A consumer safety officer inspects products to make sure that they are safe for customer use or consumption, and might read and respond to customer complaints regarding safety. To become a consumer safety officer, you should first earn a college degree in a field related to an industry in which you would like to work. For example, if you would like to become a consumer safety officer in the pharmaceutical industry, you can benefit from earning a degree in chemistry. In some cases, you also should earn certification from a government agency, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States.
The skills you need to become a consumer safety officer depend largely on the needs of an organization. In most cases, a consumer safety officer should be comfortable learning how to use new kinds of software. He or she also should be able to perform data entry tasks. It is common for a consumer safety officer to also have access to data regarding inspection results and customer feedback from digital databases.
To become a consumer safety officer, you should have proven leadership skills. It is common for a professional in this role to conduct training so that all employees are familiar with potential safety hazards and best practices. A safety officer commonly enforces certain practices and principles. He or she might assess workers and discipline those who do not uphold standards of safety and quality.
In most cases a consumer safety officer also consults executives and other high level professionals. After he or she performs inspections, for example, an officer might then meet with upper level management to discuss results. He or she might also need to suggest ways to improve safety, to discuss risk management skills, and to deliver presentations regarding concerns. For this reason, a person who would like to become a consumer safety officer should have excellent business communication skills.
It is common to find different levels of responsibility in the consumer safety profession. For instance, some field officers might be responsible for performing inspections and reporting to facility managers. Officers at higher levels, on the other hand, often take part in determining organizational guidelines and standards based on government regulations and consumer feedback. To earn a position with a greater degree of responsibility, you should begin as a field officer. As you gain more experience and develop new skills, you should express to your supervisors that you are interested in moving forward in your career.