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Industrial Safety Technologies

The field of industrial safety technologies deals with the maintenance of safe, healthy and hygienic work environments. Most industrial safety technologists have attained some level of postsecondary education, and many are certified as well. Read on for more career and education information.

Inside Industrial Safety Technologies

Industrial safety technologists inspect workplaces for safety hazards and implement environmental controls to minimize such hazards. They often inspect machinery and equipment to ensure they are operating correctly and in compliance with state and federal industry regulations. Industrial safety technologists may also assess safety training programs, and some advise personnel on the proper attire and protective gear to wear when handling hazardous materials and operating equipment. Many industrial safety technologists are further trained to provide on-site emergency assistance.

Education Information

Most industrial safety technologists gain some level of postsecondary education and training as well as on-the-job learning. Many 2- and 4-year colleges and universities offer associate's, bachelor's and master's degree and certificate programs related to industrial safety technologies. Aspiring industrial safety technologists may earn degrees in industrial technology, safety technology or occupational safety, for example.

While program curricula can vary according to the specific degree program, courses generally cover topics in incident management, Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) regulations, construction safety, industrial hygiene, quality assurance technology, toxicology and hazardous materials. Check out the following links for more information about education options:

Distance Learning Options

Industrial safety technology students interested in obtaining their education remotely can pursue online degrees and certificates through various related fields, like industrial engineering technology and safety engineering. Online coursework related to the safety technician field is also available to distance learners. Review some of your online learning options here:

Career Options

Industrial safety technologists are employed by corporations, non-profit organizations and government agencies. Certificate and associate degree programs can prepare students for careers as industrial safety technologists, engineering technicians, production technicians or industrial technicians in industrial, manufacturing, health care and institutional facilities. Individuals with a bachelor's or master's degree in the field may pursue managerial or supervisory roles. The articles below provide information on some of these positions. Explore Education-Portal.com for additional career options.

Certification Information

Industrial safety technologists can pursue professional credentials to increase their employability and advance in the profession. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that many employers encourage these professionals to earn credentials (www.bls.gov).

The Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) offers several levels of certification to individuals in the safety profession, such as the Occupational Health and Safety Technologist credential (www.bcsp.org). While BCSP certification requirements vary by credential, they generally include meeting a certain combination of education and experience requirements as well as passing an exam.

The Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering also offers certification to those who meet education requirements and pass an exam (www.atmae.org). Due to the fast-changing nature of industry and technology, most credentialing programs require continuing education to maintain certification on an ongoing basis.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The BLS projected average job growth for occupational health and safety technicians of 11% between 2012 and 2022. The BLS expected technological advances and changing industry regulations to contribute to moderate job growth in this field. As of May 2013, the median annual salary of occupational health and safety technicians was $47,380, with the top ten percent earning $75,850 or more annually.

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