The costs of certification and training means that encapsulation and asbestos abatement work is most often performed by specialized asbestos and hazardous materials contractors. The specific requirements for asbestos certification may vary slightly from state to state and are based on guidelines set by the federal government.
In the state of California, the required certification for asbestos work is the Asbestos Abatement Certification (ASB). The certification is awarded by testing. Five general subjects are covered by the certification exam: safety procedures and regulations, handling and containing asbestos-containing materials, asbestos abatement procedures, containment area preparation, and site evaluation.
Generally, asbestos abatement work must be done by certified professionals. However, in a very few instances, asbestos related work may be performed without asbestos certification. In California, the installation, maintenance or repair of a few types of asbestos-containing materials (asbestos cement pipe or sheets, vinyl asbestos floor materials, or asbestos bituminous or resinous materials) can be done by contractors without certification.
For all other types of asbestos-related work involving 100 square feet or more of asbestos-containing material, contractors are required to be certified by the state in order to perform the work.