How to Start Work in the Health and Safety Industry

If you’re looking for a new career path, working within the health and safety industry can be extremely rewarding. If this is an area you’re interested in, what qualifications are an employer looking for? This guide provides all the information you need to know.

In today’s competitive jobs market, it’s always best to have a range of skills to make you more adaptable. This can include working towards a health and safety qualification if this is an area you’d be interested in pursuing. There are a number of general entry routes, but if you’re looking at working in a more specialised industry, such as gas or construction, you may need more specific qualifications.

Gaining the Right Qualifications
If you’re looking for a good starting point, then the NEBOSH National General Certificate is a highly popular course. This can either be completed in the classroom over four weeks, or a more flexible option is to work towards the certificate via Nebosh distance learning. This is a nationally recognised qualification and provides the minimum standard required by most jobs.

For those who need to continue in their current role, studying the course by Nebosh distance learning means you can fit the work in around your lifestyle. You still receive advice and support from tutors and other students via email, phone, Skype and social networking. However, you have the ability to study the hours to suit you.

Although many employers see the National General Certificate as giving you a good understanding of the industry, it can sometimes be a difficult place to start. If you have little knowledge of health and safety regulations and procedures, you might be better completing the IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety & Health) Managing Safely course first. This provides you with a good basic grounding, but isn’t enough on its own to gain a full time position.

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Building up Experience
Many people who develop a career within the industry have started out as health and safety representatives in their current company. It’s always worthwhile seeing what experience you can gain before looking for a full time role. Anything specific that you can put on your CV will be beneficial when applying for positions.

Gaining more practical experience will also help you decide if this is a route you want to follow. You’ll be able to learn the technical aspects of the industry and develop skills to help resolve situations successfully. Starting to expand your knowledge before you apply for jobs will show potential employers that you have a commitment to the industry.

Before you start work, you need to ask yourself if you’re right for the role. An employer will be looking for someone who can think on their feet, be adaptable in a variety of situations and have the desire to reduce risks in the workplace. If this sounds like you, then you should think about applying for a course, whether classroom based or Nebosh distance learning.


Maria writes regularly on health and safety issues for a range of industry websites and blogs. Prior to this, she worked for over 10 years as a career councilar in health and safety officer in the retail industry. For further information on gaining the necessary qualifications, visit this page.



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