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Career and Education Opportunities for Occupational Safety and Health Inspectors in Chicago, Illinois

Occupational safety and health inspectors can find many career and educational opportunities in the Chicago, Illinois area. There are currently 1,290 working occupational safety and health inspectors in Illinois; this should grow by 12% to 1,450 working occupational safety and health inspectors in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for occupational safety and health inspectors are expected to grow by about 11.2%. 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.

Income for occupational safety and health inspectors is about $31 per hour or $65,060 per year on average in Illinois. Nationally, their income is about $29 hourly or $62,250 yearly. Incomes for occupational safety and health inspectors are not quite as good as in the overall category of Athletic and Occupational in Illinois, and not quite as good as the overall Athletic and Occupational category nationally. Jobs in this field include: safety specialist, public health inspector, and venereal disease investigator.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can study to be an occupational safety and health inspector, among 180 schools of higher education total in the Chicago area. The most common level of education for occupational safety and health inspectors is a Bachelor's degree. It will take about four years to learn 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.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Physical Therapist. Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, and decrease or prevent deformity of patients suffering from disease or injury.
  • Sports Trainer. Evaluate, advise, and treat athletes to assist recovery from injury, avoid injury, or maintain peak physical fitness.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Occupational Safety and Health Inspector Training

Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest - Gary, IN

Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest, 1440 E 35th Ave, Gary, IN 46409-1499. Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest is a medium sized college located in Gary, Indiana. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,701 students. Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest has an associate's degree program in Occupational Safety and Health Technology/Technician which graduated one student 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.

LICENSES

ASBESTOS INSPECTOR

Licensing agency: Illinois Department of Public Health Division of Environmental Health
Address: 535 W. Jefferson St., Springfield, IL 62761

Phone: (217) 782-3517
Website: Illinois Department of Public Health Division of Environmental Health

LEAD INSPECTOR

Licensing agency: Illinois Department of Public Health
Address: 535 W. Jefferson St., Springfield, IL 62761

Phone: (217) 785-2080
Website: Illinois Department of Public Health

STATE MINE INSPECTOR (COAL MINE)

Licensing agency: Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office of Mines and Minerals
Address: One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271

Phone: (217) 782-6791
Website: Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office of Mines and Minerals

STATE MINE INSPECTOR (METAL MINE)

Licensing agency: Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office of Mines and Minerals
Address: One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271

Phone: (217) 782-6791
Website: Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office of Mines and Minerals

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.