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Career profile Industrial Safety Engineer

Also known as Health and Safety Specialist, Industrial Hygienist, Industrial Safety Engineer, Product Safety and Standards Engineer, Product Safety Consultant, Product Safety Engineer, Safety and Health Consultant, Safety Engineer, Service Loss Control Consultant, System Safety Engineer

Industrial Safety Engineer

Also known as Health and Safety Specialist, Industrial Hygienist, Industrial Safety Engineer

Interests Profile
  • Investigative
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
Pay Range
$55,390 - $144,800 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Critical Thinking
  • Writing
Knowledge Areas
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Administration and Management
  • Customer and Personal Service
Core tasks
  • Inspect facilities, machinery, or safety equipment to identify and correct potential hazards, and to ensure safety regulation compliance.
  • Install safety devices on machinery or direct device installation.
  • Investigate industrial accidents, injuries, or occupational diseases to determine causes and preventive measures.
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What does an Industrial Safety Engineer do?

Industrial Safety Engineers promote worksite or product safety by applying knowledge of industrial processes, mechanics, chemistry, psychology, and industrial health and safety laws.

In addition, Industrial Safety Engineers includes industrial product safety engineers.

What kind of tasks does an Industrial Safety Engineer perform regularly?

Industrial Safety Engineers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Investigate industrial accidents, injuries, or occupational diseases to determine causes and preventive measures.
  • Conduct research to evaluate safety levels for products.
  • Evaluate product designs for safety.
  • Recommend procedures for detection, prevention, and elimination of physical, chemical, or other product hazards.
  • Conduct or coordinate worker training in areas such as safety laws and regulations, hazardous condition monitoring, and use of safety equipment.
  • Maintain and apply knowledge of current policies, regulations, and industrial processes.
  • Evaluate potential health hazards or damage that could occur from product misuse.
  • Report or review findings from accident investigations, facilities inspections, or environmental testing.
  • Evaluate adequacy of actions taken to correct health inspection violations.
  • Interpret safety regulations for others interested in industrial safety, such as safety engineers, labor representatives, and safety inspectors.
  • Review plans and specifications for construction of new machinery or equipment to determine whether all safety requirements have been met.
  • Participate in preparation of product usage and precautionary label instructions.
  • Review employee safety programs to determine their adequacy.
  • Conduct or direct testing of air quality, noise, temperature, or radiation levels to verify compliance with health and safety regulations.
  • Provide expert testimony in litigation cases.
  • Interview employers and employees to obtain information about work environments and workplace incidents.
  • Provide technical advice and guidance to organizations on how to handle health-related problems and make needed changes.
  • Maintain liaisons with outside organizations, such as fire departments, mutual aid societies, and rescue teams, so that emergency responses can be facilitated.
  • Develop industry standards of product safety.
  • Plan and conduct industrial hygiene research.
  • Compile, analyze, and interpret statistical data related to occupational illnesses and accidents.
  • Write and revise safety regulations and codes.
  • Confer with medical professionals to assess health risks and to develop ways to manage health issues and concerns.

The above responsibilities are specific to Industrial Safety Engineers. More generally, Industrial Safety Engineers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

What is an Industrial Safety Engineer salary?

The median salary for an Industrial Safety Engineer is $94,240, and the average salary is $97,330. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Industrial Safety Engineer salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Industrial Safety Engineers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Industrial Safety Engineers earn less than $55,390 per year, 25% earn less than $71,460, 75% earn less than $120,890, and 90% earn less than $144,800.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Industrial Safety Engineers is expected to change by 6.2%, and there should be roughly 1,700 open positions for Industrial Safety Engineers every year.

Median annual salary
$94,240
Typical salary range
$55,390 - $144,800
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
6.2%

What personality traits are common among Industrial Safety Engineers?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Industrial Safety Engineer are usually higher in their Investigative, Realistic, and Conventional interests.

Industrial Safety Engineers typically have very strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Also, Industrial Safety Engineers typically have strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Lastly, Industrial Safety Engineers typically have strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Industrial Safety Engineer tend to value Working Conditions, Support, and Achievement.

Most importantly, Industrial Safety Engineers strongly value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Second, Industrial Safety Engineers strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Industrial Safety Engineers strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Industrial Safety Engineers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, dependability, and attention to detail.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Industrial Safety Engineers, ranked by importance:

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

What education and training do Industrial Safety Engineers need?

Many Industrial Safety Engineers will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Industrial Safety Engineers usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Industrial Safety Engineers

  • 0.9% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 6.4% completed high school or secondary school
  • 10.5% completed some college coursework
  • 7.8% earned a Associate's degree
  • 51.9% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 19.7% earned a Master's degree
  • 2.8% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Industrial Safety Engineers

Industrial Safety Engineers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as engineering and technology, administration and management, or customer and personal service knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Industrial Safety Engineers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

Important Abilities needed by Industrial Safety Engineers

Industrial Safety Engineers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Industrial Safety Engineers need abilities such as problem sensitivity, written comprehension, and oral comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Industrial Safety Engineers, ranked by their relative importance.

Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Critical Skills needed by Industrial Safety Engineers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Industrial Safety Engineers frequently use skills like reading comprehension, critical thinking, and writing to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Industrial Safety Engineers, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Writing
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.