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Career and Education Opportunities for Occupational Safety and Health Inspectors in Fort Collins, Colorado

If you want to be an occupational safety and health inspector, the Fort Collins, Colorado area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 830 working occupational safety and health inspectors in Colorado; this should grow 24% to 1,030 working occupational safety and health inspectors in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for occupational safety and health inspectors, which sees this job pool growing by about 11.2% over the next eight years. Occupational safety and health inspectors generally review, evaluate, and analyze work environments and design programs and procedures to control, eliminate, and prevent disease or injury caused by chemical, physical, and biological agents or ergonomic factors.

Occupational safety and health inspectors earn approximately $33 hourly or $70,060 per year on average in Colorado. Nationally they average about $29 hourly or $62,250 annually. Incomes for occupational safety and health inspectors are not quite as good as in the overall category of Athletic and Occupational in Colorado, and not quite as good as the overall Athletic and Occupational category nationally. Jobs in this field include: safety trainer, public health inspector, and dining service inspector.

The Fort Collins area is home to eleven schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Fort Collins where you can get a degree as an occupational safety and health inspector. Given that the most common education level for occupational safety and health inspectors is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years studying to be an occupational safety and health inspector if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Occupational Safety and Health Inspector

Occupational Safety and Health Inspector video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, occupational safety and health inspectors review, evaluate, and analyze work environments and design programs and procedures to control, eliminate, and prevent disease or injury caused by chemical, physical, and biological agents or ergonomic factors. They also may conduct inspections and enforce adherence to laws and regulations governing the health and safety of individuals.

Occupational safety and health inspectors conduct safety training and education programs, and demonstrate the use of safety apparatus. They also recommend measures to help protect staff from potentially hazardous work methods or materials. Equally important, occupational safety and health inspectors have to inspect specified areas to insure the presence of fire prevention apparatus and first-aid supplies. They are often called upon to furnish new-employee health and safety orientations, and design materials for these presentations. They are expected to inspect and evaluate workplace environments and practices, in order to insure adherence to safety standards and government regulations. Finally, occupational safety and health inspectors conduct audits at hazardous waste sites or industrial sites, and participate in hazardous waste site investigations.

Every day, occupational safety and health inspectors are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for occupational safety and health inspectors to collect samples of hazardous materials, or manage sample collection. They are often called upon to maintain inventories of hazardous materials and hazardous wastes, using waste tracking systems to insure that materials are handled properly. They also design and maintain medical monitoring programs for employees. They are sometimes expected to maintain and update emergency response plans and procedures. Somewhat less frequently, occupational safety and health inspectors are also expected to conduct safety training and education programs, and demonstrate the use of safety apparatus.

And finally, they sometimes have to perform laboratory analyses and physical inspections of samples in order to uncover disease or to gauge purity or cleanliness.

Like many other jobs, occupational safety and health inspectors must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Occupational Safety and Health Inspector Training

Colorado State University - Fort Collins, CO

Colorado State University, 102 Administration Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523-0100. Colorado State University is a large university located in Fort Collins, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 27,796 students and an admission rate of 86%. Colorado State University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Environmental Health which graduated twenty-five, five, and seven students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Professional Ergonomist: The BCPE was established to provide a formal process for recognizing practitioners of human factors/ergonomics.

For more information, see the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics website.

Associate Safety Professional: The Associate Safety Professional (ASP) designation is the start of the process toward achieving the CSP certification.

For more information, see the Board of Certified Safety Professionals website.

Construction Health and Safety Technician: Candidates for the CHST certification are typically employed as safety and health specialists on construction job sites, serving in either full-time or part-time positions.

For more information, see the Council on Certification of Health, Environmental and Safety Technologists website.

Occupational Health and Safety Technologist: This program is intended for persons who work in occupational health and safety.

For more information, see the Council on Certification of Health, Environmental and Safety Technologists website.

Incident Safety Officer - Fire Suppression Certification: A fire department incident safety officer's mission is to promote safety standards and practices in the fire, rescue and emergency services community.

For more information, see the Fire Department Safety Officers Association website.

Health & Safety Officer Certification: Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Programs.

For more information, see the Fire Department Safety Officers Association website.

Certified Healthcare Protection Administrator: Through the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety Commission on Certification, directors of security, safety, emergency preparedness and risk management administrators can achieve the highly coveted Certified Healthcare Protection Administrator (CHPA) designation.

For more information, see the International Association of Healthcare Security and Safety website.

Registered Environmental Health Specialist/Registered Sanitarian: The REHS/RS is the premiere NEHA credential.

For more information, see the National Environmental Health Association website.

Certified Environmental Health Technician: CEHT is for individuals who are interested in field intensive environmental health activities--such as testing, sampling, and inspections, and who are required to provide information on safe environmental health practices and to eliminate environmental health hazards.

For more information, see the National Environmental Health Association website.

Inspection and Testing of Water-Based Systems: This certification program was designed for engineering technicians in the automatic fire sprinkler industry who are engaged in the physical and mechanical aspects of inspection, testing, and maintenance of water-based systems including foam and foam-water systems.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Fort Collins, Colorado

Fort Collins, Colorado
Fort Collins, Colorado photo by Citycommunications

Fort Collins is located in Larimer County, Colorado. It has a population of over 136,509, which has grown by 15.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Fort Collins, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Fort Collins are valued at $216,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, two hundred sixty-seven new homes were built in Fort Collins, down from four hundred eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Fort Collins are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 48.4% of Fort Collins residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 18.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fort Collins is 6.3%, which is less than Colorado's average of 6.6%.

The percentage of Fort Collins residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Assemblies of God and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Visitors to Fort Collins can choose from Carousel Properties, AmericInn Motel & Suites Fort Collins and Hampton Inn Ft. Collins for temporary stays in the area.