Careers in safety matters have developed to prevent incidents and accidents that can lead to injuries, illnesses, harm to the environment, or damage to property or equipment. With a median annual salary of $73,600, these occupational health and safety specialists are essential in the overall functionality of a company. As with any career path, safety specialists don’t start out making that salary and generally start with safety technician jobs first.
Safety technician jobs are entry-level positions that require a high school diploma or an equivalent. There are advanced-level safety technician jobs that prefer an associate’s degree or certificate, or on-the-job training. The main responsibility of a safety technician is to protect employees, facilities, the public, and the environment from occupational hazards. Many safety technicians are employed by the government to visit various organizations for official inspections, while other technicians are consultants to industrial companies.
To transition from safety technician to occupational safety consultant, you will typically need a bachelor’s in engineering, construction, safety, or another related field, a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) designation, and safety consultant experience. Safety consultant jobs can take place in a wider range of organizations in both public and private sectors. These include hospitals, manufacturers, restaurants, construction companies, hotels, and other large private companies. A safety consultant must have a comprehensive knowledge of OSHA rules and regulations, a familiarity with ANSI, NFPA Standards, and DOT regulations, and the ability to interpret and apply these complex regulations and codes.
As opposed to a consultant, a safety manager works more closely day-to-day with a job site or business to prevent accidents. Typically, a safety manager needs a bachelor’s in occupational or industrial safety or related field, experience working with OSHA inspectors, and to be a CSP or Certified Health and Safety Technician (CHST). A large part of a safety manager’s job is to write reports that detail the worksite evaluation, decisions they made about worksite safety, and reasons why they made those decisions.
Safety specialist jobs are typically the most advanced, with some positions requiring a master’s degree in industrial hygiene, health physics, or related field on top of the typically needed bachelor’s degree and training in specific laws and inspection procedures. A safety specialist is responsible for preventing, reducing, and eliminating a workplace’s harmful situations. While many of the previously mentioned positions are focused on identifying issues and collecting data, safety specialist designs programs and recommends measures to achieve their responsibilities.
Safety professional jobs are designed to do exactly what it sounds like: ensure the safety of everyone in the workplace as well as the environment around it. Identifying and enforcing these measures makes our world a safer and more trustworthy place.