Safety professionals are challenged and rewarded with highly crucial responsibilities that play an essential role in managing hazards, implementing controls, and helping companies maintain their profitability. Their job is to prevent injuries and illnesses to their fellow employees and help them to return safely to their families each day. Since today’s safety professional serves as a valued component of management, engineering, and business teams: as a leader for projects, initiatives and programs laws, public concern, and company values, there are ample “Career Options for Safety Professionals”. 

In the past 25 years, safety has become more complex. In addition to traditional health and safety functions, Globalization, and threats from terrorism, pandemics, and natural disasters, Safety Professionals are expected to expand their duties – from the careful design and operation of nuclear power generating stations to the elimination of lead-based paints in homes. The efforts to reduce threats to public safety go on nonstop. This resulted in opportunities to contribute in new settings and with greater prominence within organizations. 


A Safety Profession: What Should I Look For? 

 Important points to consider:

 Are you motivated by a desire to help others?

 Do you believe that it is important to serve society and the community? 

Do you place a high value on health and the quality of life?

The safety profession scores very high on all of the following factors

  • A profession that is respected, gives you a feeling of accomplishment and provides growth and the potential to advance in responsibility. 
  • A profession where compensation reflects skills and accomplishments. 
  • A desirable profession provides stable employment, and variety in the daily routine, keeping interest high and stress low. 

 Such motivation would help you be a successful safety professional, and at the same time, provide a great sense of satisfaction in a job well done. 

EHS Career                                               

Career Options for Safety Professionals: Preferable Fields

  • Occupational Safety– in manufacturing and production operations to ensure that working conditions and work methods are safe and healthful for employees.
  • Industrial Hygiene– specializes in workers’ exposure to chemical and physical hazards created by industrial processes.
  • Environmental Safety– Protecting the environment is a massive effort being conducted on several fronts. 
  • Contracting– Being employed by and providing in-house health and safety services to remediation contractors to clean up actually hazardous waste sites.
  • Fire Protection Engineering– This is one of the most challenging professional safety specialty areas that help protect people, property, and operations from fire and explosions.
  • Ergonomics – Ergonomics is the science of fitting the job to the person. Most safety professionals must deal with ergonomics in the relationships between people and their work.
  • System Safety– Aerospace, military, medical, scientifically advanced projects and high-tech industries have relied on systems that have a high reliability of operation and low level of risk. System safety specialists typically work with major new technological programs. 
  • Risk Management and Risk Control – All large and medium organizations, and many smaller ones, maintain a risk management department to reduce the likelihood and size of losses (risk control). 
  • Chemical Process Safety– Almost all the materials and essential products we use our day to day life are made possible by the chemical industry. Each chemical product involves a very different chemical process that has its own unique set of hazards.
  • Institutional Safety Management – Institutional safety typically encompasses hazard control in organizations such as research facilities, schools, universities, hospitals, prisons and rehabilitation centres. 
  • Transportation Safety -Safety professionals play an important role in the safety of all forms of transportation for companies and government agencies.
  • At the colleges and universities – Safety professionals who have doctoral degrees are often found teaching and doing research, public service, and consulting. They also attend professional schools and go into law practice or administration.
  • For insurance companies – Most safety professionals, with bachelor’s or master’s degrees may be found working, in a variety of industries, for state and federal agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and in hospitals, schools, and non-profit organizations.
  • Construction, transportation, service industries consulting practices, and Government projects – require safety professionals to travel to different worksites to provide support to their internal and external clientele.  To enforce the laws and regulations, government agencies employ safety professionals as inspectors and accident investigators.
  • International projects – The number of companies operating globally. Safety professionals must now adapt to multilingual contexts. 
  • In a consulting firm – May work as a safety consultant or loss control representative with dozens of other consultants, alone and are often self-employed on assignments in their particular specialty.
  • In Research Facilities – Those with a doctoral degree may find teaching opportunities in research on specific safety issues as technical advisors.

 Traveling Options

  • As a Corporate Safety Manager/Director/Vice President, safety professionals may have to travel often to visit various work sites. 
  • Safety professionals those prefer to remain at one work site but where traveling is optional. They might be placed in charge of a department, unit, or the entire operation at a site.

Career Options for Minorities and Other Groups

Careers in safety are available and open to men and women irrespective of racial and ethnic background. 

Physical disability is not a barrier to success in the safety profession. 

Salaries of Safety Professionals

The Board of Certified Safety Professionals regularly monitors the salaries of those safety professionals holding the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) designation. The top people in the safety profession often earn salaries well into six figures. 

Salaries range from lows of about $30,000 for safety inspectors to highs of $150,000 for highly qualified individuals in demanding positions

According to Safety and Health‘s Salary Survey- 2019, 78% of survey respondents earn more than $50,000 per year. Of those with five to ten years of safety experience, 48% made between $50,000 and $79,999 per year. 36% of safety professionals with over 20 years of experience are making more than $100,000 a year (These statistics may vary from state to state).

Skills to Become A Well Turned Safety Professional

Educational Skill

Since the safety professional position is highly crucial and interdisciplinary, it is important that Degrees, and the institutions that offer them, should be chosen carefully. 

They should have a broad background in science, mathematics, biology, chemistry, and physics. 

They have to develop good communication skills, and problem-solving skills to identify, analyze, and control hazards and frequently work with engineering specialists.

To Enhance Your Skills:

 Talk to safety professionals about their work.

 Visit safety professionals at their places of work and see what the job is all about.

Read about safety problems, accidents or disasters in newspapers and magazines and consider how these events could have been prevented. 

Do projects on workplace safety or health, consumer product safety, traffic safety, fire protection, safety signs/ equipment, or some similar subject. 

Visit industrial plants on field trips and ask questions about safety programs. Degrees, and the institutions that offer them, should be chosen carefully.

The employment outlook for safety professionals is bright and has continued to grow over the years, even in bad economic times. There is no reason to believe that the need for more safety professionals will diminish shortly.  

The need is to replace those retiring from practice with effectual, competent, proficient, productive, and determined Safety Professionals.

“Join Ken Institute for comprehensive Health and Safety courses led by expert faculty, ensuring your readiness to tackle workplace fire emergencies effectively.”

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