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Occupational Health or Safety Specialist

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What Does it Take to Be an Occupational Health or Safety Specialist?

Occupational Health or Safety Specialist Job Description Review, evaluate, and analyze work environments and design programs and procedures to control, eliminate, and prevent disease or injury caused by chemical, physical, and biological agents or ergonomic factors. May conduct inspections and enforce adherence to laws and regulations governing the health and safety of individuals. May be employed in the public or private sector. Includes environmental protection officers.

What Do Occupational Health and Safety Specialists Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Investigate health-related complaints and inspect facilities to ensure that they comply with public health legislation and regulations.
  • Investigate accidents to identify causes or to determine how such accidents might be prevented in the future.
  • Coordinate “right-to-know” programs regarding hazardous chemicals or other substances.
  • Inspect specified areas to ensure the presence of fire prevention equipment, safety equipment, or first-aid supplies.
  • Conduct audits at hazardous waste sites or industrial sites or participate in hazardous waste site investigations.
  • Conduct safety training or education programs and demonstrate the use of safety equipment.

Occupational Health or Safety Specialist Required Skills

Below is a list of the skills most Occupational Health and Safety Specialists say are important on the job.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

  • Restaurant Inspector
  • Food and Drug Inspector
  • Safety Manager
  • Sanitation Inspector
  • Cause Analyst

Occupational Health or Safety Specialist Job Outlook

In the United States, there were 83,700 jobs for Occupational Health or Safety Specialist in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 8.1% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 6,800 new jobs for Occupational Health or Safety Specialist by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 5,000 job openings in this field each year.

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The states with the most job growth for Occupational Health or Safety Specialist are Utah, North Dakota, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Vermont, Rhode Island, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Occupational Health and Safety Specialists Salary

The average yearly salary of an Occupational Health or Safety Specialist ranges between $42,450 and $108,520.

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Occupational Health and Safety Specialists who work in Rhode Island, District of Columbia, or California, make the highest salaries.

How much do Occupational Health and Safety Specialists make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $71,000
Alaska $86,940
Arizona $70,840
Arkansas $64,620
California $88,400
Colorado $86,390
Connecticut $83,660
Delaware $75,580
District of Columbia $90,540
Florida $66,790
Georgia $71,450
Hawaii $73,900
Idaho $72,440
Illinois $76,390
Indiana $63,950
Iowa $70,710
Kansas $64,840
Kentucky $66,730
Louisiana $76,280
Maine $69,380
Maryland $78,920
Massachusetts $84,480
Michigan $70,910
Minnesota $78,140
Mississippi $70,920
Missouri $69,880
Montana $69,890
Nebraska $66,990
Nevada $74,020
New Hampshire $74,410
New Jersey $80,990
New Mexico $72,440
New York $76,020
North Carolina $69,870
North Dakota $88,470
Ohio $76,740
Oklahoma $67,410
Oregon $74,000
Pennsylvania $70,330
Rhode Island $92,330
South Carolina $61,990
South Dakota $68,220
Tennessee $75,350
Texas $75,720
Utah $78,040
Vermont $68,660
Virginia $71,260
Washington $78,240
West Virginia $73,900
Wisconsin $66,070
Wyoming $76,790

Tools & Technologies Used by Occupational Health and Safety Specialists

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Occupational Health and Safety Specialists may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Word processing software
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft Project
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Database software
  • Microsoft Active Server Pages ASP
  • EcoLogic ADAM Indoor Air Quality and Analytical Data Management

How do I Become an Occupational Health or Safety Specialist?

Education needed to be an Occupational Health or Safety Specialist:

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Occupational Health and Safety Specialists Sector

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The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

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You May Also Be Interested In…

Those interested in being an Occupational Health or Safety Specialist may also be interested in:

Those who work as an Occupational Health or Safety Specialist sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

References:

Image Credit: Gina Collecchia via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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