What Do Occupational Health or Safety Specialist Do?
Career 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?
- Collect samples of dust, gases, vapors, or other potentially toxic materials for analysis.
- Collaborate with engineers or physicians to institute control or remedial measures for hazardous or potentially hazardous conditions or equipment.
- Coordinate “right-to-know” programs regarding hazardous chemicals or other substances.
- Inspect or evaluate workplace environments, equipment, or practices to ensure compliance with safety standards and government regulations.
- Perform laboratory analyses or physical inspections of samples to detect disease or to assess purity or cleanliness.
- Maintain or update emergency response plans or procedures.
Occupational Health or Safety Specialist Required Skills
When polled, Occupational Health and Safety Specialists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:
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.
Types of Occupational Health or Safety Specialist Jobs
- Environmental Specialist
- Environmental, Health, and Safety EHS Officer
- Senior Safety Support Manager
- Cause Analyst
- Industrial Hygiene Technician
Is There Job Demand for Occupational Health and Safety Specialists?
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.
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
Occupational Health and Safety Specialists make between $42,450 and $108,520 a year.
Occupational Health and Safety Specialists who work in Rhode Island, District of Columbia, or California, make the highest salaries.
Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Occupational Health and Safety Specialists in different U.S. states.
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$90,540|
What Tools do Occupational Health and Safety Specialists Use?
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
- Microsoft Windows
- Microsoft Project
- Microsoft SharePoint
- Database software
- Microsoft Active Server Pages ASP
- EcoLogic ADAM Indoor Air Quality and Analytical Data Management
Becoming an Occupational Health or Safety Specialist
What education is needed to be an Occupational Health or Safety Specialist?
How many years of work experience do I need?
Occupational Health and Safety Specialists Sector
Below are examples of industries where Occupational Health and Safety Specialists work:
Those thinking about becoming an Occupational Health or Safety Specialist might also be interested in the following careers:
Career changers with experience as an Occupational Health or Safety Specialist sometimes find work in one of the following fields:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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