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Become A Safety Specialist

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Working As A Safety 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
  • $82,254

    Average Salary

What Does A Safety 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 Safety 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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Do you work as a Safety Specialist?

Safety Specialist Jobs

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Safety Specialist Career Paths

Safety Specialist
Project Manager Program Manager General Manager
Area Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Construction Manager Operations Manager
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Specialist Project Manager
Construction Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Manager Property Manager General Contractor
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Safety Manager Human Resources Manager
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Engineer Security Officer Field Supervisor
Field Operation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Specialist Operation Supervisor Site Supervisor
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Safety Consultant Safety Manager
Human Resources Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Specialist Security Officer Loss Prevention Agent
Loss Prevention Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Safety Manager General Manager Account Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Safety Supervisor Operations Manager
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Safety Consultant Safety Supervisor Operations Manager
President Of Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Program Manager General Manager Area Manager
Production Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Safety Supervisor Safety Manager
Project Safety Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Engineer Project Engineer
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Safety Engineer Senior Safety Engineer Safety Manager
Safety And Training Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Site Safety Manager Health Officer
Safety Consultant
10 Yearsyrs
Safety Engineer Safety Supervisor Operations Manager
Senior Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Environmental Health Safety Manager Security Manager Operation Supervisor
Transportation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Technical Director Production Manager
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Safety Specialist?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Safety Manager 3.8 years
Safety Trainer 3.6 years
Safety Engineer 3.4 years
EHS Specialist 3.3 years
Safety Officer 3.2 years
Safety Coordinator 3.1 years
Safety Supervisor 3.1 years
Safety Specialist 3.0 years
Safety Advisor 2.6 years
Safety Consultant 2.6 years
Safety Analyst 2.4 years
Safety Technician 2.4 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 8.8%
Manager 3.3%
Supervisor 3.3%
Associate 3.2%
Top Employers After
Manager 3.1%
Consultant 2.7%
Specialist 2.6%

Do you work as a Safety Specialist?

Safety Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

66.8%

Female

31.5%

Unknown

1.7%
Ethnicity

White

79.7%

Hispanic or Latino

10.9%

Asian

7.1%

Unknown

1.7%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

65.8%

French

5.4%

German

4.0%

Carrier

3.4%

Portuguese

3.4%

Arabic

2.7%

Mandarin

2.0%

Russian

2.0%

Chinese

2.0%

Hindi

1.3%

Italian

1.3%

Persian

1.3%

Swedish

0.7%

Telugu

0.7%

Dutch

0.7%

Korean

0.7%

Akan

0.7%

Thai

0.7%

Navajo

0.7%

Tamil

0.7%
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Safety Specialist Education

