Occupational health and safety jobs can be highly rewarding as they set the standards and conditions that protect employee welfare in the workplace. Depending on the types of jobs in the safety field an applicant is interested in, the positions can also offer high salaries. Entry-level safety jobs, as well as health and safety jobs available for more experienced or higher educated applicants, are a staple of many industries and openings are growing on pace with the economy. As you consider beginning your education in occupational health and safety as you earn your degree, keep in mind these positions that offer above-average salaries and extraordinary fulfillment as you care for the wellbeing of others.
Choosing the Highest Paying Occupational Health Careers
1. Occupational Health and Safety Technicians
Occupational health and safety technicians use their undergraduate education to ensure that workers are acting appropriately in the workplace and not inadvertently causing dangerous situations that could lead to their own injuries or circumstances that injure others. These technicians make sure that any safety equipment required on job sites is available to the employees who need them and are being used appropriately. They also work to ensure that safety standards and guidelines are being followed. These are considered entry level safety jobs but still carry median salaries close to $55,000 per year, depending on the industry.
2. Occupational Health and Safety Specialists
Occupational health and safety specialists require an undergraduate degree plus some industry experience. Among health and safety jobs, they are also well-paid, with median wages topping $70,000 per year. Specialists are often health and safety professionals who began as technicians and moved into the next level position after gaining industry experience. Instead of working to make sure workplace regulations and safety standards are followed, these specialists are the professionals who research, design, and implement those standards. Additionally, they may oversee the work of technicians, specifically auditing or inspecting to ensure the highest level of safety is observed on the job.
3. Health and Safety Engineers
Occupational health and safety jobs often require programs or systems to be designed that call upon engineering skills. Some colleges and universities offer programs that either include engineering classes or specializations through their occupational health and safety degrees, or the opportunity to earn concurrent degrees in safety and engineering to prepare for this career field. Engineering jobs in the safety field consider entire workplaces or work systems to determine procedures and guidelines that protect employees throughout the work cycle. This can include building specialized equipment, redesigning the layout of the workplace, or engineering new processes that heighten safety standards. Health and safety engineers earn a median income of $88,510 per year. In certain fields, specifically, those related to science, those earnings can swell to a mid-range of $100,000 per year.
Finding Your Occupational Health and Safety Niche
Occupational health and safety jobs can be found throughout many different industries, including construction, manufacturing, engineering, science, mining, and exploration. Job duties may take individuals from comfortable inside environments out to more challenging outside areas and even workplaces that are underground or offshore. With the field growing on pace with the economy, there will be a continued need for employees in the health and safety field for the foreseeable future. You can work in staff, the management or consulting roles, all calling upon your education and training to ensure you achieve the best possible results in employee safety.