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Become A Senior Safety Specialist

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Working As A Senior 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
  • $89,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior 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 Senior 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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Senior Safety Specialist Career Paths

Senior Safety Specialist
Safety Manager
HSE Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Safety Manager Human Resources Manager Director
Director Of Quality
14 Yearsyrs
Safety Manager Human Resources Manager Property Manager
Compliance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Health And Safety Manager Human Resources Manager Plant Manager
Director Of Plant Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Environmental Health Safety Manager Manager, Security And Safety Security Manager
Loss Prevention Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Environmental Health Safety Manager Compliance Manager
Risk Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Health And Safety Manager Director Nursing Director
Health Director
9 Yearsyrs
Health And Safety Manager Director Managing Director
Director Of Quality Management
13 Yearsyrs
Environmental Health Safety Manager Compliance Manager Regulatory Compliance Manager
Regulatory Affairs Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Safety Supervisor Supervisor Area Manager
Area Operations Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Safety Supervisor Supervisor Field Supervisor
Field Operation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Safety Supervisor Field Supervisor Security Manager
Security Director
10 Yearsyrs
Manager General Manager Food Service Director
Food Safety Director
8 Yearsyrs
Manager Co-Manager Unit Manager
Section Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Manager Property Manager Compliance Manager
Regulatory Compliance Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Delivery Manager Transportation Manager
Manager Of Environmental Services
9 Yearsyrs
EHS Manager Security Manager Regional Loss Prevention Manager
Corporate Manager
7 Yearsyrs
EHS Manager Superintendent Plant Superintendent
Environmental Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Senior Safety Specialist?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Safety Manager 3.8 years
Safety Officer 3.3 years
Safety Engineer 3.3 years
EHS Specialist 3.2 years
Safety Supervisor 3.2 years
Safety Specialist 3.1 years
Safety Advisor 2.7 years
Safety Consultant 2.6 years
Safety Analyst 2.5 years
Top Careers Before Senior Safety Specialist
Associate 3.3%
Manager 2.8%
Internship 2.7%
Top Careers After Senior Safety Specialist
Manager 4.6%
Consultant 2.6%

Do you work as a Senior Safety Specialist?

Average Yearly Salary
$89,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$62,000
Min 10%
$89,000
Median 50%
$89,000
Median 50%
$89,000
Median 50%
$89,000
Median 50%
$89,000
Median 50%
$89,000
Median 50%
$89,000
Median 50%
$129,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Pharmacyclics
Highest Paying City
Foster City, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
4.2 years
How much does a Senior Safety Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Safety Specialist in the United States is $89,785 per year or $43 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $62,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $129,000.

Real Senior Safety Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
SR. Safety Specialist, Drug Safety and Public Health (Dsph) Gilead Sciences, Inc. Foster City, CA Feb 09, 2016 $123,032
SR. Safety Specialist, Drug Safety and Public Health Gilead Sciences, Inc. Foster City, CA Aug 03, 2016 $107,094
Senior Safety Specialist, Drug Safety & Public HEA Gilead Sciences, Inc. Foster City, CA Jun 12, 2014 $104,328 -
$110,350
Senior Safety Specialist Gilead Sciences, Inc. Foster City, CA Oct 10, 2011 $101,500
SR. Safety Specialist, Drug Safety and Public Health Gilead Sciences, Inc. Foster City, CA Oct 06, 2016 $92,810 -
$111,000
Senior Drug Safety Specialist Corrona, LLC Southborough, MA Sep 04, 2015 $91,000
Senior Safety Specialist Gilead Sciences, Inc. Foster City, CA Oct 15, 2012 $88,379 -
$105,705

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Top Skills for A Senior Safety Specialist

  1. Ensure Compliance
  2. Safety Procedures
  3. Osha
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Monitor and evaluate job site and workplace facilities to ensure compliance with governmental and company safety regulations and relevant governance.
  • Investigated site accidents and incidents in addition to instructing construction personnel in basic first aid and construction safety procedures.
  • Coordinated and provided safety orientation and other OSHA training for newly assigned construction workers.
  • Performed initial global assessment, preparation, interpretation and documentation of adverse events into safety databases following established regulations and procedures.
  • Develop and implement elementary safety programs for new business units.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Safety Specialists

  1. Alaska
  2. North Dakota
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Massachusetts
  5. District of Columbia
  6. California
  7. Wyoming
  8. Connecticut
  9. Nevada
  10. Utah
  • (14 jobs)
  • (22 jobs)
  • (11 jobs)
  • (123 jobs)
  • (39 jobs)
  • (495 jobs)
  • (6 jobs)
  • (40 jobs)
  • (32 jobs)
  • (36 jobs)

Senior Safety Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

65.7%

Female

25.2%

Unknown

9.2%
Ethnicity

White

62.6%

Hispanic or Latino

13.8%

Black or African American

12.2%

Asian

7.3%

Unknown

4.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

42.1%

French

10.5%

Hindi

10.5%

Khmer

5.3%

Telugu

5.3%

Czech

5.3%

Dakota

5.3%

Carrier

5.3%

Malayalam

5.3%

Tamil

5.3%
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Senior Safety Specialist Education

Schools

Columbia Southern University

28.1%

University of Phoenix

7.5%

West Virginia University

7.5%

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

7.5%

Murray State University

6.8%

Indiana State University

4.8%

University of Houston

4.1%

University of Florida

3.4%

University of Central Missouri

3.4%

Texas A&M University

3.4%

Ohio University -

2.7%

Northeastern State University

2.7%

Temple University

2.7%

University of Cincinnati

2.7%

University of Illinois at Chicago

2.1%

University of Northern Colorado

2.1%

Western Michigan University

2.1%

University of South Florida

2.1%

San Jose State University

2.1%

University of Washington

2.1%
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Majors

Occupational Safety And Health

14.7%

Public Health

12.4%

Business

11.5%

Nursing

10.8%

Management

7.8%

Biology

6.2%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

4.4%

Environmental Science

4.1%

Health Care Administration

3.7%

Pharmacy

3.2%

Chemical Engineering

3.0%

Fire Science And Protection

2.8%

Criminal Justice

2.8%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.3%

Industrial Technology

2.1%

Education

2.1%

Project Management

2.1%

Chemistry

1.6%

Public Administration

1.4%

Human Resources Management

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.6%

Masters

31.3%

Other

16.3%

Associate

6.8%

Certificate

4.0%

Doctorate

1.6%

Diploma

1.0%

License

0.3%
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