Occupational health and safety specialists look for accidents waiting to happen. Also called risk managers, their job is to keep workplaces as accident-free as possible. They do this by looking for safer, healthier and more efficient ways of working. Health and safety specialists analyze work environments to identify potential hazards. They use experience, historical data and other sources to identify patterns of injury or illness. These specialists may conduct inspections to make sure companies comply with laws governing worker health and safety. This can include making sure chemicals are stored or disposed of correctly, or that protective equipment is available and used properly. Occupational health and safety specialists conduct investigations after accidents or injuries to find ways to prevent them in the future. They often coordinate rehabilitation for injured employees to help them return to work. Occupational health and safety specialists develop and implement training programs to correct risky conditions or practices in a workplace, then monitor their progress. They're good listeners, and excellent communicators. Most positions in this field require a 4-year degree. You should be detail-oriented and prepared to maintain certification requirements with continuing education to succeed in this field. As many occupational safety and health specialists proudly say: safety on the job is no accident.
What they do:
Collect data on work environments for analysis by occupational health and safety specialists. Implement and conduct evaluation of programs designed to limit chemical, physical, biological, and ergonomic risks to workers.
On the job, you would:
Test workplaces for environmental hazards, such as exposure to radiation, chemical or biological hazards, or excessive noise.
Prepare or calibrate equipment used to collect or analyze samples.
Maintain all required environmental records and documentation.
Arts and Humanities
Education and Training
teaching and course design
Safety and Government
public safety and security
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
reading work related information
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
notice when problems happen
People interested in this work like activities that include data, detail, and regular routines.
They do well at jobs that need:
Concern for Others
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Data base user interface and query software
Electronic mail software
Analytical or scientific software
Statistical analysis software
bachelor's degree or associate's degree usually needed
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
Green jobs will change the work and skills needed.