Occupational Health and Safety Specialists Career - Salary & More

Occupational Health and Safety Specialists Career Description

Occupational Health and Safety Specialists are required to 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 and ergonomic factors. Occupational Health and Safety Specialists conduct inspections and enforce laws and regulations governing the health and safety of individuals.

Duties and Responsibilities

Occupational Health and Safety Specialist duties include performing inspections and tell the organization’s management of areas not in compliance with the Federal and States laws or employer policies. They offer advice to management on the effectiveness and cost of health and safety programs. Training is offered on new policies regulations and how to better see a hazard situation. Occupational Health and Safety Specialists develop methods on how to predict hazards and prevent them from happening. They use their professional experience and knowledge combined to make evaluations on products, facilities, equipment, and those planned to be used at a future time. Specialists may also choose to conduct safety training for worker, their supervisors and even the management. The training sessions would offer advice on how to detect and recognize hazards and explain any recently new regulations.

Work Environment

Occupational Health and Safety Specialist are required to visit many different job sites when conducting inspections. Most of the time is spent out in the field, though one is spent behind a desk in an office. Occupational Health and Safety Specialists communicate with people outside the organization; represent the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone.

Employment Opportunities

Occupational Health and Safety Specialist opportunities are found in different organizations such as private companies, the State or Federal government, insurance companies and many private sectors. Occupational Health and Safety Specialists held about 56,000 jobs in 2006. Occupational Health and Safety Specialists opportunities are also found in manufacturing firms, private general medical and surgical hospitals, private colleges, universities, and professional schools.

How much do an Occupational Health and Safety Specialist make - Occupational Health and Safety Specialist Salary and Wages

Occupational Health and Safety Specialist salary ranges differ based on experience. People who are just entering the field earn an Occupational Health and Safety Specialist salary range that is right around $50,000 for their first 5 years. A salary between $60,000 and $75,000 is obtained through the years after that until the 20th year. Those who stay in the field more than 20 years see an Occupational Health and Safety Specialist salary range around $80,000 annually. Bonuses are available and range anywhere from $2,000 a year to $7,000 depending on the rank of the specialist.

How to become an Occupational Health and Safety Specialist

Educational and Training

All Occupational Health and Safety Specialists learn the laws or inspection procedures through a combination of classroom and hands on training. Many employers require their specialists to have a bachelor’s Occupational Health and Safety Specialist degree, or one in a related field such as engineering, biology, or chemistry. A master’s degree in industrial hygiene or a related subject is required for some positions. There is also an associate Occupational Health and Safety Specialist degree and one year certificate program, which is intended for technicians.

Other Qualifications and Skills

Although it is voluntary, many employers would like their Occupational Health and Safety Specialists to be certified. Certification is available through several different organizations. Requirements for theses credentials differ. Usually, they include passing an examination, specific education and experience, and participating in continuing education for recertification. Only people who are responsible and like detailed work should enter this occupation. Occupational Health and Safety Specialist skills include the ability to communicate well and possess good English and mathematics skills.

Advancement

Occupational Health and Safety Specialists with more experience and those who are involved in business functions are the ones who have the most possibility for advancement. If an advanced degree is obtained, professionals may choose to become researchers or professors. With an advanced Occupational Health and Safety Specialist degree, one can be promoted to a senior specialist position.

You can find information concerning online Occupational Health and Safety Specialist degrees and jump start your Occupational Health and Safety Specialist career by checking out the colleges and degrees below.

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