The timing couldn’t be better. According to a government study assessing the occupational safety and health (OSH) workforce, the estimated number of OSH professionals employers expect to hire in the coming years is substantially higher than the number estimated to be produced from OSH training programs. This offers students entering college or professionals seeking a career change a genuine opportunity to make a difference in the lives of their co-workers, all while earning an excellent salary and enjoying career advancement and leadership opportunities.
OSH professionals have rewarding jobs and make a positive impact on society. No day is the same – though the goal of every OSH professional, every day, is for everyone to return home safely to their loved ones.
OSH professionals advise, strategize, and lead the management of workplace safety and health. They provide employers advice, support and analysis to their employers to help them establish risk controls and management processes that promote sustainable business practice. They work to reduce (and eliminate) fatalities, injuries, occupational diseases, sickness and property damage. They also provide advice on matters related to health and wellness and even security.
The OSH profession is multifaceted and has many exciting opportunities. Our members work in a diverse array of industries and across the globe. While many may work in high-risk industries such as transportation, oil and gas or construction, others work in retail, for government and insurance risk management.
OSH professionals often specialize in many different areas, such as ergonomics, industrial hygiene, occupational psychology, occupational health, or in allied professions such as nursing, fire protection engineering or physiotherapy. Others may be more involved in environmental management, emergency management, or security. To explore OSH specialties that may interest you, visit the ASSE Practice Specialties page to learn more about them.
Acronyms popular across the profession include:
Today’s OSH professionals take various paths into the profession. Although some are engineers, most are not. Many enter the field through other occupations or the military while, increasingly, others study occupational safety and health in a university program. OSH graduates with the best career prospects generally graduate from an ABET-accredited applied sciences program.
The OSH profession has two general career paths – vocational and managerial. Those who fall into the “vocational” group typically have two-year associates degrees and have titles including terms such as “practitioner,” “technician,” “technologist,” or “senior technical specialist.” Those on the “managerial” path have at least a four-year degree and often have a master’s degree in safety or an MBA. They often have titles such as “manager,” “director,” or “vice president.”
How do I get started?
Greater detail on recommended education, experience and credentials for OSH Professionals can be found in the ASSE Hiring Guide.
ASSE is the most sought-after source for professional development among safety professionals, providing valuable training, networking, knowledge, skills and continuing education.
Led by the most experienced certification leaders, Langlois, Weigand & Associates, Inc., ASSE’s Certification Preparation Workshops are intensive three-day programs featuring overviews of each of examination domain covered by each BCSP exam.
ASSE offers five Certificate Programs and are a great opportunity for OSH professionals to broaden their knowledge and demonstrate their expertise.
ASSE’s Certificate in Safety Management provides a forum to share challenges, craft solutions, and implement the necessary skills to be successful in positioning safety in your organization.
ASSE’s new edition of the Executive Program will introduce you to contemporary management methods and influential leadership strategies, and teach you how to apply them to your workforce.
ASSE’s Global Safety Management Certificate Program focuses on safety management practices that will enable safety professionals to establish and maintain safe workplaces anywhere in the world.
Upon completion of this program, participants receive a Certificate in Risk Assessment that is evidence of having acquired the skills to execute a safety and health risk assessment.
It is imperative for OSH professionals to understand the ISO 45001 Standard, its implementation and implication for your company, colleagues, and clients. Learn how with ASSE’s ISO 45001 Certificate Program.
ASSE’s Annual Conference brings together the most distinguished speakers and strategic sessions covering emerging topics and trends. Make connections with over 4,000 peers and gain actionable insight from proven leaders.
Offered in Las Vegas, NV every year, ASSE’s SeminarFest hosts over 90 in-depth seminars in managerial, leadership, technical and skill building topics. Seminars take place across 1, 2 and 3 days, and provide you with the opportunity to earn a substantial amount of CEUs.
ASSE offers both live and on-demand virtual events in our online classroom, Learn@ASSE. Access best practices at your fingertips, plus earn CEUs, while enjoying decreased costs and greater convenience.
The charitable arm of ASSE, the Foundation supports the profession by providing OSH students with financial support through grants and scholarships.
The ASSE Job Board helps jobseekers find jobs and employers find staff in the safety management field. Candidates can browse current vacancies and post their resume. Employers can post a job or browse the resume database to find the right candidate.
A 2015 American Society of Safety Engineers survey of more than 9,000 occupational safety and health professionals reveals they earn an annual base salary on average of $98,000, an increase of $8,000 since the survey was taken two years ago. View the Survey.
To respond to growing concern and debate over the supply and demand for occupational safety and health professionals in the United States, NIOSH commissioned a National Survey of the Occupational Safety and Health Workforce, released in October 2011. The assessment found that based on current trends, future national demand for occupational safety and health services will significantly outstrip the number of professionals with the necessary training, education, and experience to provide such services. View the report.