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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.

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) 
  • 2016 NOC: Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety (2263) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Inspectors in Public and Environmental Health and Occupational Health and Safety
2006 NOC : 2263

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
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

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Occupational health and safety officers employed by federal, provincial, and municipal governments inspect a wide variety of workplaces, such as construction sites, offices, and mines. They may specialize in inspecting a particular type of workplace. They advise on corrective action and facilitate change to improve the health and safety culture.

In general, occupational health and safety officers:

  • Inspect workplaces to ensure equipment, materials, and production processes do not present a safety or health hazard
  • Investigate complaints related to health and safety
  • Enforce health and safety laws and regulations
  • Review and make decisions regarding situations in which a worker has refused to work on the grounds that danger exists or that the work will cause danger to them
  • 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

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

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

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.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Health and safety officers need:

  • An impartial nature
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • The ability to manage multiple projects

They should enjoy:

  • Having clear rules and organized methods for their work
  • Analyzing information
  • Acting as an advocate for workers
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Minimum Education Varies

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.

Health and safety officers must have a thorough understanding of legislation relating to safety standards. They must also keep informed about changes in technology.


Related Education

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

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Certification Not Regulated

Although certification is not required in Alberta, it may be an asset when seeking employment. 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. For related industry-specific certifications, talk to practising occupational health and safety officers or potential employers in the industry.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2019

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 (pdf) 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

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

In Alberta, the 2263: Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.8% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 154 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Earnings for occupational health and safety officers vary considerably depending on their education, experience, and location.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety

2016 NOC : 2263
Average Wage
$44.02
Per Hour
Average Salary
$89,167.00
Per Year
Average Hours
39.4
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 2263 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

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.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

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.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $20.00 $58.67 $36.46 $37.00
Overall $23.10 $68.42 $44.02 $42.00
Top $25.00 $80.62 $49.92 $47.00

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.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

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

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
34%
34%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
22%
22%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
3%
3%
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 Mar 31, 2019

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 website: www.eco.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2017. 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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