The Scoop on Occupational Health and Safety Technicians

Occupational Health and Safety Technicians do a lot of the work that no one else would do in the Health and Safety industry.

Much like their counterparts who are Health and Safety Specialists, Health and Safety Technicians analyze workplaces for hazards to employees and make certain that working conditions are safe for everyone involved. This sort of work is not for the faint of heart, but it is perfectly suited for those who want to keep businesses in check and insure that hard-working people are in a good place to work.

What in the World Does an Occupational Health and Safety Technician Do?

Because this job is a little less specialized the amount of work and testing that is done in this field is very general, but very necessary. If you were working as an OHS (Occupational Health and Safety) Tech then you would be charged with doing tests on the water and air in a building or on a worksite. You might also need to do tests for levels of radiation, asbestos or other harmful chemicals and interview workers to gain vital information that can be analyzed by your employer or the Specialist that you are working with.

In addition to doing a lot of the work in the "trenches" and OHS Teach is also responsible for aiding a Specialist in creating programs to help businesses fix the problems they have and to help those businesses implement those changes. Once you are done finding the problems, it is best to help those involved solve those problems in the cheapest and fairest way possible.

Some Technicians may assist more "specialized" Specialists who work in insurance or other fields.

What Kind of Training do I need (A.K.A. - Will I have to go to School?)

As with Specialists you do need an education to do this job, but the programs for training are even more accessible. Technicians can typically get trained for this work in a vocational school, technical school, junior college, or community college. The programs take from 9 months (certificate) to 2 years (Associate's Degree.) Since the degree levels are different this may impact how you are viewed by potential employers, so it is advisable to get as much school as you can.

After finishing school you need to go out and find a job, but do you need certification? The answer is no. However, many employers will only hire certified personnel. As an OHS Technician that amount of certification you can get is limited because of the more general nature of your job, but it is a good idea to try to get certified so that potential will look better on you than normal.

How Do I get One of These Jobs Anyways?

Getting a job as a Technician can be a simple process if you use common sense in your job search. First thing's first: Go where the specialists are. The government employs about 40% of Technicians because they also employ about 40% of the Specialists in this field. If you go into government work you would aiding a Specialist to inspect buildings and offices for Health and Safety concerns.

You could also go to work in the insurance, environmentalist, manufacturing, and business fields. All sorts of companies hire Technicians to aid Specialists who are charged with insuring that the company is in compliance with government regulations and to make sure employs are well taken care of.

Advancement in this field is pretty simple. Get a little more schooling and become an OHS Specialist. This is the first step of many, but this is a good job to train for immediate advancement. Because you will be working with a Specialist you will know so much of what you need to know to become a Specialist, and probably sooner than you thought!

After becoming a Specialist you can get into management, research or teaching. Either way, you're not going to be doing hard water tests your whole career.

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Occupational Health and Safety Technicians Overview

Occupational Health and Safety Technician Salary:$45,360
Job Prospects:B-
Education after high school:2 years
# Employed in US:10,540
% Who work Part Time:8%
Physical Difficulty:+
Intellectual Difficulty:+
Emotional Difficulty:+

The Pros of being an Occupational Health and Safety Technician

  • The training doesn't take very long at all
  • You can work in as many areas as there are workplaces
  • You can rise quickly because you will be working with a Specialist who can teach you everything you need to know about getting promoted

The Cons of being an Occupational Health and Safety Technician

  • You end up doing a lot of grunt work
  • You spend a lot of time on your feet
  • Because the job is unspecialized you may run into instances where businesses you are inspecting might not take you seriously