Safety supervisors coordinate and direct a company’s safety initiatives. They help protect workers by developing and implementing procedures designed to reduce workplace injuries. A career as a safety supervisor may begin with enrolling in a bachelor’s degree in applied psychology program.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of occupational health and safety technicians is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations in coming years. Job growth will occur as government safety regulations continue to change and insurance and healthcare costs rise, making worker safety a larger focus for employers. Individuals with specialized training and advanced education should enjoy the best career opportunities.
Job duties for safety supervisors vary according to the industry, workplace and hazards facing workers. They may evaluate existing hazards, write reports, prepare documents used in legal proceedings and propose budgets needed to implement safety programs. Usually, safety supervisors are responsible for a company’s compliance with federal and state regulations.
At times, the safety supervisor will conduct worker safety training in accordance to regulations. They may also assist employees with worker compensation claims, consult with insurance providers and monitor employee medical treatment following a claim. Ensuring that all required records are properly maintained is another important aspect of this job.
Safety supervisor positions are found in a variety of industries and work environments, such as offices, mines and factories. These professionals typically work a 40-hour week, but extended hours are sometimes required. They may travel to employer work sites to perform their jobs.
National salary data on CareerBuilder.com indicated that as of August 2010, safety supervisor incomes ranged between $65,887 and $116,806, with an average salary of $77,840. Recent bachelor’s graduates will generally start out toward the lower end of the range. The top salaries go to supervisors with the most experience and advanced education.
Many safety supervisor positions require a bachelor’s degree. Most employers prefer to hire candidates with previous experience for supervisory roles. In many cases, work experience can be obtained through summer jobs or internship programs while pursuing a degree in applied psychology.
The first step to a safety supervisor career can be a bachelor’s degree in applied psychology with a concentration in human factors. Coursework typically includes physiological psychology, abnormal psychology, learning and motivation, and research methods in applied psychology.
Employers can be confident that graduates of an applied psychology program are able to:
Many employers offer opportunities for continuing education. It’s possible to gain an entry-level position with a bachelor’s degree and use tuition assistance to pay for a master’s degree.
If you enjoy helping and protecting others, working as a safety supervisor could be a rewarding career. Along with excellent communication skills, you’ll need good attention to detail and strong leadership abilities to be successful in this field.