This Byte has been authored by

Heidi Fleming

Every job will have some sort of hazard. These can include:

  • Dangerous equipment

  • Hazardous chemicals

  • Heavy lifting

  • Sitting and staring at a computer screen all day

Companies must follow government regulations to keep their employees and visitors safe. If they don't, they can be fined or shut down. This is where an industrial health and safety (H&S) engineer steps in!

A dog in a room on fire, under the text

What Do You Do Every Day

Some of the tasks you could work on are:

  • Research regulations and write policies

  • Perform inspections of industrial processes and personnel

  • Develop training programs and teach classes

  • Meetings with other departments to solve problems

  • Assess equipment/system hazards and propose solutions

  • Design, operate, install, or maintain technical equipment

  • Build spreadsheets and do calculations

There can be a lot of variety to your days. Some days you'll...

  • Work with a team to develop creative solutions

  • Argue with people about why something isn't safe

  • Sit in front of a spreadsheet all day mining data

  • Walk around checking chemical labels

You may never quite know what the day will bring.

Quiz

What are some tasks an H&S Engineer could work on?

Job Specifics

Where will you work?

There are many different types of health and safety jobs, but most people will work in one of the following:

  • General Industry/Construction — You work directly at a manufacturing or construction site to help your company follow H&S regulations.

Two engineers inspecting factory equipment Photo by Science in HD on Unsplash

  • Engineering/Consulting firms — You would be hired by different companies (clients) to help them follow regulations. It may be for a specific project or as an ongoing expert.

An engineer looking at a design image on a computer screen Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

Flaticon Icon What does it pay?

Salaries in the US can range from $55,000 to $140,000 per year, with an average of around $90,000 per year . Salaries will depend on things like the geographic area, level of responsibility, experience, education, etc.

What kind of education do you need?

If you want to become an industrial health and safety engineer, you should get a 4-year degree in Engineering, Health & Safety, or a related Science program.

How Do You Know If This Job Is For You?

You may love it if you like to:

  • Follow and enforce the rules.

  • Work collaboratively with other people.

  • Protect people's safety and the environment.

  • Read technical regulations and do research.

  • Speak out on what you feel is important and don't mind disagreeing with people.

  • Learn new things all the time and explain them to others.

A woman saying,

You may hate it if:

  • You like being popular. It can be a tough job because you are pushing people to do the right thing, which can slow down production and profits.

  • You want to be part of a team. Depending on where you are, you may work alone most of the time.

  • You don't want to read and learn a lot of technical information.

  • You want a set routine every day.

Mr. Burns from the Simpsons insulting nuclear inspectors at his plant.

Test Your Knowledge

Who would be a good candidate for Industrial Health and Safety Engineer?

Flaticon Icon Layla

  • Loves to learn new things

  • Very detail oriented

  • No problem speaking her mind when it's important

Flaticon Icon Darryl

  • Loves helping people and making friends

  • Doesn't like giving people bad news

  • Doesn't like to read a lot

Flaticon Icon Oliver

  • Likes working with numbers

  • Likes finding the fastest way to accomplish a task

  • Likes to argue with everyone

Flaticon Icon Alexis

  • Loves math and science

  • Prefers to work independently

  • Likes working on computers all day

Quiz

The best candidate for H&S engineer is:

Take Action

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So what should you do if you think you want to be a H&S engineer?

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