HAZMAT Endorsement Training in AZ and NV: Southwest Truck Driver Training’s ELDT-Approved H Endorsement Program
In order to transport hazardous materials, such as flammable and combustible liquids, gases, or other explosives, truck drivers must get a special HAZMAT endorsement added to their commercial driver's license (CDL).
What Is a HAZMAT Endorsement?
A HAZMAT (H) endorsement is a CDL endorsement that permits drivers to haul hazardous materials and is available to anyone who holds a Class A CDL, Class B CDL, or Class C CDL. HAZMAT drivers are trained in handling, distributing, and disposing of hazardous materials and must adhere to strict standards to ensure their own and the public's safety.
How to Get a HAZMAT Endorsement
To qualify for a HAZMAT endorsement, you'll first need to meet the following criteria:
- Be 21 years of age
- Have U.S. citizenship or legal permanent residency
- Have a valid CDL
- Have a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) medical card
- Have required identification documentation
With the federal Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) requirements that went into effect in February 2022, drivers hoping to earn a HAZMAT endorsement have to complete a Hazardous Material theory training program before taking their written test. The program must come from a training program on the official Training Provider Registry, such as the one offered by Southwest Truck Driver Training.
These are the steps to earn your HAZMAT (H) endorsement.
Step 1: Obtain HAZMAT Theory Training
First, you need to sign up for and complete your hazardous materials theory training with an ELDT-approved program. As long as you have a current CDL, you can enroll in this class at Southwest Truck Driver Training.
Step 2: Pass the HAZMAT Knowledge Test
Next, depending on where you live, you either need to first take and pass your HAZMAT theory knowledge test at your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office, or undergo a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) background check, known as a Security Threat Assessment (listed as Step 3).
You'll have to do both steps regardless, but the order is determined by your state of residence. For example, in:
- Arizona: You must successfully complete the HAZMAT knowledge test before beginning the Security Threat Assessment process with TSA.
- Nevada: You must apply for your TSA background check before taking the hazardous materials knowledge test. Once TSA approves your fingerprint check, you can take the test.
Step 3: Complete Your TSA Security Threat Assessment Application
Whether you complete this step before or after taking your knowledge test, you need to fill out your TSA application online through the TSA government site or in person at an application center (residents of Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin may only apply through their local DMV).
Then, you need to schedule an appointment online (or by calling 855-347-8371) to visit the application center. Once there, you'll provide any required documentation and undergo fingerprinting. The fee is $86.50* for new applicants.
The background check takes between 30-45 days. If approved, TSA will send official notification to your state of license and the state can either approve you to take your knowledge test (NV) or issue you your HAZMAT (H) endorsement if you've already taken the test (AZ).
If, however, TSA finds disqualifying information on your background check, you'll receive a letter with instructions on what to do next. You can check your application status online at any time.
*Truck drivers who already have a valid TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Credential) may be exempt from some of the HAZMAT endorsement background check requirements and pay a reduced fee of $67.
Hazardous Materials (H) Endorsement Program at Southwest
Southwest Truck Driver Training (SWTDT) offers a four-hour HAZMAT endorsement Theory and Knowledge program. After completing training, those wishing to obtain a HAZMAT endorsement will need to successfully complete the federally required TSA background check and take and pass a 50-question exam at their local DMV.
The HAZMAT endorsement program is available at all three campuses. Check with your closest SWTDT campus for program scheduling and availability.
What Does HAZMAT Training Include?
HAZMAT training generally covers how to maneuver a vehicle carrying hazardous substances and the responsibilities associated with HAZMAT driving.
According to ELDT regulations, the HAZMAT theory curriculum must include:
- Basic introductory HAZMAT requirements
- Operational HAZMAT requirements
- Reporting HAZMAT crashes and releases
- Tunnels and railroad-highway grade crossing requirements
- Loading and unloading hazardous materials
- HAZMAT on passenger vehicles
- Bulk packages
- Operating emergency equipment
- Emergency response procedures
- Engine (fueling)
- Tire check
- Routes and route planning
- Procedures surrounding Hazardous Materials Safety Permits, including communications, constant attendance, and parking
How Long Does It Take to Get a HAZMAT Endorsement?
From start to finish, prospective HAZMAT drivers should allow 80 to 90 days from applying to receive their endorsement. Drivers can typically complete a training program for the HAZMAT endorsement in four hours.
How Long Is a HAZMAT Endorsement Good For?
HAZMAT endorsements are generally valid for several years but vary by state. In Arizona and Nevada, your TSA background check is valid for five years. You will need to submit a new background check every five years to keep your HAZMAT endorsement.
What Can Disqualify You from Getting a HAZMAT Endorsement?
A variety of crimes can disqualify you from receiving a HAZMAT endorsement, either permanently or for five to seven years, depending on the circumstances.
You may be permanently disqualified from earning your HAZMAT endorsement if you have been convicted of the following crimes:
- Espionage or conspiracy to commit espionage
- Sedition or conspiracy to commit sedition
- Treason or conspiracy to commit treason
- Terrorism or conspiracy to commit terrorism
- A crime involving a transportation security incident
- Improper transportation of a hazardous material
- Unlawful possession, use, sale, distribution, manufacture, purchase, receipt, transfer, shipping, transporting, import, export, storage of, or dealing in an explosive or explosive device
- Threatening or knowingly conveying false information concerning the deliverance, placement, or detonation of an explosive or other lethal device in a public space, a state or government facility, a public transportations system, or an infrastructure facility
- Violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act or similar
Types of Jobs for a HAZMAT Endorsement
The federal government breaks down the kind of goods HAZMAT drivers can transport into nine classes:
- Class 1:Explosive materials
- Class 2:Gases, such as household petroleum-based products
- Class 3:Flammable and combustible liquids, such as gasoline, ethanol, and diesel fuel
- Class 4:Flammable solids, spontaneously combustible materials, and dangerous when wet materials
- Class 5:Oxidizers and organic peroxides
- Class 6:Toxic materials and infectious substances, such as agricultural pesticides
- Class 7:Radioactive materials
- Class 8:Corrosive materials
- Class 9:Miscellaneous dangerous goods
HAZMAT drivers usually work regional or over-the-road (OTR) routes, but local jobs are available. All liquids and liquefied gas must be transported in a tanker, so you'll also need to obtain a tanker (X) endorsement if you wish to transport those substances. With both endorsements, you'll be able to work as a fuel truck driver, liquid tanker driver, hazardous waste shipper, or radioactive waste shipper.
Salaries and Job Outlook for HAZMAT Drivers
While truck driving jobs, in general, are expected to increase by 6% through 2030, the number of available HAZMAT jobs is also projected to rise over the next decade as nuclear facilities close and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency works to remove hazardous materials.
Fortunately, HAZMAT drivers typically earn more than truck drivers without the endorsement, with average yearly salaries of $65,119, compared to $50,340 annually for heavy and tractor-trailer drivers.
According to Indeed, truck drivers with a HAZMAT endorsement can earn over 6% more than truck drivers without the endorsement—usually due to the additional training requirements and potential risks of transporting hazardous goods.