The profession of garbage collecting is often stigmatized for what it is. We can even recall our own parents and teachers telling us to do our best in school. If we didn’t, we’d end up doing the same as local garbagemen. But did you know that these people earn more than teachers?
According to multiple interviews, garbage collectors in New York earn more than jobs that require a college degree. On average, they earn about $100,000 a year.
New York City Garbagemen
In 2016, CNN Money published an article about two New York City trash collectors, Noel Molina and Tony Sankar. The report gives us a peek at the duo’s life as sanitation workers. They work for Crown Containers, a privately owned waste management company owned by brothers David and Jerry Antonacci.
Molina, the designated truck driver, reportedly makes an average of $112,000 annually, while his partner, Sankar, averages at $100,000. Both men reported that they were high school dropouts, and both have established their tenure in Crown Containers. The duo works the graveyard shift from 7 pm to 3 am, regardless of the weather conditions.
According to the Antonacci brothers, both Molina’s and Sankar’s wages have increased almost every year they worked for the company. The owners mentioned that it isn’t easy to find qualified individuals to work in waste collection and management, despite its low educational background requirement. That is why they often increase the salaries of their existing employees. (Source: CNN Business)
How Does One Join the Team?
While there are usually no requirements for higher education to succeed in this particular career path, there are steps to follow to pursue a career in the said field. These requirements may vary depending on the hiring company.
- High School Diploma – almost all garbage collection positions require the candidate to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent like a GED.
- Must Be Physically Fit – most of the work in the garbage collection industry requires some sort of physical activity, like lifting heavy garbage bags and discarded objects. It is essential that the candidate is physically fit and has adequate stamina.
- Need to Acquire Necessary Licenses – some positions in the industry require special licenses. Truck drivers need to have commercial driver’s licenses before taking on that role. Other collectors who handle toxic or flammable waste also hold special accredited licenses.
- Needs to Go Through Adequate Training – though there are courses available in preparation to become a garbage collector, most of the training is conducted by the employer.
What are the Benefits of Becoming a Garbage Collector?
Though society usually stigmatizes the career and collectors work longer and more physically demanding hours, they enjoy several benefits. Besides the higher wages, here are some of the benefits they enjoy. (Source: CNN Business)
- Job Security – the likelihood of a garbage collector losing his job to someone else is very low. And to add to that, employees in the field enjoy full health care coverage and a 401K retirement account. Newer methods of recycling also mean creating job opportunities in the industry.
- Physical Activity – employees in this industry do not need to worry about leading a sedentary lifestyle. They are always on the go and always apply physical activity in their jobs.
- Weekends and Holidays Off – most garbage collectors are not required to work during weekends and holidays. This allows them to have a better work-life balance.
(Source: Job Evaluator)