Professional development Infographics

Job Outlook 2015

Survey results indicate good market for safety pros

Job Outlook 2015
Photo: shotbydave/iStockphoto

Respondent comments on the market and needed skills

Q: How would you describe the current job market for experienced occupational safety and health professionals? Is this a good time to find a job as a safety pro?

“If you are willing to relocate, the job market is strong.”

“The outlook is good if you can walk the talk and multitask.”

“Yes, it is a good time. However, companies are pushing the salary down for safety and hiring less experienced people so that they can pay less money.”

“Appears to be very good for younger safety professionals (less than 45 years of age) but more challenging for older professionals.”

“I believe this is a great time to find a job as a safety professional. Many safety professionals are nearing retirement age and therefore qualified candidates will be in demand.”

“Not good at all. The job market in oil and gas is struggling now.”

“It is a good time to find a job as a safety professional. With OSHA’s budget increase and the indication that fines will increase for violations, companies are taking a closer look at regulations.”

“It is a good time to look for employment opportunities. While I don’t see a lot of positions posted, the hidden market (headhunters, word of mouth, etc.) is thriving.”

Q: How would you describe the current job market for recent or soon-to-be graduates who are looking to become occupational safety and health professionals?

“Hot market, but they should be careful (if they can) and align with a good employer.”

“Good, but you have to be willing to go where the jobs are.”

“Stay as far as you can from oil & gas.”

“The market for new graduates is probably better than for experienced professionals. Companies want to bring in someone new and train them. Plus companies want to save money by hiring new graduates.”

“New graduates need to have some form of experience (internship, co-op, etc.) to help stand out of the crowd as most positions seem to be asking for 5+ years of experience.”

“Entry level positions are available, but recent graduates should not expect high starting salaries.”

“It may be difficult for recent graduates with no experience. Internships are good résumé builders.”

“Soon to be graduate outlook = good. Take any job, get experience, and put letters like CIH or CSP behind your name for best results.”

Q: In your opinion, what skills will be most important for occupational safety and health professionals to be hired and promoted going forward?

“A safety professional must be passionate about preventing injuries. They must have safety as their primary core value.”

“People skills. Must be able to be motivational and positive. Good in front of audiences – very important for training.”

“Leadership skills. How do they influence others and improve the safety culture at their job?”

“The abilities to both communicate and adapt to change are most critical going forward.”

“Technical expertise is very important because as the safety professional you are the resource for doing what is right. Integrity, prioritizing, problem recognition, problem solving and assertiveness are all skills a safety professional must have to survive in their role.”

“Communication skills. The safety professional needs to be able to talk to the guy on the ground and the CEO and have his or her message understood. The ability to take complex projects and ideas and make them quickly understandable is very important. Being able to relate to others but hold the line is imperative in this field.”

“Ability to influence with no authority or line command. Ability to visualize and anticipate risks. Ability to justify financially or explain the financial implications of safety decisions.”

“People skills, communication, and a well-rounded knowledge of company operations. To make a true difference in keeping employees safe, you need to understand, in the real world, what hazards they face daily.”

“Hard skills (technical) and soft skills (people). You can have the best ‘hard skills,’ but if you don’t have the soft skills, your employees will not trust you.”

Next page: About the survey respondents >>

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