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Occupational Health or Safety Specialist

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What is an Occupational Health or Safety Specialist?

Example of Occupational Health or Safety Specialist Job 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.

A Day in the Life of an Occupational Health or Safety Specialist

  • Develop or maintain medical monitoring programs for employees.
  • Develop or maintain hygiene programs, such as noise surveys, continuous atmosphere monitoring, ventilation surveys, or asbestos management plans.
  • Collect samples of hazardous materials or arrange for sample collection.
  • Investigate the adequacy of ventilation, exhaust equipment, lighting, or other conditions that could affect employee health, comfort, or performance.
  • Maintain or update emergency response plans or procedures.
  • Investigate accidents to identify causes or to determine how such accidents might be prevented in the future.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as an Occupational Health or Safety Specialist?

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.

Other Occupational Health or Safety Specialist Job Titles

  • Senior Safety Support Manager
  • OSHA Inspector (Occupational Safety and Health Administration Inspector)
  • Safety and Skill Based Pay Manager
  • Furniture and Bedding Inspector
  • Health and Safety Technician

Is There Job Demand for Occupational Health and Safety Specialists?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 83,700 jobs in the United States for Occupational Health or Safety Specialist. 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.

What is the Average Salary of an Occupational Health or Safety Specialist

The typical yearly salary for Occupational Health and Safety Specialists is somewhere 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 different U.S. states?

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

What Tools & Technology do Occupational Health and Safety Specialists Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Occupational Health and Safety Specialists:

  • 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 to Become an Occupational Health or Safety Specialist

Individuals working as an Occupational Health or Safety Specialist have obtained the following education levels:

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Where do Occupational Health and Safety Specialists Work?

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Below are examples of industries where Occupational Health and Safety Specialists work:

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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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