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Safety Engineer: Job Description, Salary, Duties & More (2021)

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A safety engineer is a rewarding career that offers high earning potential. Safety engineers monitor workplaces, buildings, and machines to ensure safe operations. They have to inspect these sites to guarantee no hazards or safety violations occur in product production or within the working area itself. Safety engineers can also recommend improved safety measures by providing product recommendations, classes, or onsite training. Here, we will break down all the information you need to know before beginning your journey to becoming a safety engineer. 

Safety Engineer Job Information

Safety engineer job description, what is a safety engineer.

A safety engineer’s overarching responsibility is to maintain a worksite’s safety. They ensure individuals in a workplace remain safe from potential injury and other health hazards through prevention, harm reduction, and eliminating any health threats. Safety engineers report their job can be stressful at times, but those passionate about health and safety find it rewarding despite the occasional stressors. Outside of necessary technical skills, having creativity and communication, critical-thinking, observational, and problem-solving skills are crucial to anyone hoping to become a safety engineer. 

What does a Safety Engineer do on a Daily Basis?

The daily activities of a safety engineer can span a wide variety of tasks. Safety employees must stand on their feet for extended periods of time and are often required to travel. All of their day-to-day tasks involve avoiding, lessening, and removing harmful situations in the workplace. The working location of a safety engineer could range from a factory to a school. 

Responsibilities, Duties & Roles of a Safety Manager

Some responsibilities of a safety engineer may include analyzing workplace safety systems, upholding safety regulations, educating employees on maintaining their health, ensuring proper working equipment (i.e., lighting, machines, ventilation), investigating accidents occurring on the worksite, among many other safety-related duties. Safety engineers are also responsible for recognizing, collecting, and testing potentially toxic materials. These workers will create programs to teach worksite staff how to avoid injury and disease within the working environment. It is vital for safety managers to collaborate across teams and departments to make sure every individual entering the workplace upholds all health and safety regulations. 

Safety Engineer Salary

Average salary .

The average salary of a safety engineer falls around 90,000 dollars. Some safety engineer careers offer hourly rates that fall anywhere between 25 and 45 dollars per hour. 

Starting Salary

A safety engineer can typically expect a starting salary of approximately 50,000 dollars. This roughly translates to 25 dollars an hour.  ZipRecruiter states that the ability for a safety engineer to travel frequently can lead to increased access to financial advancement within the industry. 

Senior Salary

The health and safety industry offers safety engineers opportunities with advancement. The most frequently reported senior salary falls around 150,000 dollars.

How to Become a Safety Engineer

The entry level: certification, training & degree.

As an entry-level safety engineer, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree in safety and health or another related field. Common degrees for safety engineers are biology, engineer, chemistry, or another scientific or technical field. As an individual advances in their safety career, most people obtain a master’s degree in related, or specialized, areas such as industrial hygiene or health physics. Before entering the field, having an internship experience is not required but increases your marketability and qualification for the job. 

Other Skill Sets, Requirements & Qualifications

In addition to obtaining a degree from a higher educational institution, it is important for safety engineers to participate in various skill-based pieces of training. It is essential that safety engineers remain up to date on health and safety laws and required inspection procedures. Maintaining knowledge of machinery and technology used on a job site is also crucial. Safety engineers are responsible for overseeing how employees utilize workplace devices, so they must always remain experts. 

How Long Does it Take to Become a Safety Engineer?

Because a bachelor’s degree is often required to become a safety engineer, it will usually take at least four years to obtain the job. If an individual decides to take on an internship, it will, of course, take a bit longer. Getting a bachelor’s degree in a related field should position you well for landing the job. 

Is It Hard to Become a Safety Engineer?

Safety inspections and general safety oversight are required for most industries, making a safety engineer career in continuous demand. Joining professional organizations while obtaining your bachelor’s degree could help you network for jobs or internships that boost your qualifications upon graduating. Some recommendations of such organizations are the American Society of Safety Engineers , Safety and Health Institute , and International Council on Systems Engineering . 

Safety Engineer Career Path

The safety engineer roadmap.

A roadmap to becoming a safety engineer begins with completing your bachelor’s degree. According to OSHA , the career trajectory often goes as follows: safety specialist, safety trainer, safety technician, safety manager, safety consultant, and safety engineer. 

