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Working as a Safety Technician

What Does a Safety Technician Do

Occupational health and safety technicians collect data on the health and safety conditions of the workplace. Technicians work with occupational health and safety specialists in conducting tests and measuring hazards to help prevent harm to workers, property, the environment, and the general public.

Duties

Occupational health and safety technicians typically do the following:

  • Inspect, test, and evaluate workplace environments, equipment, and practices to ensure that they follow safety standards and government regulations
  • Collect samples of potentially toxic materials
  • Work with occupational health and safety specialists to fix hazardous conditions or equipment
  • Evaluate programs on workplace health and safety
  • Educate employers and workers about workplace safety
  • Demonstrate the correct use of safety equipment
  • Investigate incidents and accidents to identify what caused them and how they might be prevented

Technicians conduct tests and collect samples and measurements as part of workplace inspections. For example, they may collect and handle samples of dust, mold, gases, vapors, or other hazardous materials. They conduct both routine and special inspections that an occupational health and safety specialist orders.

Technicians inspect workplace environments and practices. They may examine machinery and equipment, such as scaffolding and lifting devices, to be sure that they meet appropriate safety regulations. Technicians may check to make sure that workers are using required protective gear, such as masks and hardhats. Technicians also check to ensure that hazardous materials are stored correctly.

In addition to working to maintain employee health and safety, technicians work with specialists to increase worker productivity by reducing absences and equipment downtime. These actions save companies money by lowering insurance premiums and workers’ compensation payments, preventing government fines, and improving productivity and product quality.

Although all occupational health and safety technicians work to maintain the health of workers and the environment, their responsibilities vary by the type of industry and workplace they work in and the hazards that might affect the employees. For example, a technician may test the levels of dangerous gases at a waste-processing plant or may inspect the lighting and ventilation in an office setting. Both of these inspections are focused on maintaining the health of the workers and the environment.

The following are examples of types of occupational health and safety technicians:

Health physics technicians work in places that use radiation and radioactive material. Their goal is to protect people and the environment from hazardous radiation exposure.

Industrial or occupational hygiene technicians examine the workplace for health hazards, such as exposure to lead, asbestos, pesticides, or contagious diseases.

Mine examiners inspect mines for proper airflow and potential health hazards, such as the buildup of methane or other harmful gases.

How To Become a Safety Technician

Occupational health and safety technicians typically enter the occupation through one of two paths. Some technicians learn through on-the-job training; others enter with postsecondary education, such as an associate’s degree or certificate.

Education

Employers typically require technicians to have at least a high school diploma. High school students interested in this occupation should complete courses in English, mathematics, chemistry, biology, and physics.

Some employers prefer to hire technicians who have earned an associate’s degree or certificate from a community college or vocational school. These programs typically take 2 years or less. They include courses in respiratory protection, hazard communication, and material-handling and storage procedures.

Postsecondary programs include instruction on standard laws and procedures; however, some on-the-job training usually is required to familiarize the technician with specific work environments.

Training

Technicians usually receive on-the-job training. They learn about specific laws and inspection procedures, and learn to conduct tests and recognize hazards. The length of training varies with the employee’s level of experience, education, and industry in which he or she works.

Some technicians enter the occupation through a combination of related work experience and training. They may take on health and safety tasks at the company where they are employed. For example, an employee may volunteer to complete annual workstation inspections for an office in which he or she already works.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification is not required for someone to become an occupational health and safety technician; however, many employers encourage it.

To apply for certification, technicians must have earned a high school diploma, possess related on-the-job experience, and pass a standardized health and safety exam. The Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) offers the following certifications at the technician level:

The Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST) Certification requires the applicant to have specific education or experience in construction safety. These technicians protect workers on construction sites from injury or illness.

The Occupational Health and Safety Technologist (OHST) Certification is designed for workers who perform occupational health and safety tasks full or part time as part of their job duties.

Important Qualities

Ability to use technology. Occupational health and safety technicians often work with computers and complex testing equipment.

