Safety professionals work to ensure safety in a number of environments. Those working in the safety profession may choose to become certified, adding a credential that establishes their experience, education and expertise in the field. The nationally accredited Certified Safety Professional (CSP) is offered by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (www.bcsp.org).
A certified safety professional assesses potential hazards and applies countermeasures to minimize accidents that may harm people, property and the environment. They are educated in various physical, biological and chemical dangers. Knowledge of math, engineering concepts, behavioral sciences, construction, manufacturing and business are essential to a career in safety. Being certified as a safety professional ensures that an individual has met specified educational and experience standards. Certification requires one to meet specific education and experience requirements, as well as to pass a series of exams.
|Required Education||An associate's or bachelor's degree in occupational health and safety|
|Certification Requirements||Three years of experience and passing two exams|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||4% for all occupational health and safety specialists|
|Median Annual Salary (May 2015)*||$70,210 for occupational health and safety specialists|
*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Education Requirements for Certified Safety Professionals
The minimum educational requirement to become a certified safety professional is a 2-year college degree in safety and health; however, many employers require a bachelor's degree in occupational health and safety or a closely related field. Master's degrees related to occupational safety are also available.
Those seeking specialization in a particular safety field may pursue additional education in the form of on-the-job training or classroom instruction. Common safety courses include topics such as occupational safety and health standards, risk analysis, safety technology, safety inspections, accident investigations and safety laws.
To receive the credential of Certified Safety Professional (CSP), an individual must meet an educational requirement, have at least three years of experience working as a safety professional and pass two comprehensive exams. The required exams test an individual's knowledge of safety fundamentals and practical applications. This nationally accredited certification is offered by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (www.bcsp.org).
Following the certification process, individuals must pay an annual fee and meet various continuing education requirements to maintain their status as certified safety professionals. Recertification is typically required every five years.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for occupational health and safety specialists are expected to increase by 4% between 2014-2024. According to the BLS, occupational health and safety specialists earned a median annual salary of $70,210 in 2015.
Individuals with broad educational backgrounds or graduate degrees may have expanded career prospects. In addition, certified safety professionals are required to be detail-oriented and responsible so that they can quickly note potential hazards and prepare to resolve them. Good communication skills are also necessary to excel and advance in this career.
Certified safety professionals are required to hold an associate's degree in safety and health, although many employers require a bachelor's degree. Certification requires specific education and experience, as well as passing a series of exams. Those seeking career advancement may consider pursuing an advanced degree.