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Occupational Health and Safety Technicians

At a Glance

  • Have a high level of social interaction
  • May work more than 40 hours per week
  • Almost always work indoors
  • Receive on-the-job training

Career summary

Occupational health and safety technicians test workplaces for potential hazards. They help create plans to improve workplace safety.

Occupational health and safety technicians evaluate the safety measures of different work spaces. They provide consultation to businesses to help prevent hazards. Technicians run tests to see if there are any environmental hazards such as exposure to radiation, chemical or biological hazards, or excessive noise. They make sure safety gear is working properly and replace it if necessary. Sometimes they prepare orders for new equipment. 

Occupational health and safety technicians make sure health and safety standards are being met. If they find safety issues, they create plans to improve safety. They train workers in safety related procedures and create emergency response drills. They keep logs of all work activities. 

In addition, they also inspect fire suppression systems or portable fire systems to ensure proper working order. In the event of a fire, they help direct rescue and firefighting operations. 

Occupational health and safety technicians also review records and reports concerning laboratory results, staffing, floor plans, fire inspections, or sanitation to gather information for the development or enforcement of safety activities. They occasionally prepare documents for legal proceedings.

Related careers

This career is part of the Government and Public Administration cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Military careers

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to occupational health and safety technicians.

Common work activities

Occupational health and safety technicians perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many careers.

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, occupational health and safety technicians:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

Occupational health and safety technicians frequently:

It is important for occupational health and safety technicians to be able to:

It is not as important, but still necessary, for occupational health and safety technicians to be able to:

Skills and abilities

Occupational health and safety technicians need to:


Reason and problem solve

Manage oneself, people, time, and things

Work with people

Work with things

Perceive and visualize

Education and training

Educational programs

The programs of study listed below will help you prepare for the occupation or career cluster you are exploring.

Programs of study to consider


To work as a occupational health and safety technician, you typically need to:

Education after high school

Some employers require that occupational health and safety technicians have an associate’s degree or certificate from a community college or vocational school. Typical programs include courses in respiratory protection, hazard communication, and storage procedures.

Work experience

Experience as a safety professional may be required for many positions.

On-the-job training

Most occupational health and safety technicians receive on-the-job training. They learn about specific laws and inspection procedures and learn to recognize hazards. The length of training varies.

Military training

Some branches of the military train people to be environmental health and safety technicians. Training lasts 11 to 19 weeks, depending on your specialty. Additional training occurs on the job.

Helpful high school courses

In high school, take classes that prepare you for college. A college preparatory curriculum (external link) may be different from your state's graduation requirements (external link)

You should also consider taking some advanced courses in high school. This includes Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if they are available in your school. If you do well in these courses, you may receive college credit for them. Advanced courses can also strengthen your college application.

Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this career include:

The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.

You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.

Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Here are examples of activities and groups (PDF file) that may be available in your high school or community.

Things to know


Certification is voluntary, but encouraged by many employers. Certification is available through several organizations, depending on the field in which the technicians work.


Occupational health and safety technicians (SOC 29-9012)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $18.81 $22.14 $27.32 $36.78 $45.88
Monthly $3,260 $3,837 $4,735 $6,374 $7,951
Yearly $39,110 $46,060 $56,820 $76,510 $95,420
    Kennewick-Richland Hourly $28.02 $34.61 $42.26 $47.16 $50.10
Monthly $4,856 $5,998 $7,324 $8,173 $8,682
Yearly $58,271 $71,996 $87,911 $98,092 $104,200
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $17.76 $21.05 $24.94 $31.41 $41.53
Monthly $3,078 $3,648 $4,322 $5,443 $7,197
Yearly $36,959 $43,776 $51,859 $65,323 $86,381
    Vancouver Hourly $20.03 $23.40 $29.98 $37.28 $46.74
Monthly $3,471 $4,055 $5,196 $6,461 $8,100
Yearly $41,673 $48,673 $62,359 $77,538 $97,213
United States Hourly $15.43 $18.94 $24.41 $31.88 $40.58
Monthly $2,674 $3,282 $4,230 $5,525 $7,033
Yearly $32,080 $39,390 $50,780 $66,300 $84,400

Wages vary by employer, specialty, and the worker's level of experience.

Occupational health and safety technicians who work full time usually receive benefits. Typical benefits include sick leave, paid vacation, health insurance, and a retirement plan.

Employment and outlook

The table below provides information about the number of workers in this career in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.

Occupational Health and Safety Technicians (SOC 29-9012)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 379 23.7% 16.1% 39
    Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties 22 9.1% 13.4% 1
    Benton and Franklin Counties 73 2.7% 15.0% 4
    Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties 12 8.3% 11.9% 1
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 16 6.3% 15.2% 1
    King County 98 48.0% 19.6% 15
    Pierce County 103 25.2% 15.2% 11
United States 19,900 7.5% 5.2% 1,300

National employment

Major employers:

National outlook

Demand for these technicians will grow faster than average. Technicians will be needed to ensure employers are following both existing and new regulations.

Those with a background in the sciences, experience in more than one area of health and safety, or certification will have the best prospects.

Other resources

American Board of Industrial Hygiene (external link)
6005 West St. Joseph Hwy, Suite 300
Lansing, MI 48917-4876
American Chemical Society (external link)
1155 Sixteenth Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
American Industrial Hygiene Association (external link)
3141 Fairview Park Drive, Suite 777
Falls Church, VA 22042
Chemistry Careers (external link)
Explore Health Careers: Built Environment Specialist (external link)


Career cluster

Career path

O*Net (external link) occupation

O*Net job zone (external link)

DOT occupation

Holland occupational cluster