Projections For Growth in Safety Engineer Jobs

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistic s reports that “employment of health and safety engineers is projected to grow six percent from 2020 to 2030.” This growth

In Summary: Is Safety Engineering a Good Career?

For people passionate about health and safety procedures, a safety engineer career is a promising career. Due to the responsibilities involved, it can cause employees to feel high levels of stress at times. That said, there are plenty of opportunities for advancement that bring high salaries. On average, safety engineers report beingly highly satisfied in their jobs, with Payscale scoring employee satisfaction at 4 out of 5 stars. 

Safety Engineer Working Conditions

Can a safety engineer work remotely from home.

In short, no. Safety engineers must assure employees uphold all health and safety regulations throughout the entirety of a workplace. This means the engineer must be on-site to complete the requirements of the job successfully. 

How Many Hours Does a Safety Engineer Work?

On average, safety engineers typically work a 40-hour workweek. However, overtime frequently occurs in this particular field. Some safety engineers may also be required to participate in shift work, making their hours slightly irregular than a typical 9-5 career. 

Can a Safety Engineer Work Part-Time?

Yes. Depending on the needs of an organization and the safety engineer’s employer, working part-time can be a possibility. However, safety engineers often have to work overtime whenever an incident occurs, so be prepared to work additional hours, even part-time employees. 

What are the Average Vacation Days of a Safety Engineer?

In the United States, a safety engineer can expect to receive a decent amount of vacation days, but the specific number varies wildly depending on the employer. 

Safety Engineer Resume Tips

Four key tips for creating a safety engineer resume are highlighting relevant experience, showing applicable skills, quantifying your achievements, and ensuring precise formatting from top to bottom. A top priority of employers in health and safety is to seek out employees that have previous hands-on experience. Be sure to include all work and volunteering that proves your field expertise. In sum, be sure to include the basics: name, contact information, LinkedIn profile, education, experience, certifications, and additional skills. 

Safety Engineer Interview Questions 

Below are a few potential interview questions that recruiters ask safety engineer candidates. We also define the purpose of the question to help you prepare for your first interview. 

Q1: What is it like working on your own?

Why it works: Asking this question during an interview can examine personalities to determine if the candidate embodies optimism and high expectations.

Q2: What type of people do you work with most effectively?

Why it works: In opposition to the previous question, this question examines an individual’s ability to collaborate with others and in what capacity. Safety engineers work across many different departments, so they must be able to work with others effectively. 

Q3: What experience do you have installing safety devices?

Why it works: Asking this question allows candidates to express the working knowledge necessary for the job. When listening to someone’s answer, keep an ear out for the use of proper technical terms and industry jargon. Using adequate terminology can show candidates have the skills they claim. 

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Frequently Asked Questions


What Does a Health And Safety Engineer Do?

Find out what a health and safety engineer does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a health and safety engineer.

safety engineer task

Table Of Contents

Health and safety engineer job duties.

Health And Safety Engineer Job Requirements

Health and safety engineer skills, health and safety engineer work environment, health and safety engineer trends, how to become a health and safety engineer, advancement prospects.

Health and safety engineers are responsible for ensuring that the people who work in their company or industry are safe. They do this by developing, implementing, and overseeing health and safety programs.

Health and safety engineers may also be tasked with investigating accidents or incidents to determine what caused them and how they could have been prevented. This information is used to inform future policies and procedures so that similar problems don’t occur again.

Health and safety engineers have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

Health And Safety Engineer Salary & Outlook

Health and safety engineers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the company size and industry. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

The employment of health and safety engineers is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Employment growth will be driven by the need for engineering solutions to complex problems, such as reducing risks in mining and manufacturing or improving efficiency in power plants. In addition, demand for health and safety engineers will continue to come from consulting firms that provide services to a variety of industries.

Related: 17 Health And Safety Engineer Interview Questions and Answers

A health and safety engineer typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Employers typically require health and safety engineers to have a bachelor’s degree in health, safety, environmental science or a related field. Some of the coursework that these programs include is environmental health, occupational health, safety, risk management, statistics, biology, chemistry and engineering.

