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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.

Occupational Health and Safety Technicians Skills

Below are the skills needed to be occupational health and safety technicians according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Skill NameImportanceCompetence
Speaking44
Reading Comprehension3.884
Active Listening3.883.88
Critical Thinking3.753.88
Writing3.53.75

Occupational Health and Safety Technicians Abilities

Below are the abilities needed to be occupational health and safety technicians according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Ability NameImportanceCompetence
Oral Comprehension44
Oral Expression44.12
Deductive Reasoning3.883.88
Written Comprehension3.884
Inductive Reasoning3.883.75

Occupational Health and Safety Technicians Knowledge

Below are the knowledge areas needed to be occupational health and safety technicians according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Knowledge AreaImportanceCompetence
English Language3.924.35
Education and Training3.855.12
Law and Government3.654.08
Public Safety and Security3.654.12
Customer and Personal Service3.384.15

Occupational Health and Safety Technicians Work activities

Below are the work activities involved in being occupational health and safety technicians according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

   
Work ActivityImportanceCompetence
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates4.385.12
Documenting/Recording Information4.274.46
Getting Information4.194.38
Interacting With Computers4.083.5
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards4.084.27

Occupational Health and Safety Technicians Work styles

Below are the work styles involved in being occupational health and safety technicians according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

   
Work StyleImportance
Integrity4.85
Attention to Detail4.5
Dependability4.38
Initiative4.27
Cooperation4.23

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 2017

   
Metro AreaTotal EmploymentAnnual Mean Salary
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land1,000 $57,600
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington610 $52,650
Baton Rouge440 $61,950
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim430 $61,410
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale260 $58,130
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward250 $67,680
San Antonio-New Braunfels200 $47,550
Austin-Round Rock190 $53,430
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell190 $57,010
Columbus170 $49,930

Compare Total Employment & Salaries for Occupational Health Technicians

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Employment
Salary

Total employment and salary for professions similar to occupational health technicians

Source : 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; O*NET® 22.1 Database, O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org

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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.