In the past, it was more common for health and safety advisers to move into the profession from a background in science, technology or management, but today health and safety is a discipline in its own right.
Much of the work involves an appreciation of operational processes as well as the use of instruments and electronic monitoring, especially of hazardous conditions. An accredited degree/HND in the following subjects will increase your chances:
Although entry is possible for non-graduates, there is a move towards increasing the percentage of graduates in the profession. This will lead to those with an HND qualification facing more competition from graduates when trying to secure employment.
Postgraduate diplomas and MSc courses in occupational safety and health offer an entry route at postgraduate level.
Some experience of working in scientific and technical fields at an operational level and gaining an understanding of industrial processes would be extremely valuable. Using such experience to develop an interest in health and safety before moving into an advisory role is still a recommended route into the profession.
Candidates will need to show evidence of the following:
It will be an advantage if you have knowledge of computer applications for preparing reports and recording and analysing statistics, which is the basis for analysing trends.
Physical fitness is important, and sometimes essential, especially for working in large-scale plants or on outdoor sites.
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