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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
  • $70,210

    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 jobs

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Senior Safety Specialist Career Paths

Senior Safety Specialist
Program Manager Adjunct Faculty Clinical Manager
Clinical Operations Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Safety Manager Human Resources Manager
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
HSE Manager Health And Safety Manager Compliance Manager
Director Of Quality
14 Yearsyrs
Loss Control Manager General Manager Food Service Director
Food Safety Director
9 Yearsyrs
Regional Safety Manager HSE Manager Health And Safety Manager
Health Director
9 Yearsyrs
Safety Supervisor Project Manager Engineering Manager
Manufacturing Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager President Fellow
Medical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Safety Manager General Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Security Manager Project Manager General Manager
President Of Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Health And Safety Manager Environmental Manager Safety Manager
Project Safety Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Security Manager Account Manager Business Analyst
Quality Assurance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
HSE Manager Regional Manager Construction Manager
Quality Control Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Engineering Manager Quality Manager
Quality Systems Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Loss Control Manager Safety Specialist Quality Assurance Manager
Regulatory Affairs Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Health And Safety Manager Safety Director Risk Manager
Risk Management Director
7 Yearsyrs
Environmental Health Safety Manager Health And Safety Manager Safety Director
Risk Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Safety Supervisor Safety Manager
Safety And Training Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Environmental Health Safety Manager Safety Director Health Officer
Safety Consultant
10 Yearsyrs
Regional Safety Manager Environmental Manager Safety Manager
Security Director
10 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
EHS Specialist 3.4 years
Safety Officer 3.4 years
Safety Engineer 3.3 years
Safety Supervisor 3.1 years
Safety Specialist 3.0 years
Safety Advisor 2.6 years
Safety Consultant 2.6 years
Safety Analyst 2.5 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 2.5%
Top Employers After
Manager 3.9%

Senior Safety Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

71.2%

Female

26.4%

Unknown

2.4%
Ethnicity

White

81.2%

Hispanic or Latino

9.5%

Asian

7.0%

Unknown

1.8%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

58.3%

French

16.7%

Malayalam

8.3%

Tamil

8.3%

Hindi

8.3%
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Senior Safety Specialist Education

Schools

Columbia Southern University

27.2%

Murray State University

7.6%

West Virginia University

7.6%

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

6.5%

Indiana State University

5.4%

University of Phoenix

4.3%

University of Florida

3.3%

University of Wisconsin - Whitewater

3.3%

San Jose State University

3.3%

University of Washington

3.3%

Grand Valley State University

3.3%

University of California - Davis

3.3%

State University of New York Buffalo

3.3%

University of Minnesota - Duluth

3.3%

University of Arizona

3.3%

Grand Canyon University

3.3%

University of Iowa

2.2%

Florida Institute of Technology-Melbourne

2.2%

University of Kentucky

2.2%

Boston University

2.2%
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Majors

Occupational Safety And Health

13.9%

Public Health

12.0%

Nursing

11.2%

Business

9.6%

Management

7.2%

Biology

6.4%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

5.6%

Environmental Science

4.4%

Industrial Technology

4.0%

Criminal Justice

4.0%

Health Care Administration

4.0%

Chemical Engineering

3.2%

Education

2.4%

Fire Science And Protection

2.0%

Chemistry

2.0%

Project Management

2.0%

Mining Engineering

1.6%

Pharmacy

1.6%

Public Administration

1.6%

Psychology

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.0%

Masters

30.1%

Other

15.4%

Associate

5.3%

Certificate

4.5%

Doctorate

2.0%

Diploma

1.4%

License

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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

EnsureComplianceOshaProceduresRegulatoryComplianceSafetyTrainingProgramsEmergencyResponseHygieneIncidentInvestigationsSafetyAuditsSafetyDataSpaceEntrySafetyMeetingsAdverseEventsRiskAssessmentSafetyPoliciesHClinicalTrialsPPEMatterExpertEHS

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Top Senior Safety Specialist Skills

  1. Ensure Compliance
  2. Osha
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide technical assistance to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local regulations and/or guidelines.
  • Integrated OSHA assets into emergency preparedness during the 2009 Presidential Inauguration.
  • Establish safety standards and procedures necessary to prevent recurrence.
  • Review and sign off capital projects scopes re: adequacy of hazard protection and regulatory compliance.
  • Provide emergency response to plant chemical releases

Top Senior Safety Specialist Employers

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