Safety jobs include a variety of positions that help protect workers and consumers from unsafe conditions, including hazards in the workplace and faulty product designs. Professionals working in this industry need to pay attention to details that could create hazardous conditions. They also need to understand regulations designed to protect employees and consumers.
Professionals working in safety positions need strong communication skills to teach workers and managers how to run their operations as safely as possible. Some professionals also develop safety programs that prevent workers from developing health problems and help them to avoid injuries.
Safety Job Education Requirements
Safety job education requirements depend on the type of position one wants to pursue. Occupational health and safety technicians need a high school diploma or its equivalent as well as moderate on-the-job training. Health safety engineers and occupational health and safety specialists, however, need bachelor's degrees. Specialists receive a shorter period of on-the-job training. Health and safety engineers typically do not receive on-the-job training.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), occupational health and safety technician positions will grow by 11 percent between 2012 and 2022, which is considered an average growth rate for U.S. jobs. Health and safety engineer jobs should grow by a similar percentage during that period.
Occupational health and safety specialists should expect slower than average growth between 2012 and 2022 (the BLS estimates seven percent growth). The number of jobs added to the industry is high compared to the other two popular positions. There were 62,900 occupational health and safety specialist jobs in 2012. Seven percent growth will add 4,200 positions. Since there are fewer health and safety engineers, that job will only grow by 2,600 positions. Occupational health and safety technician jobs will grow by 1,400 positions.
Safety Job Salary Information
Health and safety engineers have the highest median pay amongst these three positions. In 2012, the position's median pay was $76,830. The median pay for occupational health and safety specialists was $66,790. The median salary for occupational health and safety technicians was $47,440.
Professionals working for large companies often earn higher incomes than those working for smaller businesses. Large companies, however, may require a deeper commitment from its safety experts. Those who earn the highest incomes often have to travel frequently. They may also have to evaluate potentially dangerous areas including mines and factories. Those who wish to earn more money may also want to pursue additional degrees that prepare them for management positions.