What Occupational Health and Safety Specialists Do
Occupational health and safety specialists analyze many types of work environments and work procedures. Specialists inspect workplaces for adherence to regulations on safety, health, and the environment. They also design programs to prevent disease or injury to workers and damage to the environment.
Occupational health and safety specialists work in a variety of settings, such as offices, factories, and mines. Their jobs often involve fieldwork and travel. Most specialists work full time.
How to Become an Occupational Health and Safety Specialist
Occupational health and safety specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree in occupational health and safety or in a related scientific or technical field.
Employment of occupational health and safety specialists is projected to grow 4 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. Specialists will be needed to work in a wide variety of industries to ensure that employers are adhering to both existing and new regulations.
This occupation supported 62,900 jobs in 2012 and 70,300 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 11.8%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 6.7% in 2022 to 67,100 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 63,700, compared with an observed value of 70,300, 10.4% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much better than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 4.5% in 2024 to 73,100 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 67,900 jobs for 2024, 7.1% lower than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much better than the 2012 trend within this occupation.