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Occupational Health and Safety Technicians

Occupational health and safety technicians collaborate with occupational health and safety specialists in order to prevent harm to workers, the general public, the environment and property. They also assist in implementing and evaluating safety programs under the supervision of specialists. The responsibilities of these technicians vary by workplace, industry and the types of hazards that affect workers. Sample job titles include construction safety consultant, industrial hygienist and safety manager.

Some occupational and safety technicians help design safe work spaces or test air quality. Some specialties include mine examiners, environmental protection technicians, health physics technicians and industrial hygiene technicians. In addition, some of these technicians are employed by government agencies and perform safety inspections and impose fines.

Occupational health and safety technicians also collaborate with specialists to increase worker productivity and to find ways to reduce absenteeism and equipment downtime. Their strategies also save money by lowering workers' compensation payments and insurance premiums and by preventing government fines.

Responsibilities

  • Take measurements and collect workplace data and provide it to occupational health and safety specialists for analysis
  • Test machines, air, water and other elements of work environments
  • Prepare and calibrate scientific equipment
  • Measure hazards such as radiation and noise
  • Gather samples of gases, vapors, dust and other materials
  • Talk with employees and observe their work
  • Make sure equipment and machinery meets safety regulations
  • Ensure that personal protective equipment is being used according to regulations
  • Test and identify work areas for potential health hazards and accidents
  • Make sure hazardous materials are stored correctly

Job Characteristics

Occupational health and safety technicians work in a variety of settings including factories and mines. Some of these technicians frequently travel. They may be exposed to hazardous conditions faced by industrial workers. Most of these technicians work 40 hours per week and some technicians may have to work irregular hours. In addition, occupational health technicians should have good communication skills and enjoy detailed work.

Employment Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has forecasted an employment growth of 14 percent between 2008 and 2018 for occupational health and safety technicians which is faster than average for all occupations.

The median annual earnings in 2008 for occupational health and safety technicians was $45,360. The highest paid 10 percent earned more than $73,050.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Some occupational health and safety technicians have earned an associate degree or a certificate. Some beneficial high school courses are mathematics, English, physics, biology and chemistry.

Some individuals enter the occupation via work experience and training. These individuals often receive on-the-job training combined with some formal education. All occupational health and safety technicians receive training in the applicable laws or inspection procedures via a blend of classroom and on-the-job training.

Occupational health and safety technicians that hold a bachelor's degree or an advanced degree have opportunities to become an occupational health and safety specialist.

Many employers prefer their occupational health and safety technicians obtain a credential. The Council on Certification of Health, Environmental and Safety Technologists offers credentials at the technical level.

Resources

Major Employers

The primary employers are manufacturing companies, hospitals, scientific and technical consulting services, educational services, support activity for mining, administrative and support services, and federal, state and local government agencies.

Schools for Occupational Health And Safety Technicians are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Occupational Health and Safety Technicians

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Occupational Health and Safety Technicians jobs , as of 2016

     
Metro Area Total Employment Annual Mean Salary
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land 1,050 $54,730
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington 630 $51,070
Baton Rouge 440 $58,590
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim 330 $56,150
San Antonio-New Braunfels 310 $42,760
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward 260 $69,790
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell 200 $49,930
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale 200 $54,410
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue 200 $62,490
Columbus 160 $49,550

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Total employment and salary for professions similar to occupational health technicians

Most Popular Industries for
Occupational Health and Safety Technicians

These industries represent at least 1% of the total number of people employed in this occupation.

Industry Total Employment Percent Annual Median Salary
Government 2,340 23% $45,930
Professional And Technical Services 1,390 14% $42,370
Hospital 1,100 11% $40,920
Education 740 7% $46,090
Office Services And Staffing 630 6% $43,730
Mining Services 510 5% $56,060
Waste Management 270 2% $47,990
Medical Office 260 2% $43,380
Business Management 240 2% $47,830
Utilities 230 2% $54,510
Food 210 2% $38,690
Construction Trades 170 1% $49,100
Chemicals 160 1% $45,660
Mining 160 1% $50,970
Metals 140 1% $47,830
Machinery 110 1% $44,160
Electronics And Computer 110 1% $44,820
Metal Products 100 1% $43,650
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Occupational Health and Safety Technicians.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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