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How Do I Become a Health and Safety Inspector?

By T. L. Childree
Updated May 17, 2024
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In order to become a health and safety inspector, you must first complete all of the necessary educational, work experience, and certification requirements. A bachelor’s degree in industrial hygiene or health physics is generally required for this occupation. You must also possess a certain amount of full-time experience in this field. It will probably be necessary for you to receive a professional certification or license before you can become a health and safety inspector.

A health and safety inspector is responsible for ensuring that all pertinent regulations are observed in a business or workplace. This individual must evaluate and inspect workplace conditions for possible violations. An inspector must also enforce compliance with all workplace safety laws and regulations. You will probably be employed by a government agency or private company after you become a health and safety inspector. Certain educational and work experience requirements must be met before beginning employment.

It is usually necessary to earn a bachelor’s degree at an accredited college before you can become a health and safety inspector. This degree must be in a health-related major such as industrial hygiene or health physics. You will be required to take courses in chemistry, biology, occupational health, and engineering as part of your studies. It may also be necessary to complete coursework in specialized subjects such as hazardous material and risk management before receiving your degree.

In addition to a college degree, you will also be required to have a certain amount of practical work experience in the health and safety field. Many businesses and government agencies allow college students to work as interns while completing their education. You may want to ask about the availability of internships before choosing a particular college. It might be possible to find temporary summer employment in this field if an internship is not possible. After completing your formal education, you may have to begin working in an entry level health and safety position to gain practical work experience.

Many prospective employers will also require you to obtain some type of professional certification before you can become a health and safety inspector. This certification is offered by several different professional organizations including the Council on Certification of Health, Environmental, and Safety Technologists. Requirements for certification vary, but a bachelor’s degree along with one year of relevant work experience is generally required to sit for the exam. Some employers may also require you to be licensed by the local public health agency.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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