Schools

Columbia Southern University

25.5%

University of Phoenix

7.7%

Eastern Kentucky University

7.1%

Murray State University

7.0%

West Virginia University

5.3%

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

4.9%

Arizona State University

4.3%

University of Central Missouri

4.2%

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

4.2%

Marshall University

3.9%

Indiana State University

3.9%

Southeastern Oklahoma State University

3.8%

Keene State College

2.8%

University of Central Oklahoma

2.6%

The Academy

2.4%

Community College of the Air Force

2.4%

Oklahoma State University

2.2%

University of South Florida

2.0%

University of Texas at Arlington

2.0%

East Carolina University

1.9%
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Majors

Occupational Safety And Health

17.4%

Business

15.8%

Public Health

10.1%

Management

8.7%

Nursing

7.0%

Criminal Justice

5.1%

Environmental Science

4.3%

Health Care Administration

4.0%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

3.5%

Fire Science And Protection

3.0%

Biology

2.9%

Human Resources Management

2.5%

Education

2.2%

Industrial Technology

2.2%

General Studies

2.0%

Communication

1.9%

Psychology

1.9%

Medical Technician

1.9%

Homeland Security

1.8%

Pharmacy

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.1%

Masters

22.2%

Other

20.9%

Associate

9.8%

Certificate

5.0%

Doctorate

2.1%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Safety Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Drug Safety Specialists Integrated Resources, Inc. Foster City, CA Nov 16, 2015 $135,655
Drug Safety Specialists Integrated Resources, Inc. Brisbane, CA Jan 16, 2015 $131,481
Drug Safety Specialist Populus Group LLC Foster City, CA Apr 25, 2016 $127,307
Drug Safety Specialist The Veritas Healthcare Solutions LLC Foster City, CA Apr 01, 2015 $114,785
Lead Process Safety Specialist National Grid USA Service Company, Inc. Waltham, MA Mar 30, 2015 $105,000
Drug Safety Specialist The Veritas Healthcare Solutions LLC Berkeley Heights, NJ Oct 11, 2015 $100,176
Clinical Safety Specialist Inventiv Health Clinical SRE, LLC Montville, NJ Aug 11, 2015 $99,133
Safety Specialist, Community Operations Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Jul 04, 2016 $95,000 -
$123,594
Drug Safety Specialist Patel Consultants Corporation Berkeley Heights, NJ Jul 06, 2015 $95,000
Clinical Safety Specialist, Global Patient Safety Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated Boston, MA May 14, 2015 $94,000 -
$104,000
Drug Safety Specialist Corrona, LLC Southborough, MA Mar 13, 2015 $89,000
Drug Safety Specialist Parexel International Billerica, MA Mar 10, 2016 $86,500
Drug Safety Specialist Klinexa Inc. Marlborough, MA Oct 29, 2016 $75,132
Drug Safety Specialist Vsoft Infoware, Inc. Princeton, NJ Aug 19, 2015 $75,000
Drug Safety Specialist Vsoft Infoware, Inc. Princeton, NJ Aug 25, 2016 $75,000
Drug Safety Specialist Vsoft Infoware, Inc. Princeton, NJ Sep 18, 2015 $75,000
Drug Safety Specialist Vsoft Infoware, Inc. Princeton, NJ Sep 01, 2015 $75,000
Drug Safety Specialist Vsoft Infoware, Inc. Princeton, NJ Sep 06, 2015 $75,000
Drug Safety Specialist United Pharma Technologies Inc. Summit, NJ Jan 09, 2016 $72,000
PBS Coordinator/Safety Specialist Bechtel Oil, Gas &Amp; Chemicals, Inc. Baytown, TX Sep 07, 2015 $71,743 -
$77,868
Safety Specialist, Community Operations Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Aug 22, 2016 $64,480
Safety Specialist, Community Operations Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Aug 05, 2015 $64,480
Drug Safety Specialist/Pharmacovigilance Global Pharmatek, LLC Richmond, VA Jan 15, 2015 $60,000
Patient Safety Specialist NIC Info TEK Inc. Gaithersburg, MD Apr 09, 2015 $60,000
Safety Specialist United Pharma Technologies Inc. Edison, NJ Jan 09, 2016 $60,000
Health & Safety Specialist KVL International Enterprises, Inc. Alhambra, CA Sep 25, 2015 $58,614
Safety Specialist Techdata Service Company, LLC. Morrisville, NC Sep 09, 2016 $58,000

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Top Skills for A Safety Specialist

OshaSafetyProceduresSafetyProgramsSafetyTrainingEmergencyResponseFacilityRegulatoryComplianceCorrectiveActionsWeeklySafetyMeetingsContractorsIncidentInvestigationsAdverseEventReportsSafetyAuditsHygieneSpaceEntrySafetyInspectionsJobSafetyAnalysisSiteSafetyEHSSafetyPolicies

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  1. Osha
  2. Safety Procedures
  3. Safety Programs
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Monitored compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements.
  • Ensured company safety procedures and compliance with government regulations.
  • Developed short and long term goals and objectives after assessment of safety programs.
  • Conducted monthly departmental audits and safety training for the different departments on vessels and rigs.
  • Organized and managed a 50-member chemical emergency response team (HCN, Cl2, corrosives, and oxidizers).

How Would You Rate Working As a Safety Specialist?

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