If you want to learn how to become a safety officer, this is the guide for you. The website Payscale claims that the average annual income of a safety officer is $56,606. Many safety officers are paid between $70,000 and $90,000.
This is an excellent income considering that many safety officer jobs don’t require a college degree.
There some necessary skills, certifications, and experience needed before you land a safety officer job.
What does a safety officer do?
The duties of a safety officer include: planning, maintaining, and implementing safety, health, and environmental programs that are designed to keep employees safe.
Their main goal is to make sure that all construction workers on a site keep themselves and others safe.
Safety officers accomplish this goal in a variety of ways.
Safety officers will:
– Interview and train new workers on site to make sure they are following safety protocols.
– Conduct meetings periodically to train workers and discuss safety protocols.
– Fill out and review reports of incidents or injuries that occur on site.
– Update safety measures so that they are up to date with current regulations.
What skills does a safety officer need?
Since safety officers are supposed to manage all of the workers on site, it can be a demanding job.
A safety officer has to have excellent communication skills, in person and on paper. You have to be able to properly instruct and educate the workers on site of proper safety protocols.
They have to have interpersonal skills. Since they are constantly working with other people, it’s important to be able to get along with different types of people.
Safety officers have to be organized. They deal not only with a large number of workers on site, but also with a ton of paper work.
You will usually be required to travel to different job sites, so having reliable transportation is also a necessity.
Due to current technological advancements, a safety officer must have knowledge of Microsoft Office and basic computer skills. Filling out electronic paper work is a requirement of most safety officer jobs.
Design and Create Safety Materials
As a safety officer, you’ll have to to design and create safety materials. You’ll create signs and notices around the job site that will remind workers of proper safety protocol.
Work Under Pressure
A safety officer is responsible for safety of everyone on site.
With so many people working on so many different things, a lot that can go wrong. You have to be prepared to handle any injuries or incidents that occur.
Do I need to have a College Degree to become a Safety Officer
The simple answer to this question is no.
Will having a college degree help? Yes.
Employers usually prefer that you have a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS). A Bachelor’s degree in Construction Management, Engineering, or other closely related field will also work.
A college degree will lower amount of years in experience that you need to become a Certified Safety Professional. We’ll give further details about this certification later in this article.
What Certifications do I need to become a Safety Officer?
The certifications to become a safety officer are all OSHA approved courses. OSHA stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The type of OSHA courses a safety officer will need vary employer to employer. Most employers want you have at least completed the OSHA 30-Hour Construction course. Any other credentials you receive will open you up to more job opportunities and a higher salary.
OSHA 30-Hour Construction
The OSHA-30 is a 30 hour class that trains workers and management on the prevention of health and safety hazards. Almost all employers will ask for this certification as a requirement.
OSHA 510 Construction Industry Standards
The OSHA 510 course focuses on OSHA policies, procedure, and standards specifically for the construction field. The difference between this course and the OSHA 30, is that this course is specific for the construction industry.
Some employers require you to have completed the OSHA 510 since it is more in depth than the OSHA 30.
OSHA 500 Construction Industry Train the Trainer
The OSHA 500 is a course that accredits you to become an Outreach Trainer. The course focuses on material from the OSHA 10, OSHA 30, and other hazardous areas of construction. It will teach you how to effectively train others, and will allow you to conduct OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 classes.
On completion of this course, you will receive an “Authorized Construction Trainer Card”. This certification will help you find the top paying jobs as a safety officer. It will also allow you to make extra money training people in the OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 courses on your spare time.
The OSHA 510 is a prerequisite to this course and you will need to take it before you take this course.
For more information, you can visit the How to Become an Authorized Trainer page on the OSHA website.
Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST)
As a Safety Officer, you’ll greatly benefit from having the CHST certification. The Board of Certified Safety Professionals awards this credential/certificate. It shows potential employers that you are competent and knowledgable as a a safety officer.
Any certification awarded by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals will increase you job opportunities and potential salary.
For more information on the requirements to earn a CHST or other credential, you can visit the Board of Certified Safety Professionals website.
Start off as a construction worker and pass the OSHA 30 course. Find an entry level safety office job. It’s that simple.
If you have the skills and personality to manage other workers and stay up to date on safety standards, you can easily make well over $60,000 a year in an industry that is constantly growing.
If you have any questions, please comment below and I’d glad to help you anyway I can.