in Hazardous Waste Permits. Call facilities to clarify parts of their permit. Review title 22 California Code of Regulations to make sure that the permit follows all laws.
12pm to 1pmLunch
1pm to 2pmWrite or fix errors in Hazardous Waste Permits. Call facilities to clarify parts of their permit. Review title 22 California Code of Regulations to make sure that the permit follows all laws.
2pm to 3pmWrite or fix errors in Hazardous Waste Permits. Call facilities to clarify parts of their permit. Review title 22 California Code of Regulations to make sure that the permit follows all laws.
3pm to 4pmWrite or fix errors in Hazardous Waste Permits. Call facilities to clarify parts of their permit. Review title 22 California Code of Regulations to make sure that the permit follows all laws.
4pm to 5pmWrite or fix errors in Hazardous Waste Permits. Call facilities to clarify parts of their permit. I fill out my days work in a log and log my hours worked. I leave for home at 5pm.
5pm to 6pmHome
6pm to 7pmDinner
7pm to 8pmHome
8pm to 9pmHome
9pm to 10pmHome
10pm to 11pmHome
11pm to 12amSleep

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?
Career center at UC Davis in CA.

What was the application process?
Resume Submittal -> oral exam to determine qualification -> interview

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
The first step is to pass an oral exam to see if you qualify for the job. Then I had to interview for my job. I also was asked to provide a writing sample at the interview. 2-3 employees that you will be working with conduct the interview.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
During a meeting, a co-worker constantly rejects a proposal even tho the rest of the members at the meeting agree to the proposal. How would you handle this situation?

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes. I had to undergo a lot of traning to prepare for my job as listed above. Help was always provided if there was a concept I didn’t understand.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
The training involved learning how to use the inter departmental email system, 40 hrs of Hazardous Waste Emergency Response Training, CPR/ Standard First Aid Training, 4 hrs Defensive Driving Training, CEQA Training, and reading several section of the California Code of Regulations.

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes. I have to work with many company that produce hazardous waste. I have a BS in Chemical Engineering.

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?
I did not have an internship.

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
In order to work in a job like mine, you must have a BS degree in civil or chemical engineering or have a science background. No prior work experience is necessary.

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
A solid English, math and basic chemistry background. Good communication skills. Solid organizational skills.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
You must have a BS in Civil or Chemical Engineering or a BS in a Science related degree program. You must pass an oral exam to see if you qualify for the job.

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
Make sure to ask questions when you don’t understand anything. Keep track of everything you work on and make sure you file everything you work on. Make sure your desk is organized.

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
Yes, I plan to work at my current job until I retire. The job has excellent benefits and I like the people I work with. My work environment is very relaxing and I am able to set my own deadlines.

What are your current career goals?
My goals are to keep my job and the continually progress to higher pay brackets within my department.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
Not at this time.

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

TitleLengthSalaryDescription
Prior Job 1Hazardous Substances Engineer1.75 years3100/monthI write hazardous waste permits.
Prior Job 2

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:4.5

GPASchoolDegree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
3.1UC DavisChemical Engineering
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)

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