Working in health and safety roles can be highly rewarding, and it gives you the satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping to protect people’s wellbeing. This field can be competitive though, so if you want to progress within it, you’ll need to be focussed and determined. Here, we take a look at four of the ways you can take your health and safety career to the next level.
Make sure you have suitable qualifications
For many roles, you’ll need a degree, postgraduate diploma or MSc that’s recognised by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health. Alternatively, you can complete an approved degree-level qualification through bodies such as the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH). For example, you could study to obtain a NEBOSH diploma from SHEilds. The training specialist provides courses such as the NEBOSH International Diploma in Occupational Safety & Health, which is designed to give people who wish to progress in their careers the knowledge and skills they need to become health and safety practitioners. It covers topics ranging from risk control to incident investigation.
You may be able to study for qualifications like this while you’re working or you could take them before you search for specialist roles. Also, as you progress in your career, you should find that new opportunities arise to gain additional qualifications and further your knowledge and skills. By keeping your long-term goals in mind, you will be able to identify courses that can advance your career.
Look for other ways to enhance your knowledge and skills
As well as undertaking specialist health and safety courses, there are other ways to enhance your knowledge and skills and therefore make yourself more appealing to employers. For example, work experience that helps you to hone your communication, organisational and problem solving abilities can stand you in good stead for a health and safety career. Meanwhile, if you’re not confident using IT systems, it may pay off to complete a computing course that helps you to master the basics.
Building up your CV in these ways can prove to be extremely useful when you apply for health and safety jobs and it can increase your confidence.
Be open to new challenges and roles
Once you’ve landed a health and safety job, there are various ways to progress and so it pays to be open to new challenges. You may eventually want to consider applying for management roles, or you could choose to specialise in a particular area, such as environmental safety. With further study, there’s also the option of lecturing or researching.
Join professional membership bodies
Consider joining professional membership bodies in the health and safety field, such as the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management and the Occupational Safety and Health Association. Doing this shows you have reached a certain level of expertise and it can add to your credibility. It also demonstrates that you are serious about your career and about progressing within it. There are other benefits associated with joining these bodies too. For example, it can be a good way to network and to find out about new job opportunities. In addition, membership can provide you with access to advice, up-to-date research, details of events, industry news and more.
The key to long-term progression in this field is to be receptive to new opportunities as and when they arise. As long as you’re ready and willing to learn and you’re prepared to dedicate yourself to these roles, you should be able to look forward to a fulfilling career.