Health and Safety InspectorJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

Health and Safety Inspectors are specially trained individuals who walk around restaurants, stores, factories, and other places of business and take notes of what’s going on. These people make sure that businesses are following the proper health regulations and protocols so that their workers and customers stay safe. 

Health and safety inspectors also investigate any accidents that happen in the workplace so they can come up with a plan on what needs to be improved. They may inspect food, product, and fire regulations to ensure each business meets federal, state, and local requirements. Most inspectors will need to have a great understanding of EPA, OSHA, MSHA, and DOT regulations to make sure businesses are obeying these regulations. Health and safety inspectors should have a passion for creating plans and finding solutions to difficult problems.

Sample job description

From overseeing restaurants to factories, health and safety inspectors do the important work of ensuring that businesses follow the regulations put in place to keep workers as well as customers safe and well. They investigate accidents to see what went wrong and what protocols might be improved. They also make sure that restaurants make corrections to ensure the safety of the food they serve. Various specialties exist, including product safety, fire safety, and food safety. If you have excellent communication skills and a mind for critical thinking and creative solutions, [Your Company Name] might be the perfect place for you to work as a health and safety inspector.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Promote safety awareness in both work practices and company culture
  • Understand EPA, OSHA, MSHA, and DOT regulations and assure company compliance with them 
  • Assist in the development and implementation of EHS (Environmental Health and Safety) procedures, policies, and guidelines
  • Conduct inspections and audits, as required, to ensure compliance with company policies and applicable regulations
  • Assist in mitigation of identified hazardous conditions or unsafe acts 
  • Participate in incident investigations and assist with the development of corrective actions
  • Conduct EHS safety training

Education and experience

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in a scientific or technical field. Employers typically prefer job candidates who have certification from the National Environmental Health Association.

Required skills and qualifications

  • Knowledge of environmental laws and health policy
  • Ability to use air, soil, and water sampling tools
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills 
  • Strong critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analysis skills
  • Familiar with Microsoft Office Suite, database software, and analytical and scientific programs

Preferred qualifications

  • 2+ years of experience working as a health and safety inspector
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Passion for safety
  • Strong attention to detail

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a health and safety inspector is $85,600 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$85,150$115,200
Los Angeles, California$96,050$129,950
Denver, Colorado$80,050$108,300
Washington, DC$97,500$131,900
Miami, Florida$79,650$107,800
Orlando, Florida$73,500$99,400
Tampa, Florida$74,200$100,400
Atlanta, Georgia$77,850$105,350
Chicago, Illinois$89,500$121,100
Boston, Massachusetts$96,750$130,950
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$77,150$104,350
New York City, New York$101,850$137,800
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$82,950$112,200
Dallas, Texas$80,750$109,250
Houston, Texas$80,050$108,300
Seattle, Washington$93,150$126,000
National Average$72,750$98,450

Typical work environment

Health and safety inspectors work full time, spending much of their time in the office. At times, they may have to work outside of the normal 9 to 5 hours. They oversee the safety of factories, restaurants, and other workplaces, so they spend a good portion of time inspecting various worksites. They also spend some of their time traveling from location to location. While on a worksite, a health and safety inspector might be exposed to dangerous conditions, including physical, biological, and chemical risks.  

Typical hours

The typical work hours for an Environmental Health and Safety Inspector are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, both in an office setting and in the field.

Available certifications

The government implements rules and regulations to keep employees as well as the general public safe, and health and safety inspectors will always be needed to ensure compliance with those regulations. To begin working as a health and safety inspector, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree, typically in a field related to health or science. Certification programs exist to train you specifically for working in the field.

  • Occupational Safety and Health (OSH). This is a 15-credit course, with three courses that are required, and two elective courses. The certification program is completed online and can be tailored to meet your speciality, from ergonomics to worker’s compensation.
  • Certified Safety Professional (CSP). Offered by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, the CSP certification will prepare you for senior managerial work. Prior to certification, you’ll need previous certifications and a few years of professional experience. The exam is difficult to pass, but the CSP can help you advance your career as a health and safety inspector. 

Career path

The path to becoming an Environmental Health and Safety Inspector typically starts with earning a bachelor’s degree in a scientific or technical field. Environmental Health and Safety Inspectors can also obtain certification to help further their knowledge and experience. 

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 17-2111

2020 Employment24,100
Projected Employment in 203025,600
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 6% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift1,500 increase

The Flexographic Technical Organization offers professional skill and knowledge development opportunities, such as modules covering pertinent topics and certification programs. 

Sample interview questions

  • What skills and qualities do you have that make you a good health and safety inspector? 
  • What credentials do you have that qualify you for this job?
  • Where do you see your career heading in the next five years?
  • What responsibilities did you have in your prior job?
  • How do you keep up to date with the latest advances in health and safety? 
  • How do you get workers and staff to follow your safety recommendations?
  • Tell me about your process for inspecting a workplace and recommending corrections for improved safety.
  • How do you make sure the facility is operating in a way that complies with regulatory standards?
  • How do you handle non-compliant workers?
  • What is your process for investigating incidents and accidents in the workplace?
  • How do you present safety information to workers and staff? 

Health and Safety Inspector Jobs in Ashburn

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