Occupational Health and Safety Technicians
19-5012.00

Collect data on work environments for analysis by occupational health and safety specialists. Implement and conduct evaluation of programs designed to limit chemical, physical, biological, and ergonomic risks to workers.

Sample of reported job titles: Advisory Industrial Hygienist, Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH), Construction Safety Consultant, Health and Safety Technician, Industrial Hygiene Consultant, Industrial Hygiene Engineer, Industrial Hygienist, Safety Research Professional

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Test workplaces for environmental hazards, such as exposure to radiation, chemical or biological hazards, or excessive noise.
  • Prepare or calibrate equipment used to collect or analyze samples.
  • Maintain all required environmental records and documentation.
  • Supply, operate, or maintain personal protective equipment.
  • Prepare or review specifications or orders for the purchase of safety equipment, ensuring that proper features are present and that items conform to health and safety standards.
  • Conduct worker studies to determine whether specific instances of disease or illness are job-related.
  • Recommend corrective measures to be applied based on results of environmental contaminant analyses.
  • Verify availability or monitor use of safety equipment, such as hearing protection or respirators.
  • Review records or reports concerning laboratory results, staffing, floor plans, fire inspections, or sanitation to gather information for the development or enforcement of safety activities.
  • Evaluate situations or make determinations when a worker has refused to work on the grounds that danger or potential harm exists.
  • Help direct rescue or firefighting operations in the event of a fire or an explosion.
  • Inspect fire suppression systems or portable fire systems to ensure proper working order.
  • Train workers in safety procedures related to green jobs, such as the use of fall protection devices or maintenance of proper ventilation during wind turbine construction.
  • Plan emergency response drills.
  • Prepare documents to be used in legal proceedings, testifying in such proceedings when necessary.
  • Provide consultation to organizations or agencies on the workplace application of safety principles, practices, or techniques.
  • Educate the public about health issues or enforce health legislation to prevent disease, to promote health, or to help people understand health protection procedures and regulations.
  • Test or balance newly installed HVAC systems to determine whether indoor air quality standards are met.
  • Examine credentials, licenses, or permits to ensure compliance with licensing requirements.
  • Maintain logbooks of daily activities, including areas visited or activities performed.
  • Collect data regarding potential hazards from new equipment or products linked to green practices.
  • Confer with schools, state authorities, or community groups to develop health standards or programs.
  • Conduct interviews to obtain information or evidence regarding communicable diseases or violations of health or sanitation regulations.
  • Collect data related to ecological or human health risks at brownfield sites.
  • Perform tests to identify any potential hazards related to recycled products used at green building sites.
  • Examine practices at green building sites to determine whether adherence to green building standards alters risks to workers.

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Technology Skills

Hot technology
Hot Technologies are requirements most frequently included across all employer job postings.
In demand
In Demand skills are frequently included in employer job postings for this occupation.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 90% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Telephone — 75% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 72% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 55% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 50% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 50% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 55% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 60% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 45% responded “Very important results.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 45% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 45% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 45% responded “Very important.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 55% responded “40 hours.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 30% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 65% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Time Pressure — 50% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Letters and Memos — 53% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 45% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 45% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 45% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 60% responded “About half the time.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 30% responded “Important.”
  • Level of Competition — 50% responded “Moderately competitive.”
  • Consequence of Error — 30% responded “Very serious.”
  • Physical Proximity — 45% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Deal With External Customers — 35% responded “Fairly important.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 35% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 45% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Outdoors, Under Cover — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education
Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, desktop publishers, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters and simultaneous captioners, and medical assistants.
SVP Range
1-2 years of preparation (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
State licenses
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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Knowledge

  • Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub-atomic structures and processes.
  • Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Personnel and Human Resources — Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 60%
     
    responded: Bachelor’s degree required
  • 15%
     
    responded: Associate’s degree required
  • 15%
     
    responded: Master’s degree requiredmore info

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.

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Interests

Interest code: CR
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

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Work Values

  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

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Work Styles

  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$24.58 hourly, $51,120 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2021)
22,500 employees
Projected growth (2021-2031)
Average (4% to 7%)
Projected job openings (2021-2031)
2,500
State trends
Top industries (2021)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2021-2031 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2021-2031). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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