What Do Occupational Health and Safety Technicians Do?
Occupational health and safety technicians ensure that work environments are safe for their workers. They are responsible for analyzing the safety precautions and procedures. However, safety technicians may simply collect data for occupational health and safety specialists to analyze. They typically do evaluation and may recommend safety programs or improvements to existing programs. It is common for occupational health and safety technicians to focus on industrial or production environments because these are the ones that frequently pose safety threats, but it is possible to evaluate work environments in any field.
Occupational Health and Safety Technicians Skills and Abilities
The primary area that occupational health and safety technicians must focus their attention on is public safety and security. It is important that professionals have a complete understanding of policies, regulations, and laws, in addition to common practices and procedures for encouraging safety. Secondly, occupational health and safety technicians are required to have thorough communication skills. Their jobs will involve relating or receiving information at nearly all times. Training experience will also come in handy as they will be helping make improvements in different work places. Finally, critical thinking and problem solving skills are vital. They need to be able to visualize different issues that may arise simply by looking at the set up and figure out how these problems may be solved.
Occupational Health and Safety Technicians Duties
The list of duties that occupational health and safety technicians are responsible for includes:
- Verify availability of safety equipment
- Test workplaces for environmental hazards. This includes everything from radiation or biological hazards to excessively high noise levels.
- Supply or maintain personal protective equipment
- Monitor use of safety equipment
- Maintain all required environmental documentation
- Plan emergency response procedures and run drills
- Recommend corrective measures
- Conduct interviews in order to obtain information
Occupational Health and Safety Technicians Tools and Technology
The tools that occupational health and safety technicians use on a daily basis to ensure the safety of workers usually include the following:
- Air pollutant samplers
- Air sampling pumps
- Electronic pump calibrators, electronic bubble meters, and mass flow meters
- Carbon monoxide and mercury vapor analyzers
Analytical software may also be used.
Education and Training for Occupational Health and Safety Technicians
It is typical for occupational health and safety technicians to have a college degree, but it is possible to find work with less education experience. Moderate training is provided upon being hired as well. About 35% of technicians that are currently working hold a Bachelor’s degree. Another 20% have earned a Master’s degree, while slightly less than 10% have an Associate’s degree. This means that a total of 65% of health and safety technicians have finished a college education. About 30% managed to find work without earning a degree, however, so it is possible.
Occupational Health and Safety Technicians Salary
The salary of occupational health and safety technicians typically start low, but they can work their way up to earning a pretty high annual wage. The low end of the range sees professionals earn about $30,000 each year, but the top 10% earns about $80,000. The median is $50,000, which is not bad at all.
Occupational Health and Safety Technicians Jobs by Geography
Overall, the employment rates for occupational health technicians are good across the nation. While most states are not seeing a dramatic increase, only two states, Maine and New Jersey, are anticipated to decrease their employment rates. Across the nation, rates are predicted to increase by about 10%. Meanwhile, in states such as Colorado, Virginia, and Utah, employment rates should be increasing by as much as 25 to 40%. Be sure to take a look at the rates for the state you are planning on working in.