Hazardous Training Instructor: Salary and Career Facts

Research what it takes to become a hazardous training instructor. Learn about the job duties, education requirements, salary, and job outlook information to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Hazardous Training Instructor?

Hazardous training instructors are occupational health and safety specialists who work focuses on educating workers about potential risks and how to avoid them. As a hazardous training instructor, you teach courses and hold workshops that help workers learn how to stay safe on the job on a daily basis, as well as in emergency situations. You might also observe individual employees and offer tips on reducing health and safety risks in their specific occupation.

The table below provides an outline of the general requirements for this career.

Education Required Bachelor's degree
Training Required U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), on-the-job training
Key Responsibilities Teach industry workers how to expose of hazardous substances, prepare lesson plans, create tests, perform student assessments
Job Growth (2014-24) 4% for all occupational health and safety specialists*
Average Salary (2015) $71,790 for occupational health and safety specialists*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Where Would I Work as a Hazardous Training Instructor?

Hazardous training instructors are needed in industries where workers are exposed to, handle or may have contact with hazardous substances. Some jobs where employees may require hazardous training include railroad workers and truck drivers.

Emergency workers, such as emergency medical technicians, police officers and fire fighters, often require hazardous training in case they come in contact with hazardous materials while responding to calls. If you are training these workers, you may teach through state or local programs.

Chemical manufacturing workers are constantly exposed to materials that could cause extreme harm to them, the environment and others if not handled properly. Formal training is usually mandatory. You may teach these workers through programs set up by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or other federal and state agencies.

Construction workers may need hazardous training if they come in contact with materials such as asbestos, mold, toxic chemicals or hazardous waste in the course of their job. OSHA has specific training for the construction industry (www.osha.gov).

What Training Courses Are Available?

For most hazardous training, OSHA offers instructor courses because that federal agency sets and mandates hazardous training standards. However, emergency workers may also find training with state and local agencies.

If you will be teaching emergency workers, local or state training programs usually offer a train-the-trainer course for instructors. Instructor courses may cover instruction methods, lesson plan preparation, testing methods and student evaluation. To qualify as an instructor, you may have to pass a train-the-trainer course, hold a college degree, be an emergency personnel supervisor and complete the course you are learning to teach.

OSHA offers a train-the-trainer course for disaster site workers. This course teaches you how to train workers who will work on the sites of man-made and natural disasters. Through the program, you will practice teaching methods and presentation skills. To take this course, you must have completed either the trainer course in construction or general industry, have three years of experience as a safety trainer and complete Hazardous Waste Operators and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) training.

As an instructor for chemical manufacturing workers, you may conduct courses for your employer after completing the OSHA general industry train-the-trainer course. This course allows you to teach an industry safety and health outreach program, and this course may be 10-30 hours in length. You will study OSHA guidelines and instruction methods. The use of visual aids and course material creation is also covered. Practice acting as an instructor is also part of the course. To qualify for this course, you must have completed the OSHA standards for general industry training course, have five years of experience working in general industry safety and hold a degree in occupational safety and health.

To qualify as a trainer in the construction industry, you must complete the OSHA construction industry trainer course, have five years or equivalent training in construction safety and complete the OSHA standards for the construction industry course. The construction industry train-the-trainer course focuses on important safety and health concerns within the industry, teaching methods and class planning strategies.

Is Continuing Education Required?

All OSHA trainers must complete refresher courses every four years. The OSHA refresher courses offer updated training on OSHA regulations, industry developments and provide new course information. In state or local programs, refresher courses may also be required. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average annual salary for an occupational health and safety specialists in May 2015 was $71,790. The BLS also reports the projected job growth for all occupational health and safety specialists from 2014-2024 is 4%, which is slower than average for all occupations.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you are interested in helping ensure health and safety in the workplace, you could consider becoming a health and safety engineer. In this job, you would design protocols and technologies that can be implemented in the workplace in order to keep people from getting sick or injured on the job, as well as to ensure product safety and prevent property damage. For an entry-level engineering job, you need to have a bachelor's degree. Another job where you would be involved in hazard prevention is a position as a fire inspector. Fire inspectors evaluate buildings to make sure that they comply with fire codes, and they investigate fires after they happen in order to prevent similar emergencies in the future. The minimum educational requirement is a high school diploma, but many have previous experience in firefighting or policing.

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