If you have a sense of compassion, an interest in criminal justice and a very strong stomach, you may be an ideal candidate for a lucrative career as a crime scene cleaner. These professionals are responsible for disposing of hazardous and biological substances. This may include removing harmful chemicals from drug labs, picking up body parts from accident sites or cleaning blood-splattered murder scenes.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide specific information about crime scene cleaners. Such positions can be classified as hazardous materials removal workers in the bureau's 2010-11 Occupational Outlook Handbook. According to the handbook, the median average salary for related positions was $17.94 an hour in May 2008. The highest earners made more than $30.42 an hour and the lowest 10 percent earned $11.41 or less. The middle 50 percent made between $14.09 and $24.09 hourly.
Simply Hired, a career and salary website, reports that crime scene cleaners earn an average annual salary of about $39,000 per year as of 2011. According to the BLS, the median of hazardous waste removal positions make about $37,600 annually.
Hourly Rates and Ownership
Online resources like Metro News Magazine, What It Costs and Crime Scene Clean-Up provide hourly wage and service charge information related to owners and employees of crime scene cleaning companies. In 2009, the average service fee required by owners of crime scene businesses was about $250, according to Metro. In 2011, What It Costs reported that this fee could be as high as $600. The Crime Scene Clean-Up website reported that in 2010 employees of such businesses made between $23 and $45 per hour. JobDescriptions.net estimates that the average hourly rate for hazardous materials removal workers in 2011 is around $18.
Crime scene cleaning jobs are not recommended for the excessively emotional, overly empathetic or squeamish individuals. Cleaning up blood, guts, bodily fluids and body parts and dealing with grieving family members may be too much for some to bear. The circumstances behind the crime may be of a personal nature, such as murder, suicide or accidental death due to negligence. Out of respect for victims and family members of victims confidentiality and discretion are often required.
2016 Salary Information for Hazardous Materials Removal Workers
Hazardous materials removal workers earned a median annual salary of $40,640 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, hazardous materials removal workers earned a 25th percentile salary of $32,240, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $56,210, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 46,200 people were employed in the U.S. as hazardous materials removal workers.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Hazardous Materials Removal Workers
- Simply Hired: Average Crime Scene Clean Up Salaries
- What It Costs: What It Costs To Clean Up A Murder Scene
- Job Descriptions: Hazardous Materials Removal Job Description & Career Opportunities
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Hazardous Materials Removal Workers
- Career Trend: Hazardous Materials Removal Workers
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