Subjects in Health and Safety
Benefits of Studying Health and Safety
Studying health and safety is a great option If you want a hands-on career that doesn’t involve sitting at a desk all day. There are plenty of other benefits too, including:
The chance to make a difference
As a health and safety professional, the procedures you promote will improve the safety of workplaces, reducing risk and preventing injuries. You could even save lives.
A choice of entry routes
There are various routes you can take to become qualified, from professional qualifications to master’s degrees.
Diverse career options
Health and safety practitioners work in many different industries, including construction, manufacturing, healthcare, education, energy and transport.
The health and safety sector has seen steady growth, which will soon receive a further boost, thanks to the large group of employees who are close to retirement.
Health and Safety FAQ
In 1974, the Health and Safety at Work Act instructed employers to take measures “so far as is reasonably practical” to prevent or reduce risk in the workplace. These measures included conducting a health and safety risk assessment and producing a health and safety policy.
When developing their policies, organisations have to consider both the “health” and “safety” of their employees. So as well as enabling employees to undertake their duties without risking their health, employers have to create a safe working environment that reduces the risk of injury or accident.
Health and safety offer a broad choice of career paths in a range of areas including:
Construction Health and Safety
Occupational Health and Safety
Oil and Gas Safety
Health and Safety Training
Environmental Health and Safety
Top 5 Roles
Here are Glassdoor’s top five health and safety roles based on median salary, job openings and job satisfaction:
Health and Safety Qualifications
Levels of Courses
Completing this level will enable you to study a level 3 health and safety qualification such as the NEBOSH National General Certificate, which is considered essential by most employers.
Level 3 • Certificate
This level gives you a sound understanding of health and safety legislation in the workplace. Completing it allows you to become a technical member of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). You’ll also be able to advance your career by accessing the Level 6 NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety.
How to Become a Health and Safety Practitioner
As well as giving you a taste of health and safety in the workplace, gaining experience will show employers that you’re keen. There a couple of ways to approach this. You could either become a health and safety rep for your current employer, or you could arrange to shadow a health and safety officer for a short period of time. Once you’re certain that this is the career for you, there are three main ways to qualify.
Complete a professional qualification
Health and safety training courses that will kickstart your career include the NEBOSH National/International General Certificate and the NEBOSH Certificate in Construction Safety and Health. These can be studied in a classroom or via distance learning and will enable you to become an associate member of the IOSH.
Or.. embark on a degree or postgraduate qualification
Although degrees in health and safety are available, there are also plenty of postgraduate level courses, which you can access with a degree in any subject. Science, engineering, environmental health and food tech degrees are particularly relevant. If you do opt to study health and safety at degree level, ensure that the course is recognised by the IOSH.
Alternatively, seek out apprenticeships
Like the idea of doing an apprenticeship? Then you’ll be glad to know that both advanced and degree level apprenticeships are on offer. If you’ve passed 5 GCSEs including English and maths, you could opt for an Advanced Safety, Health and Environment Technician Apprenticeship. Alternatively, if you’ve got GCSEs and A levels (or equivalent) you could do an Environmental Health Practitioner Degree Apprenticeship.
Ways to Study Health and Safety
Studying health and safety courses online allows you to complete the uploaded course material at your own speed. You can also work wherever you feel comfortable.
If you opt for the traditional format of classroom learning, you’ll be taught by a qualified teacher with a group of students.
Blended learning combines the benefits of studying online and in class. Contact hours will differ depending on the course provider.
Skills for Health and Safety Practitioners
Health and safety involves working with many different people, so you’ll need a range of both soft and hard skills. Essential hard skills include:
The ability to train others
Attention to detail
What Daily Tasks Do Health and Safety Careers Involve?
Your daily responsibilities will depend on your role and the industry you’re working in. However, common health and safety-related tasks include: