Occupational Health and Safety Specialist
While medical staff do their best to take care of their patients, health and safety specialists work to decrease the number of patients that need medical care. They inspect public and working environments to ensure that the areas are safe, well maintained, and properly sanitized. These specialists ensure that all employers adhere to government guidelines and regulations, and report any non-complying groups to the proper authorities.
Minimum Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree
Top 3 Skills: Thoroughness, Stamina, Eye for Detail
Average Starting Salary: $40,000/year
During an inspection, a health and safety specialist is on the lookout for many things, including:
- Hazardous materials
- Precarious situations
- Malfunctioning equipment
- Improperly stored or contained materials
- Outdated machinery or (perishable) material
Specialists also act as advisors for employers seeking to better their workplace. They may recommend certain safety practices, or help troubleshoot an accident-prone part of the building. As they are trained in current regulations, health and safety specialists can help employers avoid government fines by doing unofficial evaluations of the premises. By maintaining the proper standards, the employer saves money on fines and improves the lives of his/her employees.
Occupational health and safety specialists must complete their bachelors degree in occupational health, safety, or a related scientific or technical field, such as engineering, biology, or chemistry. Students can then intern with or job-shadow working specialists to begin learning inspection and maintenance duties.
High school students interested in becoming an occupational health and safety specialist should pursue courses in English, mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology and engineering.
Certification is available, though not necessary. The specific certificates vary between states and areas of specialization. Upon completing your degree, your university teachers and/or guidance counselors can give you an idea of which certificate to pursue.
Job Outlook: Poor
Employment is only predicted to grow by 9% in this field, which is well below the national average. However, the median annual salary is $64,660 (as of 2010), with the top 10% of workers earning over $94,000 annually.
- Occupational Health and Safety Specialist
- Ave Starting Salary:
- approx. $40,000yr
- Ave Median Salary:
- approx. $64,661yr
- Job Outlook:
- Education Required:
- Public Health, General (4 Yr Bachelors)
- Public Health, Other (4 Yr Bachelors)
- Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene (4 Yr Bachelors)