What Education Is Required to Be a Health Inspector?

If you are an occupational health and safety technician or specialist, you protect employees, property, the environment, and the public from hazards created by workplaces. Your attention to detail and no-nonsense approach help you ensure safety by performing inspections and levying fines. If you care about the safety of workplaces, the environment, and the general public, working as a health and safety technician or specialist may be for you. Read on to learn more about this field. Schools offering Community Health Education & Advocacy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Educational Requirements

As a health and safety technician, you need to be an exceptional communicator. You will also need to be detail-oriented and responsible. You will be the liaison between companies and the law. It will be your job to make sure companies understand what must be done to stay within regulations. The following are specific job titles that fall under the category of health inspectors and basic job requirements to qualify for such positions.

Important Facts About Degree Programs in Public Health

Common Courses Industrial hygiene
Hazard communication
Bloodborne pathogens
Concentrations Epidemiology & biostatistics
Public health nutrition
Community health education
Online Availability Fully online (all levels)
Continuing Education Optional credentials, such as Construction Health and Safety Technician Certification
Master's degree (for certain specialist positions)

Health and Safety Technician

You have several options for obtaining entry-level work in the health and safety technician field. You can gain a two-year, associate degree or a certificate through study and classes, as many technicians do. You may also choose to enter the workforce through training and work experience. If you choose this path, you might decide to volunteer, or you may already work in the industry. Every health and safety technician receives training in the laws and inspection routines necessary to perform the job.

Health and Safety Specialist

To become a health and safety specialist, most inspectors earn a four-year, bachelor's degree in occupational health, safety, or a related major. Some positions may require a master's degree as well. Students will need a degree from an accredited institution; it is valuable to attend a school that offers internships in the industry.

Work Environment

As a health and safety technician or specialist, you can work for a variety of employers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), about 19% of safety technicians worked for state or local governments in 2012; 32% of safety specialists worked for federal, state, or city governments the same year. Other inspectors work for private companies or consulting companies to keep workplaces inspection-ready.

The work environment of technicians and specialists vary considerably. From offices to mines, technicians and specialists do much of their work in the field and travel frequently. As a health inspector, you may find yourself working in dangerous or stressful conditions trying to protect the public or a company's employees.

Salary and Job Outlook

Work for health and safety technicians was predicted to grow by about 11% from 2012-2022, while health and safety specialist job growth was estimated to increase by around seven percent during the same decade, according to the BLS. Opportunities in both occupations will rise with advances in safety technology and with public demand for environmental and workplace safety.

As of May 2014, the BLS reported that the average annual wage of occupational health and safety technicians was $51,270. The BLS also reported health and safety specialists earned an average yearly salary of $70,470, as of May 2014.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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