What is the Employment Outlook for an Occupational Health and Safety Specialist?

Does your skill set include legal knowledge plus an interest in helping your colleagues avoid injuries and illnesses at work? Perhaps you’re curious about the future employment outlook for the role of occupational health and safety specialist. Is there significant demand for professionals who can assist employers in complying with the ever-changing body of health and safety legislation? If so, who hires these types of workers? Where will the best job opportunities in this field be available?

Let’s dig into the known data to determine the outlook for occupational health and safety specialists.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is forecasting a favorable employment outlook for those specializing in the field of occupational health and safety. According to the BLS analysis, there is growing demand for both occupational health and safety specialists and technicians. They believe employers will be adding roughly 90,100 new health and safety specialist jobs to the US economy by 2026  This is a growth rate of eight percent. They’re also predicting a 10 percent increase in the number of health and safety technician positions. This calculates to about 19,800 new jobs.

Future Employment Outlook for Occupational Health and Safety Specialists

Occupational hazards are problematic for many industries. This means that there is a perpetual demand for workers who have the expertise to help safeguard workers and avert related disasters. At large companies, talented occupational health and safety specialists can generally pay for themselves easily. They save their employers significant sums on insurance and worker’s compensation payouts. Governments also need this type of expertise and are willing to pay well for it. Governments, consulting services and hospitals are some of the most significant employers of occupational health and safety specialists.

Skills and Credentials

At the very least, you will need to earn a bachelor’s degree. Relevant major courses of study for this vocation include:

  • occupational health and safety
  • biology
  • chemistry
  • engineering.

Your competitors for occupational health and safety jobs are likely to hold master’s degrees. Some employers require their workers to hold graduate degrees in fields such as industrial hygiene and health physics. If you have the means to earn your master’s degree, it probably be beneficial when you are seeking work.

BLS analysts believe US employers will be likeliest to value candidates in this field who have solid scientific backgrounds. They also believe that related work experience in more than one aspect of health and safety can improve your chances of finding an excellent job in this field. They recommend certification as a means of improving your job prospects.

If you’re interested in pursuing employment in the field of occupational health and safety, we hope this information gives you the confidence to start establishing the academic and other credentials you’ll need.

Undertaking a master’s degree or even a bachelor’s degree can seem like a leap of faith. But if a career as an occupational health and safety specialist appeals to you, the time and effort you’ll invest in your education will prove worthwhile.