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Product Safety Engineer

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Become A Product Safety Engineer

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Working As A Product Safety Engineer

  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Getting Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $90,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Product Safety Engineer Do

Health and safety engineers develop procedures and design systems to prevent people from getting sick or injured and to keep property from being damaged. They combine knowledge of systems engineering and of health or safety to make sure that chemicals, machinery, software, furniture, and other consumer products will not cause harm to people or damage to buildings.


Health and safety engineers typically do the following:

  • Review plans and specifications for new machinery and equipment to make sure they meet safety requirements
  • Identify and correct potential hazards by inspecting facilities, machinery, and safety equipment
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of various industrial control mechanisms
  • Ensure that buildings or products comply with health and safety regulations, especially after an inspection that required changes
  • Install safety devices on machinery or direct the installation of these devices
  • Review employee safety programs and recommend improvements
  • Maintain and apply knowledge of current policies, regulations, and industrial processes

Health and safety engineers also investigate industrial accidents, injuries, or occupational diseases to determine their causes and to determine whether the incidents could have been or can be prevented in the future. They interview employers and employees to learn about work environments and incidents that lead to accidents or injuries. They also evaluate the corrections that were made to remedy violations found during health inspections.

Health and safety engineers are also active in two related fields: industrial hygiene and occupational hygiene. In industrial hygiene, they focus on the effects of chemical, physical, and biological agents. They recognize, evaluate, and control these agents to keep people from becoming sick or injured. For example, they might anticipate that a particular manufacturing process will give off a potentially harmful chemical and recommend either a change to the process or a way to contain and control the chemical.

In occupational hygiene, health and safety engineers investigate the environment in which people work, and then use science and engineering to recommend changes to keep workers from being exposed to sickness or injuries. They help employers and employees understand risks, and improve working conditions and practices. For example, they might observe that the noise level in a factory is likely to cause harm to workers’ hearing and recommend ways to reduce the noise level through changes to the building or reducing exposure time, or by having workers wear proper hearing protection.

Health and safety engineering is a broad field covering many activities. The following are examples of types of health and safety engineers:

Aerospace safety engineers work on missiles, radars, and satellites to make sure that they function safely as designed.

Fire prevention and protection engineers design fire prevention systems for all kinds of buildings. They often work for architects during the design phase of new buildings or renovations. They must be licensed and must keep up with changes in fire codes and regulations.

Product safety engineers investigate the causes of accidents or injuries that might have resulted from the use or misuse of a product. They create solutions that reduce or eliminate safety issues associated with products. They also help design new products to prevent injuries, illnesses, or property damage.

Systems safety engineers work in many fields, including aerospace, and are moving into new fields, such as software safety, medical safety, and environmental safety. These engineers take a systemic approach to identify hazards so that accidents and injuries can be avoided.

For information on health and safety engineers who work in mines, see the profile on mining and geological engineers.

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How To Become A Product Safety Engineer

Health and safety engineers must have a bachelor’s degree, typically in an engineering discipline such as electrical, chemical, mechanical, industrial, or systems engineering. Another acceptable field of study is occupational or industrial hygiene. Employers value practical experience, so cooperative-education engineering programs at universities are valuable as well.


High school students interested in becoming health and safety engineers will benefit from taking high school courses in math and science, such as algebra, trigonometry, calculus, biology, chemistry, and physics.

Entry-level jobs as a health and safety engineer require a bachelor’s degree. Bachelor’s degree programs typically are 4-year programs and include classroom, laboratory, and field studies in applied engineering. Students interested in becoming a health and safety engineer should seek out coursework in occupational safety and health, industrial hygiene, ergonomics, or environmental safety. In addition, programs in mechanical, electrical, and industrial engineering, programs in systems engineering and fire protection engineering constitute good preparation for this occupation. ABET accredits programs in engineering.

Students interested in entering the relatively new field of software safety engineering may pursue a degree in computer science.

Many colleges and universities offer cooperative-education programs, which allow students to gain practical experience while completing their education.

A few colleges and universities offer 5-year accelerated programs through which students graduate with both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. A master’s degree allows engineers to enter the occupation at a higher level, where they can develop and implement safety systems.

Important Qualities

Creativity. Health and safety engineers produce designs showing potential problems and remedies for them. They must be creative to deal with situations unique to a project.

Critical-thinking skills. Health and safety engineers must be able to identify hazards to humans and property in the workplace or in the home before they cause material damage or become a health threat.

Observational skills. Health and safety engineers must observe and learn how operations function so that they can identify risks to people and property. This requires the ability to think in terms of overall processes within an organization. Health and safety engineers can then recommend systemic changes to minimize risks.

Problem-solving skills. In designing solutions for entire organizational operations, health and safety engineers must take into account processes from more than one system at the same time. In addition, they must try to anticipate a range of human reactions to the changes they recommend.

Reading skills. Health and safety engineers must be able to interpret federal and state regulations and their intent so that they can propose proper designs for specific work environments.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as a health and safety engineer. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience, typically at least 4 years
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial FE exam can be taken after one earns a bachelor’s degree. Engineers who pass this exam are commonly called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering.

Only a few states require health and safety engineers to be licensed. Licensure is generally advised for those opting for a career in systems safety engineering. States requiring licensure usually require continuing education for engineers in order to keep their license. Most states recognize licensure from other states, if the licensing state’s requirements meet or exceed their own licensure requirements.

Health and safety engineers typically have professional certification. Certifications include the following:

  • The Board of Certified Safety Professionals offers the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) certification, the Occupational Health and Safety Technologist (OHST), and a new certification called the Associate Safety Professional (ASP)
  • The American Board of Industrial Hygiene awards a certification known as a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH)
  • The American Society of Safety Engineers offers a Certificate in Safety Management (CSM)
  • The International Council on Systems Engineering offers a program leading to a designation as a Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP)

Certification is generally needed to advance into management positions.


