Five career options if you have an Occupational Health & safety degree
Several roles within the healthcare industry allow you to make a difference in people’s lives in one way or another. Pursuing a career in occupational health and safety opens doors for you to change people’s lives differently.
It is a gratifying profession that ensures the well-being and safety of workers in an organization. Contrary to the image that comes into mind when discussing occupational health and safety, professionals fitting these roles play a massive role in preventing workplace illnesses.
Besides decreasing the illness or injury rate among workers, individuals working in a particular field ensure the organization is legally compliant. Additionally, occupational health and safety professionals strive to create a sustainable and healthy workforce.
Other than that, OHS professionals are in demand as thousands of workers get injured daily throughout the year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 122,000 jobs were available in 2019, which is likely to increase by 4 % over the next ten years.
Failing to comply with health and safety laws often leads to serious legal actions and, in some cases, shut down businesses. Because of that, there is an increase in demand for qualified OHS professionals.
If you want to play your part in ensuring the safety of workers, start your journey by searching for colleges with safety degrees and registering asap. After getting an OHS degree, you have various career paths to choose from.
Mentioned below are a few roles you can opt to pursue.
1. Health Service Manager
The role of a health service manager is of managerial degree with a spotlight on department management. These individuals are assigned various tasks, from clerical to hiring new employees and regulating health or medical services.
The responsibilities of a health service manager include directing and supervising the delivery of health care within the department. Besides ensuring the facility’s health, these professionals manage the finances and budget of the organization. Moreover, they also hire and train new employees.
Apart from health-related courses, individuals aspiring to become health service managers must also enroll in business courses. These courses and enhancing knowledge also equip managers with management skills. Keeping in mind the latest laws and regulations regarding health laws, health service managers must implement changes accordingly.
As per Payscale, the annual median salary of a health service manager was $70,600, whereas an entry-level professional earned about $61,800. Factors like job experience and education level determine the salary range.
2. Safety Coordinator
Part of smoothly running a corporation is ensuring that it meets health and safety standards. This is where the safety coordinator plays their role by developing and regulating the organization’s health and safety standards.
A safety coordinator ensures that every employee adheres to the safety guidelines. It is up to employers to take every step possible to maintain employees’ health. To prevent serious problems, a safety coordinator monitors work conditions and finds solutions.
To become a qualified coordinator, you must understand the dynamics of the machinery involved in work. Safety coordinators can devise ways to focus on handling equipment and avoiding injuries.
Apart from that, as a safety coordinator, you must live up to the role of conducting thorough accident investigations and ensuring that adequate training is provided to every employee. The salary depends primarily on years of experience, job location, and education.
3. Health and Safety Director
As the title suggests, a health and safety director is assigned the task of ensuring the safety of the workers and enforcing safety standards in the workplace. Part of the health and safety director’s job is inspecting the building the organization is settled in for safety and health risks.
In case of minor health risks, a safety and health director takes immediate measures to oversee the matter. In addition to that, they also file an incident report and inform the management.
There is always an increased likelihood of unprecedented circumstances like a medical emergency. A safety and health director provides first aid or CPR training to resolve the issues immediately and without additional complications.
A qualified director strives to reduce the incidence of accidents or health risks. That is accomplished by thoroughly analyzing the data and cause and accordingly developing effective solutions. The safety director is a senior position that takes individual years of experience to reach. So, you can start your journey with a junior position and work your way to the top.
4. Industrial Hygienist
As an industrial hygienist, you are committed to evaluating and taking appropriate measures to prevent the rise of environmental stressors within the organization that lead to adverse outcomes. The outcome endangers the worker’s well-being.
These professionals work hard to ensure the well-being of people within the corporation. With knowledge and skills, a hygienist invents ways to decrease the impact of unhealthy elements in the organization. Upon finding health risks within the corporation, these individuals get in touch with the management and health professionals to neutralize the potentially hazardous substance.
A few common tasks of industrial hygienists include collecting highly toxic samples, analyzing them, and documenting their search results.
An industrial hygienist ensures that the work environment is safe for employees so that neither they nor their families suffer. Knowledge of toxic substances, skills in analyzing test reports, and years of experience are prerequisites to becoming a qualified industrial hygienist.
5. OHS Nurse
The job title shows that an OHS nurse oversees the workplace’s safety. Despite the nature of the occupation, every workplace has hazardous risks.
Regardless of the measures, there is always a chance that someone might get sick or injured. During those difficult times, occupational healthcare providers nurse individuals back to health.
To live up to the role of occupational health nurse, strong communication skills are a must. As a nurse, you must effectively initiate conversations with employees, employers, and even insurance companies to understand the extent of the issue and take action accordingly.
It is also important because it benefits workman’s compensation and medical insurance claims. Apart from care, occupational health nurses must comply with all workplace guidelines.
The working conditions and environment depends on factors like the industry type and location. OHS nurses work in various settings, from industrial plants to government setups. Apart from years of experience and the job location, the benefit a company offers determine the salary.
A company is likely to suffer when its workers aren’t capable of doing their job. One of the reasons is due to health-related issues. That said, pursuing a career in occupational health and safety benefits the corporation and the individual well-being.
Besides ensuring the employee’s safety, the field offers various career options. These options include industrial hygienists, OHS nurses, and safety coordinators. These roles aim to safeguard the well-being of every worker within the organization.