Skip to the main content
This website uses cookies to give you a better online experience. By using this website or closing this message, you are agreeing to our cookie policy. More information
Alberta Supports Contact Centre

Toll Free 1-877-644-9992

Occupational Health and Safety Officer

Occupational health and safety officers work for provincial and federal governments. They visit places of employment to detect unsafe or unhealthy working conditions. They ensure compliance with laws and regulations governing workplace safety.

Also Known As

Inspector, 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

  • 2263: Inspectors in Public and Environmental Health and Occupational Health and Safety

2006 NOC-S

  • C163: Inspectors in Public and Environmental Health and Occupational Health and Safety

2011 NOC

  • 2263: Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety

2016 NOC

  • 2263: Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety

2021 NOC

  • 22232: Occupational health and safety specialists

2023 OaSIS

  • 22232.00: Occupational health and safety specialists
Duties
Updated Mar 23, 2023

Occupational health and safety (OHS) officers work for federal and provincial governments. Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Act [pdf] authorizes occupational health and safety officers to inspect, investigate, inquire about, or conduct tests in workplaces to ensure they comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Code [pdf].

OHS officers inspect workplaces to ensure equipment, materials, and production processes do not present a safety or health hazard. They inspect a wide variety of workplaces such as construction sites, offices, and mines. They may specialize in inspecting a particular type of workplace.

When inspecting workplaces, OHS officers:

  • Walk through the site to identify and document health and safety hazards
  • Conduct an initial analysis of physical (example: noise and lighting) and chemical (example: vapours, gases, dust) hazards
  • Determine whether hazards are being controlled to meet legislated minimum standards
  • Determine whether previously identified hazards have been eliminated or controlled to meet legislated minimum standards
  • Get input from workers about general health and safety practices at their workplace

OHS officers enforce health and safety laws and regulations. They:

  • Investigate complaints related to health and safety
  • Investigate workplace fatalities, serious injuries, and potentially serious incidents
  • Assess and enforce compliance with the employer’s internal responsibility system
  • Issue reports about their findings
  • Review and make decisions about situations in which a worker has refused to work on the grounds that danger exists or that the work will cause danger to them
  • Advise on actions to take to ensure the worksite complies with legislation
  • Follow up with the employer to make sure the site complies with legislation

They also facilitate change to improve the health and safety culture. OHS officers:

  • Provide advice regarding the development of safe and healthy practices
  • Encourage managers, supervisors, and employees to participate in occupational health and safety programs

For more details about the duties of an OHS officer, see the Occupational Health and Safety Act [pdf].

For information about OHS specialists employed by companies, see the Occupational Health and Safety Advisor occupational profile.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 23, 2023
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Occupational health and safety officers usually are responsible for a territory or a specific industrial process. They may travel often. Working hours depend on the types of workplaces they inspect. They may need to work overtime, particularly after an incident or a hazardous situation has been identified.

Occupational health and safety officers spend most of their time in the field. They may be exposed to potentially dangerous situations. Officers routinely need to enter confined spaces, climb ladders, and work in dusty conditions. When not in the field, they work in offices located at central or regional headquarters. Some may need to attend court hearings.

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

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 23, 2023

Occupational health and safety officers need:

  • An impartial nature
  • Adaptability
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Analytical thinking and data-interpretation skills
  • Problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • The ability to manage multiple projects
  • The ability to understand how systems link to one another
  • The ability to identify risk and manage uncertain outcomes
  • Professional ethics

 They should enjoy:

  • Having clear rules and organized methods for their work
  • Gathering and documenting findings
  • Analyzing information
  • Collaborating with coworkers with diverse backgrounds
  • Acting as an advocate for workers

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.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety

2016 NOC: 2263

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 76 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 12, 2021 and Apr 17, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tasks: Inspect workplaces for safety or health hazards
Tasks: Ensure health and safety regulations are followed
Computer and Technology Knowledge: MS Excel
Attention to detail
Tasks: Develop and implement health and safety plans
Health benefits: Health care plan
Health benefits: Dental plan
Tasks: Investigate workplace accidents or illnesses
Type of Inspection and Investigation: Workplace
Computer and Technology Knowledge: MS Word
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 23, 2023
  • Minimum Education Varies

Occupational health and safety officers must have 1 of the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree in science, engineering, or a related discipline
  • A related post-secondary diploma
  • A Red Seal Journeyperson certificate

They must also have related work experience. The number of years of experience required depends on the type of educational credential they hold. Those working for the provincial government need to be eligible for appointment as a peace officer.

Occupational health and safety officers must have a thorough understanding of legislation relating to safety standards. They need to stay informed about:

  • Changes in technology
  • Investigation and inspection procedures
  • Practices, programs, and trends in the industries they work in

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 23, 2023
  • Certification Not Regulated

Certification as an occupational health and safety (OHS) officer is not required in Alberta. However, it may be an asset when seeking employment.

The Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals offers the designation Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP). To apply, you need:

  • A bachelor’s degree in any field or a 2-year diploma in OHS
  • 4 years of OHS work experience within the last 6 years
  • Successful completion of the CRSP examination

If you are applying with a bachelor’s degree, you must also show that you have completed sufficient professional development in OHS. (Contact the BCRSP for information about how this is evaluated.)

Other organizations that offer certification include the following:

For related industry-specific certifications, talk to practising OHS officers or potential employers in the industry.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 23, 2023

Occupational health and safety officers work for federal and provincial governments.

Officers usually advance to technical advisor or management positions through competition. Advancement depends on the individual’s initiative, management skills, educational background, work experience, and expertise.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 2263: Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety occupational group, 75.6% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

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: 2019-2023 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 23, 2023

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

Salaries for provincial occupational health and safety officers range from $80,822 to $100,751 (Source: Government of Alberta, 2022 estimates).

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
$42.25
Per Hour
Average Salary
$82,969.00
Per Year
Average Hours
38.1
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
11.9
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 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 $16.27 $59.14 $35.13 $34.62
Overall $20.55 $73.98 $42.25 $40.38
Top $24.41 $95.97 $47.57 $46.15

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

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

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
26%
26%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
16%
16%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
3%
3%
Vacancy Rate
6%
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 23, 2023

Alberta Construction Safety Association (ACSA) website: www.youracsa.ca

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

Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) website: www.bcsp.org

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

ECO Canada website: www.eco.ca

National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) website: www.nebosh.org.uk

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

Updated Mar 23, 2023. 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.

Was this page useful?