Health and safety officer
Health and safety advisers work to reduce accidents, injury and health problems in the workplace.
Salary Range: £22,000 to £70,000
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- training through a professional body
You can do a degree or postgraduate diploma recognised by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
You can do an advanced apprenticeship as a safety, health and environment technician.
You can also complete an environmental health practitioner degree apprenticeship, if you’re going to work mainly in environmental safety.
You’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
You could study for a health and safety qualification while you’re working or to improve your chances of finding a trainee position.
These are likely to include health and safety in the workplace, regulations, risk assessment and basic accident investigation. Courses are usually available on a part-time basis or by distance learning.
You can take approved health and safety courses through:
- British Safety Council
- National Compliance and Risk Qualifications
Professional and industry bodies
The Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register has a list of professional bodies offering membership options.
You can find more on careers in health and safety from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register.
Skills and knowledge
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to use your initiative
- the ability to work well with others
- persistence and determination
- legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
- knowledge of English language
- knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
- maths knowledge
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
Your day-to-day tasks may include:
- developing safety policies and procedures
- advising and training staff on health and safety practices
- making regular inspections
- doing risk assessments
- investigating and recording accidents in the workplace
- working with relevant inspectors and trade unions
You could work in an office, on a construction site or in an NHS or private hospital.
Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.
You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.
With experience, you could move into a safety management role.
You could also become a consultant and specialise in a particular area like environmental. construction or food safety. With further study you could move into research, training or lecturing.