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Occupational Health and Safety Specialists

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What Do Occupational Health and Safety Specialists Do?

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.

List of Occupational Health or Safety Specialist Job Duties

  • Order suspension of activities that pose threats to workers’ health or safety.
  • Maintain or update emergency response plans or procedures.
  • Maintain inventories of hazardous materials or hazardous wastes, using waste tracking systems to ensure that materials are handled properly.
  • Collaborate with engineers or physicians to institute control or remedial measures for hazardous or potentially hazardous conditions or equipment.
  • 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.

Things an Occupational Health or Safety Specialist Should Know How to Do

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.

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

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.

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

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

  • Safety and Skill Based Pay Manager
  • Health Inspector
  • Environmental Protection Inspector
  • Senior Safety Support Manager
  • Environmental Health and Safety Manager

Occupational Health or Safety Specialist Job Outlook

In the United States, there were 83,700 jobs for Occupational Health and Safety Specialists in 2016.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 8.1% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 6,800 new jobs for Occupational Health and Safety Specialists by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 5,000 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Occupational Health and Safety Specialists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Occupational Health and Safety Specialists are Texas, California, and New York.

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.

Occupational Health or Safety Specialist Salary

The average yearly salary of an Occupational Health or Safety Specialist ranges between $42,450 and $108,520. An Occupational Health or Safety Specialist median salary is $73,020.

Salary Ranges for Occupational Health and Safety Specialists

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

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

Rhode Island

$92,330

District of Columbia

$90,540

North Dakota

$88,470

California

$88,400

Alaska

$86,940

Colorado

$86,390

Massachusetts

$84,480

Connecticut

$83,660

New Jersey

$80,990

Maryland

$78,920

Washington

$78,240

Minnesota

$78,140

Utah

$78,040

Wyoming

$76,790

Ohio

$76,740

Illinois

$76,390

Louisiana

$76,280

New York

$76,020

Texas

$75,720

Delaware

$75,580

Tennessee

$75,350

New Hampshire

$74,410

Nevada

$74,020

Oregon

$74,000

Hawaii

$73,900

West Virginia

$73,900

Idaho

$72,440

New Mexico

$72,440

Georgia

$71,450

Virginia

$71,260

Alabama

$71,000

Mississippi

$70,920

Michigan

$70,910

Arizona

$70,840

Iowa

$70,710

Pennsylvania

$70,330

Montana

$69,890

Missouri

$69,880

North Carolina

$69,870

Maine

$69,380

Vermont

$68,660

South Dakota

$68,220

Oklahoma

$67,410

Nebraska

$66,990

Florida

$66,790

Kentucky

$66,730

Wisconsin

$66,070

Kansas

$64,840

Arkansas

$64,620

Indiana

$63,950

South Carolina

$61,990

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 Office
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Project
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Active Server Pages ASP
  • SAP

Where do Occupational Health and Safety Specialists Work?

Occupational Health or Safety Specialist Sectors

Those thinking about becoming Occupational Health and Safety Specialists might also be interested in the following careers:

  • Pathologists

Those who work as Occupational Health and Safety Specialists sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

  • Foresters
  • Freight and Cargo Inspectors
  • Chemical Engineers

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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