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Career and Education Opportunities for Occupational Safety and Health Inspectors in Seattle, Washington

There are many career and education opportunities for occupational safety and health inspectors in the Seattle, Washington area. There are currently 1,760 jobs for occupational safety and health inspectors in Washington and this is projected to grow 13% to about 1,990 jobs 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%. 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.

A person working as an occupational safety and health inspector can expect to earn about $35 hourly or $74,470 yearly on average in Washington and about $29 per hour or $62,250 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for occupational safety and health inspectors are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Athletic and Occupational in Washington and not quite as good as general Athletic and Occupational category earnings nationally. People working as occupational safety and health inspectors can fill a number of jobs, such as: safety trainer, industrial hygiene technician, and sanitary inspector.

There are sixty-five schools of higher education in the Seattle area, including three within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can get a degree to start your career 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 training to become 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 Seattle 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Occupational Safety and Health Inspector Training

Clover Park Technical College - Lakewood, WA

Clover Park Technical College, 4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood, WA 98499-4004. Clover Park Technical College is a medium sized college located in Lakewood, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,781 students. Clover Park Technical College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Quality Control and Safety Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated three and six students respectively in 2008.

University of Washington-Seattle Campus - Seattle, WA

University of Washington-Seattle Campus, 1400 NE Campus Parkway, Seattle, WA 98195-4550. University of Washington-Seattle Campus is a large university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 39,675 students and an admission rate of 61%. University of Washington-Seattle Campus has 2 areas of study related to Occupational Safety and Health Inspector. They are:

  • Environmental Health, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated thirty, sixteen, and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated five and two students respectively in 2008.

Bates Technical College - Tacoma, WA

Bates Technical College, 1101 S Yakima Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405. Bates Technical College is a medium sized college located in Tacoma, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,807 students. Bates Technical College has an associate's degree program in Occupational Safety and Health Technology/Technician which graduated two students 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: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.