The Guide for Studying for the Hazardous Materials Test

Hazard trucking

Why Should I Get My Hazardous Materials Endorsement?

When you find out how much time and studying it takes to get a hazardous materials endorsement, you may be wondering how this endorsement can improve your career and pay off for you.

A hazardous materials endorsement is in high demand in the trucking industry. With the potential danger in these materials, truckers must go through an extensive certification process to get their endorsement. The strict licensing requirements completely exclude some drivers, which makes it even more important for companies to find well qualified truckers.

This can also benefit your career if you have a tank endorsement. Tanks/hazardous materials is a combined endorsement in most states, and it allows you to transport hazardous materials in greater quantities.

If you look at job openings from trucking employers, you may find that many companies offer bonuses or higher pay rates to truckers who haul hazardous materials. Overall, the average salary for a truck driver in the United States is $39,520 per year, with job openings expected to increase 5% between 2014 and 2024 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016).

Check out our hazardous materials study guide below as well as our practice test to learn more about this career opportunity.

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How Should I Study for My Hazardous Materials Endorsement?

The hazardous materials endorsement is far more involved than many other endorsements, so set aside a good chunk of time to study every night until you take your test.
On a federal level, topics you must study include:
• Driver safety
• Public safety
• Mixing products
• Loading materials
• Unloading materials
• Documentation

On top of the subjects regulated by the FMCSA, you should be familiar with the restrictions in your home state. Check the CDL manual in your state licensure to find out what the test covers, what information you have to know, and how questions are worded in your state.

After you study the material in multiple ways, including reading the manual, making outlines, and making flashcards, test your knowledge with our practice test. Practice tests put you in the right mindset for an endorsement test. They show you some of the questions you may deal with on your way to an endorsement.

Requirements for Hazardous Materials Endorsement

Besides this endorsement, almost every endorsement is regulated on a state-by-state level. However, since this requires you to transport materials that can be dangerous in the wrong hands, you have to go through a federal process as well. The FMCSA requires you to have a valid commercial driver’s license and pass a knowledge test.

They also require you to pass a vision screening, complete a TSA background check, and submit your fingerprints (FMCSA, 2016). When you go through this process, you must also pay a fee of $86.50.

The TSA allows you to register online in most states, with the exception of the states listed below:
• Florida
• Kentucky
• Maryland
• Mississippi
• New York
• Pennsylvania
• Texas
• Virginia
• Wisconsin

When you have your hazardous materials endorsement, you could be responsible for hauling a huge variety of dangerous liquids, gases, and other materials. Since this process can take a considerable amount of time from start to finish, you may want to apply online through the TSA as soon as possible. You can then study intensely until the day of your test.

Be ready to memorize a solid amount of information before taking your test. The FMCSA has a huge variety of tables and charts that dictate how, when, and where different materials must be labeled, documented, transported, and loaded. These topics come up frequently on the test, so you'll need to know the specifics of each chart and table.

Get ready for your endorsement test by checking out your state’s CDL manual and going through our hazardous materials endorsement practice test.