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What employers want from safety officers: how to become one

Maintaining the safety and health of a workplace and the people who work there is one of many businesses’ top objectives. Employers are looking for safety specialists with the correct mix of knowledge and abilities to do the job.

Occupational health and safety is a rewarding professional path. When it comes time to hunt for work, knowing what employers are looking for and how to best meet the expectations of this critical industry will give you an advantage. In this article, we give an outline of how to become a safety officer.


Occupational safety and health professionals are divided into two groups: technicians and specialists. Technicians work in entry-level employment, while specialists work at a higher level.

To learn more about the education requirements for safety officers, consider the following three topics:

  1. Degrees

  2. Certifications

  3. Knowledge


Employers often demand entry-level safety officers to have a high school diploma or, in some situations, an associate’s degree or certificate. These students should have completed some education in chemistry, biology, and physics, at the very least.

Employers normally require a bachelor’s degree for advanced roles in occupational safety and health, and senior-level positions may additionally require a master’s degree. Occupational safety and health degrees are preferred, but allied subjects such as engineering, biology, or chemistry may also be acceptable. Business degrees may be useful for careers at the management level.


Many organizations in occupational safety and health demand applicants to have achieved numerous certifications in addition to academic degrees. The Certified Safety Professional (CSP) is a common credential for safety professionals.


Employers will almost certainly require applicants to have a thorough understanding of the principles of safety and industrial hygiene, as well as relevant government legislation, at any level. In many circumstances, knowledge of the individual industry’s safety regulations and protocols, as well as the concerns and trends in that business, is also expected.

Organizations may expect applicants to have knowledge of basic business fundamentals—such as analytical skills, strategic planning and thinking, and financial functions—as they progress up the career ladder, and in some cases, greater knowledge of international safety rules, standards, and certifications.


You can get an entry-level job in occupational safety and health with little experience if you have the right education. However, as your career progresses, companies will require more experience, with some executive leadership positions requiring 10 years or more.

What kind of education do you need to work as a safety professional? Employers are looking for candidates with experience in important job duties such as the following:

  • Developing and conducting training, education and investigations.

  • developing safety programs and ensuring compliance.

  • Emergency response

  • Managing safety materials and programs

  • record keeping and reporting.

Many employers value the development of soft skills in a variety of settings, in addition to the technical skills required for the job. OSH leaders frequently collaborate with other departments within their company, such as human resources and operations, and they must be able to effectively communicate and integrate diverse viewpoints and priorities.

Understanding the role

In some businesses, the role of the safety professional is limited to ensuring that everyone wears a hard hat and goggles. However, the modern safety professional is responsible for much more, and employers who recognize the strategic value of OSH will seek out candidates who can demonstrate a deeper understanding of their responsibilities.

Employers want to hire safety professionals who can describe the value they provide to their organization and who are focused on more than just enforcing rules. Successful OSH leaders know how to create connections and can work with leaders from all levels of an organization to not only help them understand the value of OSH but also to actively engage them in maintaining the organization’s safety.


While it is critical for OSH professionals to understand the rules and be able to plan and administer programs that adhere to them, employers are seeking more. You’ll be more successful and attractive to employers if you can be more than just a source of information about regulations and instead add to the bottom line of your organization.