Careers

Health and Safety Professionals

Health and Safety professionals work to promote the health and safety (welfare) of people in the workplace using a mix of core technical competencies and interpersonal skills (facilitation, engagement, leadership and influencing). This is a multi-disciplinary profession which requires formal training and practical experience. Health and Safety professionals work closely with other specialists including Safety Engineers, Occupational Hygienists, Ergonomists and Occupational Health Professionals.

Job Prospects

Job prospects for Health and Safety professionals are above average, and wages are very good. New Zealand has poor workplace health and safety performance and Government and industry in New Zealand are actively trying to reduce serious work-related incidents.

The demand for experienced Health and Safety professionals is currently outstripping the resource available in New Zealand.

Career options include:

  • Senior Health and Safety Managers
  • Health and Safety Managers
  • Health and Safety Consultants
  • Senior Health and Safety Advisors
  • Health and Safety Advisors
  • Health and Safety Coordinators
  • Health and Safety Officers
  • Health and Safety Administrators
  • Health and Safety Inspectors

How to become a health and safety professional

What they do

Health and safety professionals work to promote health and safety in the workplace and public places to ensure that working conditions are safe and healthy and comply with legal requirements. This is done using core technical competencies and interpersonal skills including facilitation, engagement, leadership and influencing skills.

This type of work includes providing specialist advice, identifying, assessing, managing and monitoring hazards and risks, completing risk assessments, investigating incidents, return to work and rehabilitation, training managers and employees, developing health and safety management systems, policies and procedures, auditing, and contractor management.

Other technical skills include hazardous substances management, machinery and equipment safety, fire safety and ventilation and knowledge of organisational behaviour, occupational health and hygiene, occupational psychology (human factors) and ergonomics.

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Qualifications

Health and Professionals can obtain qualifications at multiple levels in New Zealand including:

Graduate Level

  • Graduate Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety (Massey University)
  • Bachelor of Health Science, Occupational Health and Safety major (Massey University)
  • NEBOSH International Diploma in Occupational Safety and Health (multiple providers)
  • Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety (Southern Institute of Technology)

Technical Level

  • National Certificate in Occupational Safety & Health, NZQA Level 4 (multiple providers)
  • NZ Certificate in Workplace Health and Safety Practice, NZQA Level 4 (multiple providers)
  • National Certificate in OHS (Coordination), NZQA Level 4 (multiple providers)
  • NEBOSH International General Certificate in Occupational Safety and Health (multiple providers)
  • NEBOSH General Certificate in Occupational Safety and Health (multiple providers)

Becoming a Registered Health and Safety Professional

In New Zealand those working in health and safety roles can follow a recognised pathway to become a registered Health and Safety Professional. Professional registration requirements include a mix of recognised qualifications and practical experience. Click here for further information

Salaries

Health and Professionals are sought after and well paid. The 2017 Safeguard Health and Safety Professionals Salary Survey showed the following results:

For more information view the 2016 Safeguard Health and Safety Professionals Salary Survey results.