Occupational Health Technician Job Description

Salary: $35,000 – $57,900 Number of Jobs: 10,930
Hourly Rate: $16.81 – $27.83 Employment Outlook: Normal
Green Job: Yes Education: Associate degree

What do Occupational Health Technicians do?

Occupational health technicians test and monitor potential hazards in the workplace, with the goal of preventing harm to workers, property, and the environment.

Occupational health technicians test and monitor potential hazards in the workplace, with the goal of preventing harm to workers, property, and the environment.

Some occupational health technicians inspect machinery and other equipment to make sure that it meets safety regulations. They also monitor workers to ensure that they’re wearing safety gear that’s appropriate for the job at hand. In some cases, occupational health technicians work closely with occupational health specialists to increase the productivity of workers. The exact responsibilities for people in this occupation vary depending on the environment they work in. For example, mine examiners inspect mines for the presence of harmful gases like methane, and health physics technicians work in places like hospitals that use radioactive material. Over time, most occupational health technicians choose to specialize in a particular industry, workplace, or hazard.

Work Environment and Schedule

State and local government agencies employ more occupational health technicians than any other industry, but there are opportunities for employment in many other areas as well. Hospitals, mining, waste management, and scientific consulting services all provide many opportunities for employment. Some occupational health technicians have to travel extensively to examine different job sites. This can be a great perk of the job for people who love to travel, but not everyone enjoys traveling for work. Before you consider a job in this occupation, you should consider the traveling the demands and make sure that they align with your personal and professional goals. Because occupational health technicians can be exposed to many different dangers on the job, they need to take many precautions to keep themselves self. Using the proper safety equipment can help minimize the risk of injury, but it’s impossible to eliminate it altogether. Most occupational health technicians work full time, and overtime is sometimes required. Working nights and weekends can be necessary, and emergency situations require immediate attention.

How to Become an Occupational Health Technician

Many occupational health technicians are trained on the job, but it’s also common for people to enter this occupation after earning an associate’s degree or certificate. Formal training usually includes courses that cover standard safety procedures and laws, as well as the handling of hazardous materials and other safety techniques (such as respiratory safety). Regardless of whether or not you choose to perform a formal education, a moderate amount of on the job training is required when entering this occupation. The training provided on the job is much more specific than the training provided by an educational program, and varies greatly depending on the working environment. Working in a mine requires a very different approach than working in a hospital, for example. There are some certification options available to people in this occupation. They aren’t normally required for employment, but they demonstrate proficiency in the field and can make it easier to find work. There are two ways to qualify for a certification exam. The first is to earn a certificate or associate’s degree in health and safety. The second is to have three years of work experience in the field. To become certified, you will have to pass an exam. Though there are many certifications available, most people choose to earn one of the most three most popular. The CHST certification is earned by those who work on construction sites. The OHST certification is a general certification that’s applicable to anyone who works as an occupational health technician. The STS certification is for supervisors or managers in an occupational health setting. You can learn more about the available certifications on the Board of Certified Safety Profesionals website.

Employment Outlook

There are currently 10,930 occupational health technicians in the United States, with 520 new occupational health technician job openings created each year.

Occupational Health Technician jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.

Occupational Health Technician Salaries

Overall Salaries

Occupational Health Technician salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most occupational health technicians make between $35,000 – $57,900 per year, or $16.81 – $27.83 per hour.

Updated: 05/04/2017

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