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Become A Health Officer

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Working As A Health Officer

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Training and Teaching Others
  • $70,210

    Average Salary

What Does A Health Officer Do

Occupational health and safety specialists analyze many types of work environments and work procedures. Specialists inspect workplaces for adherence to regulations on safety, health, and the environment. They also design programs to prevent disease or injury to workers and damage to the environment.

Duties

Occupational health and safety specialists typically do the following:

  • Identify hazards in the workplace
  • Collect samples of potentially toxic materials for analysis
  • Inspect and evaluate workplace environments, equipment, and practices for compliance with corporate and government health and safety standards and regulations
  • Design and implement workplace processes and procedures that help protect workers from hazardous work conditions
  • Investigate accidents and incidents to identify their causes and to determine how they might be prevented
  • Conduct training on a variety of topics, such as emergency preparedness

Occupational health and safety specialists examine the workplace for environmental or physical factors that could affect employee health, safety, comfort, and performance. They may examine factors such as lighting, equipment, materials, and ventilation. Specialists seek to increase worker productivity by reducing absenteeism and equipment downtime. They also seek to save money by lowering insurance premiums and workers’ compensation payments and by preventing government fines.

Some specialists develop and conduct employee safety and training programs. These programs cover a range of topics, such as how to use safety equipment correctly and how to respond in an emergency.

In addition to protecting workers, specialists work to prevent harm to property, the environment, and the public by inspecting workplaces for chemical, physical, radiological, and biological hazards. Specialists who work for governments conduct safety inspections and can impose fines.

Occupational health and safety specialists work with engineers and physicians to control or fix hazardous conditions or equipment. They also work closely with occupational health and safety technicians to collect and analyze data in the workplace. 

The tasks of occupational health and safety specialists vary by industry, workplace, and types of hazards affecting employees. The following are examples of types of occupational health and safety specialists:

Ergonomists consider the design of industrial, office, and other equipment to maximize workers’ comfort, safety, and productivity.

Industrial or occupational hygienists identify workplace health hazards, such as lead, asbestos, noise, pesticides, and communicable diseases.

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How To Become A Health Officer

Occupational health and safety specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree in occupational health and safety or in a related scientific or technical field.

Education

Occupational health and safety specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree in occupational health and safety or in a related scientific or technical field, such as engineering, biology, or chemistry. For some positions, a master’s degree in industrial hygiene, health physics, or a related subject is required.

Typical courses include radiation science, hazardous material management and control, risk communications, and respiratory protection. These courses may vary with the specialty in which a student wants to work. For example, courses in health physics focus on topics that differ from those in industrial hygiene.

High school students interested in becoming occupational health and safety specialists should take courses in English, math, chemistry, biology, and physics.

Important Qualities

Ability to use technology. Occupational health and safety specialists must be able to use advanced technology. They often work with complex testing equipment.

Communication skills. Occupational health and safety specialists must be able to communicate safety instructions and concerns to employees and managers. They need to be able to work with technicians to collect and test samples of possible hazards, such as dust or vapors, in the workplace.

Detail oriented. Occupational health and safety specialists need to understand and follow safety standards and complex government regulations.

Physical stamina. Occupational health and safety specialists must be able to stand for long periods and be able to travel regularly. Some specialists work in environments that can be uncomfortable, such as tunnels or mines.

Problem-solving skills. Occupational health and safety specialists must be able to solve problems in order to design and implement workplace processes and procedures that help protect workers from hazardous work conditions.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although certification is voluntary, many employers encourage it. Certification is available through several organizations, depending on the field in which the specialists work. Specialists must have graduated from an accredited educational program and have work experience to be eligible to take most certification exams. To keep their certification, specialists usually are required to complete periodic continuing education.

