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Occupational Health and Safety Officer

Occupational health and safety officers visit places of employment to detect unsafe or unhealthy working conditions, and ensure compliance with laws and regulations governing workplace safety.

  • Avg. Salary $80,949.00
  • Avg. Wage $42.48
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 7,900
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Inspector, Occupational Hazards Specialist, Occupational Health and Safety Specialist, Safety Officer

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Inspectors in Public and Environmental Health and Occupational Health and Safety (2263) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Inspectors in Public and Environmental Health and Occupational Health and Safety (C163) 
  • 2011 NOC: Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety (2263) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

27%
27%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Occupational Health and Safety Officer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Inspectors in Public and Environmental Health and Occupational Health and Safety
METHODICAL

Interest in handling materials to collect water samples and other materials for analyses; and to develop, implement and evaluate health and safety programs and strategies

INNOVATIVE

Interest in analyzing data from investigations of health and safety related complaints, spills of hazardous chemicals, outbreaks of diseases and poisonings and from workplace accidents and illnesses

DIRECTIVE

Interest in speaking with employers, employees and the general public to deliver training and advise on public health, environmental protection and workplace safety issues; and in initiating enforcement procedures to fine or to close establishments that contravene municipal, provincial and federal regulations

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Occupational health and safety officers employed by federal, provincial and municipal governments inspect a wide variety of workplaces (for example, construction sites, offices, mines). They may specialize in inspecting a particular type of workplace, but in general, officers:

  • inspect workplaces to ensure equipment, materials, and production processes do not present a safety and health hazard
  • investigate complaints related to health and safety
  • enforce health and safety laws and regulations
  • review and make decisions regarding situations where a worker has refused to work on the grounds that danger exists or that the work will cause danger to the worker
  • provide advice regarding the development of safe and healthy practices
  • encourage managers, supervisors and employees to participate in occupational health and safety programs
  • investigate workplace fatalities, serious injuries and near misses.

These duties require health and safety officers to have a thorough understanding of legislation relating to safety standards and the ability to advise corrective action and facilitate change to improve the health and safety culture of workplaces. Health and safety officers also must keep informed about changes in technology.

For information about health and safety officers employed by companies, see the Occupational Health and Safety Advisor occupational profile.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Health and safety officers usually are responsible for a territory or specific industrial process. Considerable travel may be required. Working hours depend on the types of workplaces they inspect. Overtime may be required, particularly after an incident or a hazardous situation has been identified.

Health and safety officers spend most of their time in the field, where they may be exposed to potentially dangerous situations. Officers routinely are required to enter confined spaces, climb ladders and work in dusty conditions. The rest of their time is spent in offices located at central or regional headquarters.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Health and safety officers need the following characteristics:

  • good communication skills, both in writing and in person
  • mediation and conflict resolution skills
  • the ability to manage multiple projects
  • the ability to remain open-minded and objective
  • good health and physical fitness
  • good interpersonal skills.

They should enjoy having clear rules and organized methods for their work, analyzing information and acting as an advocate for workers.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Health and safety officers must have several years of related work experience. They also must have a bachelor's degree in science, engineering or a related discipline, or a related post-secondary diploma.

The Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals offers the designation Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) to applicants who have been employed as safety professionals for at least 3 years and have successfully completed an evaluation, interview and examination process.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Concordia University of Edmonton

Grant MacEwan University

Mount Royal University

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

University of Victoria - Victoria

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Occupational health and safety officers are employed by federal, provincial and municipal governments.

Advancement to management positions usually is through competition and depends on the individual's initiative, management skills, educational background and work experience.

Occupational health and safety officers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2263: Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety. In Alberta, 85% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

In Alberta, the C163: Inspectors in Public and Environmental Health and Occupational Health and Safety occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 94 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $16.00 $55.00 $35.55 $35.90
Overall $20.00 $71.43 $42.48 $41.97
Top $23.00 $92.86 $48.87 $49.40

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Oil & Gas Extraction
Utilities
Public Administration
Health Care & Social Assistance
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
ALL INDUSTRIES
Transportation and Warehousing
Educational Services
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Manufacturing
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Construction
Retail Trade
Business, Building and Other Support Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

31%
31%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

27%
27%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

5%
5%

Vacancy Rate

2%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
  • Engineering, Architecture and Related Studies
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
  • Sciences
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (BCRSP) website: www.bcrsp.ca

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) website: www.ccohs.ca

ECO Canada (Environmental Careers Organization) website: www.eco.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Mar 19, 2016. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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