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What Are Some Jobs in the Occupational Health and Safety Field?

The field of occupational health and safety consists of specialists and technicians who ensure the safety of work environments, equipment and employees. Part of their job consists of inspecting and testing various components of office spaces, hazardous waste sites, factories, construction sites and machinery. Read on to learn about some jobs in occupational health and safety.

About Occupational Health and Safety Jobs

Popular jobs within the field include safety engineer, fire protection engineer, safety coordinator, environmental health and safety specialist and industrial hygienist. These positions are outlined in greater detail below.

Important Facts About Popular Jobs in Occupational Health and Safety

Safety Engineer Industrial Hygienist Environmental Health and Safety Specialist
Average Annual Salary (June 2019)* $71,823 $71,768 $61,801
Job Outlook (2016-2026)**9% (Health and Safety Engineers)8% (Occupational Health and Safety Specialists and Technicians) 11% (Environmental Scientists and Specialists)
Required Education Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree; master's degree preferred
Key Skills Organization; observation; leadership; attention to detail Analytical thinking; problem solving; creativity; clear communication Attention to detail; clear communication; observation; astute listening
Similar Occupations Safety coordinators; operations managers; human resources managers Environmental health and safety directors; health and safety managers; administrative assistants Safety officers; environmental health and safety coordinators; general managers

Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Potential Careers in Occupational Health and Safety

Safety Engineer

A safety engineer addresses design issues at job sites. These professionals inspect equipment, facilities and workstations where safety and health standards need to be evaluated to ensure that they adhere to laws and regulations. They investigate and assess risk and perform hazard-analysis exercises where physical and environmental conditions must be monitored and controlled.

Industrial Hygienist

These professionals are responsible for operating and testing field equipment. They also conduct investigations in locations where hazardous pollutants might affect the environment. Industrial hygienists must identify airborne contaminants and safeguard against exposure to hydrocarbons and particulates. It is their responsibility to conduct indoor air quality tests and area-noise surveys.

Environmental Health and Safety Specialist

This specialist monitors the storage, transportation and disposal of hazardous waste materials. They also analyze food and water samples to ensure their quality and safety. Their jobs involve monitoring noise and radiation levels at job sites and conducting surveys for pest control and prevention. Moreover, they conduct health and safety investigations in residential areas.

Safety Coordinator

A safety coordinator takes a leadership role with a group of workers or a union. They are responsible for investigating accidents, keeping track of records and coordinating safety programs at employment facilities.

Fire Protection Engineer

Fire protection engineers aim to safeguard workers and facilities by testing and evaluating fuel loads and fire-exposure risk. These specialists design methods of protecting workers from fires and take measures to prevent them from occurring. They also design safety protocols in case of fire emergencies.