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Occupational Health and Safety Specialist

Occupational health and safety specialists and technicians collect data on and analyze many types of work environments and work procedures to ensure compliance with industry and government regulations and standards. This important job will be enjoying a greater than average increase in demand over the next ten years, with 104,000 jobs expected by 2028. In addition to a bachelor’s degree in health and safety, employers may also prefer that specialists to obtain occupational safety industry professional certifications to be hired in these roles. 

What is the difference between occupational health and safety specialists and technicians?

Occupational health and safety specialists take the lead on performing a number of tasks including, but not limited to, inspecting workplaces for adherence to OSHA regulations, conducting incident investigations and working with management to develop corrective and preventative actions, as well as conducting ergonomic assessments and implementing mitigations.  Technicians normally assist specialists with these tasks. Both specialists and technicians need to understand specific industry regulations in order to do their jobs. 

What do occupational health and safety specialists need to know? 

Occupational health and safety specialists need to know how to inspect, test, and evaluate workplace environments, equipment, and practices to ensure that they follow safety standards and government regulations, and prepare written reports. They also need to know how to design and implement processes and procedures to help protect workers from hazardous work conditions, and also how to educate others about health and safety in the workplace.

(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Occupational Health and Safety Career Facts

Education Requirements4-Year Bachelor’s Degree
Recommended Degree ProgramB.S. in Environmental Health and Safety
Median Salary (2019)$74,100 per year
Workers Employed in U.S. (2018)98,000
Projected Job Openings by 2028104,000
Projected Growth Rate+6%
Job ProspectsApplicants for jobs as occupational health and safety specialists or technicians with a background in the sciences, experience in more than one area of health and safety, or certification will have the best prospects.