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Career and Education Opportunities for Occupational Safety and Health Inspectors in Huntington, West Virginia

Occupational safety and health inspectors can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Huntington, West Virginia area. There are currently 460 jobs for occupational safety and health inspectors in West Virginia and this is projected to grow by 4% to about 480 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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 $29 hourly or $62,050 annually on average in West Virginia. Nationally, their income is about $29 hourly or $62,250 yearly. Occupational safety and health inspectors earn less than people working in the category of Athletic and Occupational generally in West Virginia and less than people in the Athletic and Occupational category nationally. Jobs in this field include: radiation protection specialist, health sanitarian, and environmental health technologist.

There are seventeen schools of higher education in the Huntington area, including one within twenty-five miles of Huntington where you can get a degree to start your career as an occupational safety and health inspector. Occupational safety and health inspectors usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Occupational Safety and Health Inspector Training

Marshall University - Huntington, WV

Marshall University, 1 John Marshall Dr, Huntington, WV 25755. Marshall University is a large university located in Huntington, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 13,656 students and an admission rate of 87%. Marshall University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Occupational Safety and Health Technology/Technician which graduated six and eight 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.

LICENSES

Sanitarian

Licensing agency: West Virginia Public Health Sanitation Division
Address: 815 Quarrier Street, Charleston, WV 25301

Phone: None
Website: West Virginia Public Health Sanitation Division

LOCATION INFORMATION: Huntington, West Virginia

Huntington, West Virginia
Huntington, West Virginia photo by DelanoPatterson

Huntington is situated in Cabell County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 49,185, which has shrunk by 4.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Huntington, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Huntington cost $195,100 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, sixteen new homes were built in Huntington, down from thirty-five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Huntington are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is health care, educational services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 22.4% of Huntington residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Huntington is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 24.7% of Huntington's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Huntington residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 42.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Glorious Church of God in Christ, South Side United Methodist Church and Good Samaritan United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Huntington. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Huntington is home to the Northcott Hall and the Foster Memorial Home as well as Holderby Commons and United States Post Office and Courthouse Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Westland Plaza Shopping Center, Fairfield Plaza Shopping Center and Huntington Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Huntington can choose from Super 8, Cabell Huntington Hospital and Garden Park for temporary stays in the area.