Training & Experience: Health and safety engineers typically receive on-the-job training in the form of an apprenticeship or internship. Apprenticeships and internships allow health and safety engineers to gain practical experience in a work setting while earning a salary. These training programs can last between one and three years.

Certifications & Licenses: Health and safety engineers can acquire several certifications that demonstrate their expertise in the field. These certifications give professionals a chance to advance their careers and increase their earning potential.

Health and safety engineers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Technical skills: Health and safety engineers need technical skills to understand and apply the principles of engineering to their work. They use technical skills to design and implement health and safety programs, conduct inspections and analyze data.

Communication skills: Health and safety engineers communicate with many people, including their team, clients and other professionals. They need to be able to communicate clearly and concisely to ensure everyone understands their message. They also need to be able to listen to others and respond appropriately.

Leadership skills: Health and safety engineers often work in teams with other professionals, such as construction managers, safety officers and other engineers. Leadership skills can help you to motivate and direct your team to complete projects on time and within budget.

Problem-solving skills: Health and safety engineers use problem-solving skills to identify potential hazards and develop solutions to prevent them. They also use these skills to identify and correct any issues that arise during the production of a product.

Risk management: Risk management is the ability to identify potential hazards and implement strategies to prevent them from occurring. Health and safety engineers use their risk management skills to create safe work environments for their employees. They also use this skill to create safe products for consumers.

Health and safety engineers typically work in offices, but they also may spend time visiting worksites to observe conditions or to investigate accidents. They may work for private companies, consulting firms, or government agencies. Health and safety engineers typically work a standard 40-hour week, but some may work more than 40 hours per week to meet deadlines or to respond to emergencies. Some health and safety engineers travel to worksites around the world to conduct safety audits or to provide training in safety procedures.

Here are three trends influencing how health and safety engineers work. Health and safety engineers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Cybersecurity Professionals

The need for more cybersecurity professionals is a trend that is quickly becoming apparent as businesses become increasingly reliant on technology. As more and more data is stored online, it becomes a target for hackers who are looking to steal valuable information or disrupt operations.

Health and safety engineers can help to mitigate this risk by implementing security measures that protect sensitive data and ensure that systems are properly patched and updated. They can also work with other members of the team, such as IT professionals, to create a comprehensive plan for protecting the company from cyberattacks.

More Focus on Preventative Maintenance

As businesses become more aware of the importance of preventive maintenance, they will be looking for health and safety engineers who can help them to keep their employees safe.

This trend means that health and safety engineers will need to be familiar with a wide range of products and procedures that can help to prevent accidents before they happen. They will also need to be able to communicate effectively with managers and employees in order to get buy-in for preventive measures.

A Greater Emphasis on Employee Engagement

Employee engagement has become an increasingly important topic in recent years as businesses have realized the impact that it can have on productivity and overall success.

Health and safety engineers can play a key role in ensuring that employees are engaged by creating a workplace environment that promotes communication and collaboration. This can include things like providing training and resources for employees to learn new skills, or setting up social events and activities for workers to enjoy outside of the office.

A career as a health and safety engineer can be rewarding in many ways. It offers the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives, to work with cutting-edge technology, and to collaborate with professionals from other disciplines.

To become a health and safety engineer, you need a degree in engineering or related field, plus certification in health and safety engineering. You also need experience working in the field and knowledge of relevant regulations and standards.

Health and safety engineers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering, although some jobs may require a master’s degree. Employers also value work experience, so internships or cooperative engineering programs, in which students earn academic credit for structured work experience, can be helpful.

Most health and safety engineers work full time. Some may have to work more than 40 hours per week to respond to emergencies or to meet deadlines.

Health And Safety Engineer Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we believe that a safe and healthy workplace is a productive workplace. We are looking for a highly-skilled and experienced health and safety engineer to help us maintain a safe working environment for our employees. The ideal candidate will have a strong knowledge of health and safety regulations, as well as experience conducting risk assessments and developing safety programs. He/She will be responsible for investigating accidents and incidents, as well as developing and implementing safety initiatives to prevent future accidents. The health and safety engineer will also be responsible for training employees on safety procedures and conducting regular safety audits.

Duties & Responsibilities

Required Skills and Qualifications

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

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