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Oil Recycling

Re-refining oil is redefining how we conserve natural resources

Waste management services jobs come in many forms and require many different skills and credentials
As the largest used oil collector in the United States, Safety-Kleen Systems recovers 230 million gallons of used oil annually that is refined and turned into new product that can be used in other vehicles. The process calls for transporters that can navigate highway, rail, and sea, as well as lab techs trained to use lab equipment and analyze results.

Noelle Matasovsky works as a lab chemist for Safety-Kleen Systems, Inc., in East Chicago, Indiana.

Safety-Kleen Systems is a national company that provides waste management services such as collecting and recycling oil, conducting industrial cleaning, and handling industrial waste.

“When the oil is done in your car, we send it through our refinery and it is then remade into new product to then be reused,” says Matasovsky. “I’m using almost 15 different types of equipment on a daily basis, and it does take training to make sure you’re able to use it and understand the results.”

Clinical laboratory technologists like Matasovsky may also perform tests to analyze fluids and other substances. The median annual wage for lab technologists and technicians is $57,800, and the field is projected to grow 7% from 2021 to 2031, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Clinical laboratory technologists typically need a bachelor’s degree, whereas technicians usually only need an associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate. Some states, however, require technologists and technicians to be licensed.

Mark Smith serves as an oil services driver and sales rep for Safety-Kleen Services.

“I drive a tanker truck servicing our Northwest Indiana region, collecting waste oil and waste antifreeze,” says Smith. “I had to get a CDL, which is a commercial driver’s license. I also had to go through an OSHA 40 training and hazmat training.”

A heavy and tractor-trailer truck driver transports goods from one location to another, and long-haul drivers can be away from home for days or weeks at a time. The median annual wage for a heavy and tractor-trailer truck driver is $48,310, with employment projected to grow 4% from 2021 to 2031, according to the BLS.

The occupation does not require a college degree, but truck drivers must have a commercial driver’s license.

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