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Become A Health Specialist

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Working As A Health Specialist

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Training and Teaching Others
  • $71,630

    Average Salary

What Does A Health Specialist 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 Specialist

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 Specialist jobs

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Health Specialist Career Paths

Health Specialist
Health Educator Program Coordinator Project Coordinator
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Instructor Adjunct Professor Senior Project Manager
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Health Educator Registered Nurse Staff Nurse
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Safety Manager Human Resources Manager
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Environmental Health Safety Manager Security Manager Senior Manager
Director Of Quality
14 Yearsyrs
Safety Consultant Safety Manager General Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Safety Manager General Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Safety Specialist Safety Manager
Human Resources Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Environmental Health Safety Manager Compliance Manager Associate Director
Medical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Program Manager General Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Assistant Director Office Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Operations Manager
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Program Manager General Manager
President Of Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Safety Specialist Safety Supervisor Safety Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Instructor Instructor Operations Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Safety Consultant Safety Supervisor Operations Manager
Regional Sales Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Health And Safety Manager Safety Director
Risk Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Program Manager
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Health And Safety Manager Environmental Manager Operations Manager
Senior Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Business Developer
Vice President, Business Development
13 Yearsyrs
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Health Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

62.6%

Male

35.1%

Unknown

2.3%
Ethnicity

White

78.6%

Hispanic or Latino

11.4%

Asian

7.3%

Unknown

1.9%

Black or African American

0.8%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.5%

French

7.3%

Portuguese

7.3%

German

3.2%

Hindi

2.4%

Korean

2.4%

Chinese

2.4%

Telugu

1.6%

Mandarin

1.6%

Russian

1.6%

Dakota

1.6%

Arabic

1.6%

Swahili

0.8%

Hebrew

0.8%

Somali

0.8%

Igbo

0.8%

Yoruba

0.8%

Malay

0.8%

Armenian

0.8%

Italian

0.8%
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Health Specialist Education

Schools

Columbia Southern University

14.1%

University of Phoenix

12.0%

Walden University

6.6%

George Washington University

5.4%

University of Southern California

4.6%

Marshall University

4.6%

Liberty University

4.6%

University of Toledo

4.1%

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

4.1%

Kaplan University

4.1%

University of Maryland - University College

3.7%

Troy University

3.7%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

3.7%

Boston University

3.7%

Emory University

3.7%

Capella University

3.7%

University of Central Missouri

3.3%

Webster University

3.3%

Texas A&M University

3.3%

University of Washington

3.3%
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Majors

Business

12.3%

Nursing

11.4%

Public Health

11.2%

Psychology

7.5%

Social Work

5.9%

Health Care Administration

5.0%

Occupational Safety And Health

4.9%

Kinesiology

4.7%

Health Education

4.4%

Biology

4.4%

Management

4.2%

Medical Assisting Services

4.0%

Education

3.2%

Criminal Justice

3.1%

Communication

2.9%

Counseling Psychology

2.3%

Mental Health Counseling

2.2%

Public Relations

2.2%

Human Services

2.0%

Health Sciences And Services

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

35.6%

Masters

31.2%

Other

15.5%

Associate

7.0%

Certificate

4.8%

Doctorate

3.8%

Diploma

1.2%

License

0.9%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Health Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Health Specialist Teachers University of Florida Jacksonville, FL Jul 05, 2012 $185,400
Global and Eurasian Technical Health Specialist JSI Research and Training Institute, Inc. Boston, MA Nov 25, 2016 $140,592
Global & Eurasian Technical Health Specialist JSI Research & Training Institute Boston, MA Jun 15, 2014 $136,483
Senior Health Specialist Broken Hill Proprietary (USA) Inc. Houston, TX Nov 18, 2012 $130,830
Senior Health Specialist Broken Hill Proprietary (USA), Inc. Houston, TX Oct 15, 2012 $130,830
SR. Occupational Health Specialist Broken Hill Proprietary (USA), Inc. Houston, TX Nov 18, 2010 $127,600
Health Specialist Teachers, Postsecondary Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN Mar 26, 2010 $120,000
Employee Safety and Health Specialist Evraz Inc. Na Chicago, IL Oct 01, 2011 $110,000
Safety and Health Specialist Ecotelesis International Inc. Los Angeles, CA Feb 05, 2016 $97,760
Health Specialists Teachers, Postsecondary Saint Joseph College West Hartford, CT Jul 20, 2011 $86,500
Health Specialists, Postsecondary Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine Erie, PA Jan 22, 2010 $85,000
SR Newborn Maternal & Child Health Specialist (PRO Program for Appropriate Technology In Health Seattle, WA Sep 20, 2010 $80,004
R & E Occupational Health Specialist Timec Company, Inc. Houston, TX May 09, 2015 $74,069
Geriatric Health Specialist Gardner Family Care Corporation San Jose, CA Aug 01, 2009 $71,789
Home Health Specialist The Lesley Foundation Half Moon Bay, CA Aug 01, 2011 $70,000
Home Health Specialist The Lesley Foundation Half Moon Bay, CA Sep 01, 2011 $70,000
Home Health Specialist The Lesley Foundation Half Moon Bay, CA Dec 07, 2009 $70,000
Dental Health Specialist Ricardo A. Alpez, D.D.S., Inc. Chino, CA Sep 23, 2010 $54,690
Nutrition and Health Specialist The Curators of The University of Missouri Springfield, MO Jun 15, 2012 $51,500
Nutrition and Health Specialist The Curators of The University of Missouri Lamar, MO Jul 16, 2012 $51,500
Research Health Specialist Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/DHHS Cincinnati, OH Oct 18, 2011 $50,915
Research Health Specialist Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/DHHS Cincinnati, OH Oct 11, 2011 $50,915
Research Health Specialist Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/DHHS Cincinnati, OH Jan 03, 2012 $50,915
Plant Health Specialist Green Circle Growers, Inc. Oberlin, OH Sep 02, 2014 $50,732 -
$52,000
Grower/Plant Health Specialist Green Circle Growers, Inc. Oberlin, OH Oct 02, 2014 $50,732
Research Health Specialist Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/DHHS Cincinnati, OH Oct 11, 2009 $48,434

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Top Skills for A Health Specialist

OccupationalSafetyProceduresOSHOccupationalHealthEmergencySafetyProgramHealthCareProvidersHealthProgramsHygieneOutreachMentalHealthDiseaseSafetyTrainingCustomerServiceCorrectiveActionVeteransHealthServicesBehaviorDataEntryChild

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Top Health Specialist Skills

  1. Occupational Safety
  2. Procedures
  3. OSH
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Establish and maintain detailed standard operating procedures for the commands occupational safety and health program.
  • Recommend change and implementation of procedures to prevent future work site mishaps.
  • Program Manager for Fall Protection in Construction and General Industry, OSHA Lock-Out/Tag Out in Construction.
  • Evaluated emerging trends in occupational health and safety, identify impact to company, and recommend to management various company responses.
  • Report and immediately respond to provide emergency response testing for a boiler explosion in a Dominican Republic sugarcane plant.

Top Health Specialist Employers

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