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Health Officer jobs

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Health Officer Career Paths

Health Officer
Environmental Manager Operations Manager General Manager
Area Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Staff Nurse
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Case Manager Project Manager
Construction Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Owner
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Safety Trainer Operations Manager Operations Director
Director Of Facilities
11 Yearsyrs
Health And Safety Manager Human Resources Manager Plant Manager
Director Of Plant Operations
14 Yearsyrs
Safety Technician Safety Supervisor Operations Manager
Division Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Paramedic Security Officer Field Supervisor
Field Operation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Health And Safety Manager Environmental Manager Safety Manager
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Owner Registered Nurse Nurse Manager
Health Director
9 Yearsyrs
Specialist Security Officer Loss Prevention Agent
Loss Prevention Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Specialist Maintenance Technician Production Supervisor
Manufacturing Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Industrial Hygienist Safety Specialist Safety Supervisor
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Industrial Hygienist Safety Manager General Manager
President Of Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Safety Consultant Safety Supervisor Safety Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Safety Consultant Safety Manager
Project Safety Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Paramedic Operation Supervisor Heavy Equipment Operator
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Environmental Manager Environmental Health Safety Manager Safety Director
Risk Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Safety Trainer Safety Coordinator Safety Manager
Safety And Training Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Safety Technician Safety Coordinator Operations Manager
Senior Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Health Officer Demographics

Gender

Male

65.1%

Female

32.0%

Unknown

3.0%
Ethnicity

White

75.8%

Hispanic or Latino

11.3%

Asian

8.7%

Unknown

2.8%

Black or African American

1.3%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

41.5%

French

11.3%

German

5.7%

Swahili

3.8%

Mandarin

3.8%

Tamil

3.8%

Portuguese

3.8%

Arabic

3.8%

Swedish

1.9%

Gujarati

1.9%

Hindi

1.9%

Indonesian

1.9%

Malay

1.9%

Russian

1.9%

Thai

1.9%

Italian

1.9%

Greek

1.9%

Tagalog

1.9%

Lingala

1.9%

Japanese

1.9%
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Health Officer Education

Schools

Columbia Southern University

20.9%

University of Phoenix

7.0%

Walden University

6.2%

Eastern Kentucky University

5.4%

Saint Louis University-

4.7%

Michigan State University

4.7%

University of South Florida

3.9%

Pennsylvania State University

3.9%

Community College of the Air Force

3.9%

University of Washington

3.9%

State University of New York Albany

3.9%

Case Western Reserve University

3.9%

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

3.9%

East Tennessee State University

3.9%

Trident University International

3.9%

Johns Hopkins University

3.9%

University of Central Missouri

3.1%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.1%

Duquesne University

3.1%

Webster University

3.1%
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Majors

Public Health

17.5%

Occupational Safety And Health

11.1%

Business

10.9%

Nursing

7.7%

Management

5.1%

Health Care Administration

4.7%

Environmental Science

4.3%

Medical Technician

4.3%

Construction Management

4.2%

Social Work

4.0%

Fire Science And Protection

3.0%

Education

3.0%

Psychology

3.0%

Criminal Justice

2.8%

Biology

2.6%

Clinical Psychology

2.6%

Medicine

2.5%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.5%

Mental Health Counseling

2.1%

Human Resources Management

1.9%
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Degrees

Masters

28.9%

Bachelors

28.1%

Other

21.9%

Associate

8.3%

Certificate

5.6%

Doctorate

5.1%

Diploma

1.9%

License

0.2%
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Top Skills for A Health Officer

SiteSafetyOshaSafetyProceduresEmergencyWeeklySafetyMeetingsFacilitySafetyProgramAHAUsaceEMPersonalProtectiveEquipmentSafetyInspectionsSafetyTrainingSshoOversightPublicHealthEnvironmentalHealthCorrectiveActionsOccupationalSafetyOccupationalHealthSafetyAudits

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Top Health Officer Skills

  1. Site Safety
  2. Osha
  3. Safety Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Implemented the Site Safety Program to ensure all site employees are complying with project site safety rules and O.S.H.A.
  • Completed the OSHA training course by becoming knowledgeable of the Compliance Manual, Information Memorandum, Program Directives and I.M.I.S.
  • Minimize our exposure and risk on projects by enforcing all safety procedures and adhering to the corporate safety plan.
  • Assist Surgeon during emergency and elective operations.
  • Coordinate and document weekly safety meetings, and attend all other necessary project meetings.

Top Health Officer Employers

Health Officer Videos

Dr. Lorne Clearsky, Chief Public Health Officer

Queensland Chief Health Officer Ebola symposium presentation

Thank God you're here - safety officers

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