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

Detail oriented. Occupational health and safety technicians must be able to understand and follow safety standards and complex government regulations.

Physical stamina. Occupational health and safety technicians must be able to stay on their feet for long periods and travel on a regular basis.

Problem-solving skills. Occupational health and safety technicians must be able to solve problems in order to assist specialists in protecting workers from hazardous work conditions.

Advancement

Occupational health and safety technicians can become occupational health and safety specialists by earning a bachelor’s degree or advanced degree.

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Average Salary$40,746
Job Growth Rate6%

Safety Technician Career Paths

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Average Salary for a Safety Technician

Safety Technicians in America make an average salary of $40,746 per year or $20 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $52,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $31,000 per year.
Average Salary
$40,746

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Fresno, CA
Salary Range35k - 58k$45k$45,489
Albany, NY
Salary Range34k - 56k$44k$44,157
Edgewood, MD
Salary Range32k - 51k$41k$41,015
Tucson, AZ
Salary Range31k - 50k$40k$39,845
Anchorage, AK
Salary Range34k - 44k$39k$39,165
Albuquerque, NM
Salary Range30k - 49k$39k$38,825
$28k
$58k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Safety Tech
Safety Tech
Marsden South
Marsden South
01/28/2021
01/28/2021
$27,13101/28/2021
$27,131
Safety Technician I (PCS Team D Shift Nights)
Safety Technician I (PCS Team D Shift Nights)
ABM
ABM
01/20/2021
01/20/2021
$43,82701/20/2021
$43,827
PRN Safety Tech
PRN Safety Tech
Lee Health
Lee Health
01/18/2021
01/18/2021
$31,30501/18/2021
$31,305
Fire Safety Technician
Fire Safety Technician
Sodexo
Sodexo
01/18/2021
01/18/2021
$25,04401/18/2021
$25,044
Food Safety Technician
Food Safety Technician
The Kraft Heinz Company
The Kraft Heinz Company
01/14/2021
01/14/2021
$35,47901/14/2021
$35,479
See More Recent Salaries

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Safety Technician Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Safety Technician. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Safety Technician Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Safety Technician resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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Safety Technician Demographics

Gender

male

75.2 %

female

21.7 %

unknown

3.1 %

Ethnicity

White

66.5 %

Hispanic or Latino

14.2 %

Black or African American

11.2 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

75.7 %

Portuguese

4.3 %

French

3.5 %
See More Demographics

Safety Technician Education

Degrees

Bachelors

29.4 %

High School Diploma

23.4 %

Associate

22.9 %
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Safety Technician

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 11.5% of safety technicians listed osha on their resume, but soft skills such as ability to use technology and detail oriented are important as well.

Best States For a Safety Technician

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a safety technician. The best states for people in this position are Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Hawaii. Safety technicians make the most in Rhode Island with an average salary of $46,087. Whereas in Massachusetts and Connecticut, they would average $45,689 and $45,287, respectively. While safety technicians would only make an average of $44,671 in Hawaii, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Maine

Total Safety Technician Jobs:
76
Highest 10% Earn:
$64,000
Location Quotient:
1.73
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Connecticut

Total Safety Technician Jobs:
148
Highest 10% Earn:
$71,000
Location Quotient:
1.05
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. New Hampshire

Total Safety Technician Jobs:
63
Highest 10% Earn:
$69,000
Location Quotient:
0.91
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Safety Technician Employers

1. Total Safety
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$50,419
Safety Technicians Hired: 
150+
2. Turner Industries
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$35,166
Safety Technicians Hired: 
79+
3. JVIC
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$58,420
Safety Technicians Hired: 
41+
4. United States Navy
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$43,128
Safety Technicians Hired: 
35+
5. Sprint
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$39,280
Safety Technicians Hired: 
34+
6. Food and Drug Administration
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$64,918
Safety Technicians Hired: 
32+

Safety Technician Videos

Updated October 2, 2020