Where do you want to work?
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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Safety Officer
Top Careers After Safety Officer
Hispanic or Latino12.2%
Black or African American1.0%
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Columbia Southern University18.5%
University of Phoenix16.4%
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Daytona Beach5.2%
Texas A&M University5.2%
Eastern Kentucky University5.0%
Community College of the Air Force4.4%
Central Texas College3.6%
Pennsylvania State University3.6%
Michigan State University3.1%
Grand Canyon University2.9%
Naval Postgraduate School2.8%
Southern New Hampshire University2.8%
Florida State University2.6%
Old Dominion University2.6%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Principal, Clinical Safety Officer||Edwards Lifesciences LLC||Irvine, CA||Oct 08, 2015||$175,000|
|Principal, Clinical Safety Officer||Edwards Lifesciences LLC||Irvine, CA||Aug 10, 2015||$175,000|
|SR. Manager, Clinical Safety Officer-HVT||Edwards Lifesciences LLC||Irvine, CA||Sep 01, 2013||$142,945|
|Clinical Safety Officer||The Global Alliance for TB Drug Development Inc.||New York, NY||Oct 10, 2016||$100,000 -
|Diving Safety Officer||Conservation International||Arlington, VA||Jun 15, 2013||$87,500|
|Centrifuge Safety Officer||Separator Technology Solutions Us Inc.||San Francisco, CA||Jan 03, 2012||$81,393|
|Assoc. Patient Safety Officer & Chronic Disease Co||New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation||New York, NY||Apr 28, 2011||$75,670|
|Patient Safety Officer||Glen Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Centre, Ltd.||Northbrook, IL||Aug 25, 2016||$73,024|
|Patient Safety Officer||Glen Crest Nursing and Rehabilitation Centre, Ltd.||Chicago, IL||Aug 25, 2016||$73,024|
|Patient Safety Officer||Glen Bridge Nursing and Rehabilitation Center||Niles, IL||Aug 25, 2016||$73,024|
|Patient Safety Officer||Glen Health and Home Management, Inc.||Skokie, IL||Aug 29, 2014||$68,975|
|Patient Safety Officer||Glen Bridge Nursing and Rehabilitation Center||Niles, IL||Aug 29, 2014||$68,975|
|Patient Safety Officer||RREM, Inc.||Chicago, IL||Aug 29, 2014||$68,975|
|Patient Safety Officer||Family Healthcare, Inc.||Chicago, IL||Sep 17, 2014||$68,975|
|Patient Safety Officer||Glen Lake Terrace Nursing and Rehabilitation Cente||Waukegan, IL||Sep 12, 2014||$62,610|
|Radiologic Technologist & Safety Officer||Berger and Burrow Enterprises, Inc.||Richmond, VA||Aug 27, 2015||$61,277|
|Patient Safety Officer||Glen Bridge Nursing and Rehabilitation Center||Niles, IL||Dec 01, 2011||$60,544|
|Patient Safety Officer||RREM, Inc.||Chicago, IL||Oct 01, 2012||$60,544|
|Patient Safety Officer||Glenshire Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Ltd.||Richton Park, IL||Oct 01, 2012||$60,544|
|Patient Safety Officer||Balmoral Home, Inc.||Chicago, IL||Oct 01, 2012||$60,544|
|Assistant Biological Safety Officer||University of California, Los Angeles||Los Angeles, CA||Sep 01, 2010||$57,000|
|Assistant Safety Officer||The Rockefeller University||New York, NY||Dec 01, 2014||$56,500|
|Safety Officer||Miles0McClellan Construction Co., Inc.||Greensboro, NC||Nov 30, 2009||$55,000|
|Patient Safety Officer||Chicago Ridge Nursing & Rehabilitation Center||Chicago Ridge, IL||Sep 04, 2010||$54,053|
|Patient Safety Officer||Balmoral Home, Inc.||Chicago, IL||Sep 07, 2010||$54,053|
|Patient Safety Officer||The Grove at Lincoln Park||Chicago, IL||Sep 10, 2010||$54,053|
|Patient Safety Officer||Norridge Health Care & Rehabilitation Center||Norridge, IL||Sep 11, 2010||$54,053|
|Patient Safety Officer||Morris Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center, LLC||Morris, IL||Sep 17, 2010||$54,053|
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