New health and safety engineers usually work under the supervision of experienced engineers. To move to more difficult projects with greater independence, a graduate degree is generally required, such as a master’s degree in engineering or a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree.

An advanced degree allows an engineer to develop and implement safety programs. Certification as a safety professional or as an industrial hygienist is generally required for entry into management positions. For more information, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

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Average Yearly Salary
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Median 50%
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Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Highest Paying City
Cupertino, CA
Highest Paying State
New Mexico
Avg Experience Level
5.2 years
How much does a Product Safety Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Product Safety Engineer in the United States is $90,547 per year or $44 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $61,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $133,000.

Real Product Safety Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Product Safety Engineers Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. Skillman, NJ Jan 24, 2011 $118,200
Product Safety Engineers Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Nov 24, 2008 $110,560
Product Safety Engineer Alltek Circuits, Inc. Garland, TX Apr 13, 2015 $106,912
Product Engineer-Crash & Safety MSX Americas Inc. Dearborn, MI Nov 21, 2016 $94,374 -
Senior Associate Jc60-Product Safety Engineers Cognizant Technology Solutions U.S. Corporation Bridgewater, NJ Aug 21, 2016 $93,413
Senior Product Safety Engineer General Electric Company Greenville, SC Aug 13, 2012 $91,000
Product Safety Engineers General Electric Company (GE Energy) Greenville, SC May 14, 2010 $86,590
Product Safety Engineer CSA America, Inc. Irvine, CA Oct 20, 2014 $85,200
Product Safety Engineer TUV Sud America Inc. Portland, OR Sep 12, 2011 $85,000
Product Engineer, Safety/Impact Chrysler Group LLC Auburn Hills, MI Jul 25, 2014 $85,000
Senior Associate Jc60-Product Safety Engineers Cognizant Technology Solutions U.S. Corporation Collegeville, PA Dec 11, 2016 $84,926
Product Safety Engineer Met Laboratories, Inc. Baltimore, MD Aug 29, 2014 $82,000
Product Engineer Crash & Safety Advantage Technical Services, Inc. Dearborn, MI Oct 09, 2016 $81,476
Product Safety Engineers Cardiac Science Corporation Bothell, WA Jun 28, 2011 $71,070
Product Safety Engineer II Safekick Americas LLC Katy, TX Oct 08, 2016 $70,833
Product Safety Engineer Safekick Americas LLC Katy, TX Aug 15, 2016 $70,833
Product Safety Engineer II Safekick Americas LLC Katy, TX Aug 15, 2016 $70,833
Product Safety Engineer II Safekick Americas LLC Katy, TX Dec 08, 2016 $70,833
Product Safety Engineer Applied Magnesium USA Inc. Denver, CO Oct 01, 2009 $70,000
Product Safety Engineer Applied Magnesium USA Inc. Denver, CO Dec 01, 2009 $70,000
Product Safety Engineer T&T Engineering Services, Inc. Tomball, TX Sep 24, 2015 $65,645
Product Safety Engineers Rockwell Collins Cedar Rapids, IA Jul 28, 2009 $65,520
Product Safety Engineers NEO Tech Wireless, Inc. Plano, TX Jun 08, 2011 $64,355
Product Safety Engineers TÜV SÜD America Inc. San Diego, CA Jan 16, 2008 $63,750
Product Safety Engineers Stone Etc. Inc. Gardena, CA Feb 26, 2008 $63,737
Product Safety Engineer Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. Louisville, KY Sep 19, 2014 $63,731
Product Safety Test Engineer FPP (USA) Inc. Westlake Village, CA Dec 21, 2011 $63,544
Product Safety Engineer (Packaging) Azuma Foods Int'l Inc., USA East Rutherford, NJ Feb 16, 2014 $61,963

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Top Skills for A Product Safety Engineer

  1. Ensure Compliance
  2. UL
  3. Safety Lab
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Evaluated product designs to ensure compliance with regulations.
  • Coordinate laboratory activities by preparing data sheets and instructions to technicians, Schedule and review work of laboratory technicians.
  • Ensured the safety, reliability, and cleaning of the safety lab and all its equipment.
  • Maintained UL CTDP and IEC SMTP programs that allowed all testing to be done at Thomson lab.
  • Collaborated with design teams to ensure products met the relevant product safety standards for the global marketplace.


Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Product Safety Engineers

  1. District of Columbia
  2. California
  3. New Mexico
  4. Texas
  5. Alabama
  6. Maryland
  7. Delaware
  8. Pennsylvania
  9. Connecticut
  10. Massachusetts
  • (170 jobs)
  • (2,470 jobs)
  • (59 jobs)
  • (994 jobs)
  • (172 jobs)
  • (358 jobs)
  • (41 jobs)
  • (409 jobs)
  • (187 jobs)
  • (474 jobs)

Product Safety Engineer Demographics










Hispanic or Latino




Black or African American



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Product Safety Engineer Education


Northeastern University


North Dakota State University -


University of Wisconsin Extension


University of Massachusetts Amherst


Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Erie-Behrend College


University of South Florida


Kettering University


Boise State University


Rochester Institute of Technology


University of North Carolina at Greensboro


University of Texas at Dallas


California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo


California State University - Sacramento


Bluefield State College


Purdue University


Walden University


University of Texas at Austin


Portland State University


Louisiana State University and A&M College


Michigan Technological University

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Electrical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering




Industrial Engineering




Electrical Engineering Technology


Computer Science


Chemical Engineering




Engineering And Industrial Management


Computer Engineering


Biomedical Engineering


Industrial Technology








Materials Science And Engineering


Criminal Justice


Environmental Engineering


Mechanical Engineering Technology

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