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Health and Safety

As a health and safety professional you could work in almost any industry, saving lives and caring for the health of your colleagues.

What is Health and Safety?

Being a health and safety professional is all about preventing injury and ill-health, so if you have a caring nature then this career could be for you.

In the UK, employers must abide by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 which is all about preventing harm in the workplace and potentially saving lives.

There is a misconception that health and safety is a boring job… but it's far from it! As a health and safety professional you could: 

  • Travel the world.
  • Save lives and care for the health of your colleagues.
  • Earn well – the median salary of a health and safety professional is £43,000 a year. 
  • Work in an industry you're passionate about.
    Health and safety professionals are required in T.V production, construction, catering, fashion and almost any industry you can think of!

What Health and Safety jobs can I do?

If there are lots of jobs to include, descriptions should be short (i.e. a sentence or two). If there are a small number of jobs, descriptions can be longer (i.e. a paragraph of four or five sentences).

There is a large variety of health and safety-related jobs and can often vary in title and description as well as industry. Entry-level roles could be administrative or coordinator positions but a health and safety career could help you progress all the way to Director level. Roles include:

  • Health and safety professionals (for example, coordinator, manager, Director) – working to reduce accidents, injury and health problems in the workplace.
  • QHSE professionals – some people are also responsible for quality (Q) and environmental (E) management.
  • Building Safety Regulatory Lead – Determine the level of inspection the property requires, including site visits
  • Fire safety professionals – provide fire safety advice and establish an effective fire safety management system.

You could choose to work ‘in-house’ for an organisation or, as you become more experienced, you could set up your own consultancy practice.

Is a career in Health and Safety for me?

There are many different job roles in health and safety, but it is a great career choice if you: 

  • Want to care and protect people
  • Have good communication skills
  • Are good at problem solving
  • Like to help and enable people
  • Have an eye for detail
  • Are organised
  • Have the ability to adapt to different situations
  • Want to make a positive difference
  • Are passionate about making the world a healthier and safer place

How can I start a career in Health and Safety

There are a number of training routes that you could take:

  • University degree
  • Apprenticeship
  • Vocational qualifications, such as NEBOSH

Soft skills – such as communication, influencing, empthay and project management – are important in health and safety. So even if you don’t start out in the profession then you could gain a vocational qualification, learn soft skills or volunteer for your organisation’s health and safety committee to help you prepare for and make the move to being a health and safety professional.

Read some of our case studies to find out how different people developed their careers:

Health and Safety Career Case Study


Read an Apprentice Case Study


Health and Safety Career for Young People


What Health and Safety qualifications are available?

NEBOSH – the National Examination Board in Occupational Health and Safety - offers qualifications that are taken my many thousands of health and safety professionals – and those aspiring to be one – from across the world every year.

Qualifications range from introductory Awards, all the way up to Masters level, as well as specialist qualifications in topics such as construction, fire safety and workplace stress. Those who achieve NEBOSH’s higher level qualifications are also invited to an annual Graduation celebration.

Qualifications include:

  • Health and Safety at Work Award
  • Environmental Awareness at Work Qualification
  • NEBOSH HSE Award in Managing Risks and Risk Assessment at Work
  • National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety
  • Health and Safety Management for Construction (UK)
  • Certificate in Fire Safety
  • NEBOSH HSE Certificate in Managing Stress at Work
  • NEBOSH Level 6 National Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals
  • NEBOSH Master of Research degrees, in partnership with the University of Hull

The full list of NEBOSH qualifications can be found here: https://www.nebosh.org.uk/qualifications/

Did you know these Health and Safety facts?

  • 8 million people suffered from a work-related illness in Great Britain in 2022-23
  • 135 people were killed in work-related accidents in Great Britain in 2022-23
  • A 2021 survey of over 2,300 IOSH members showed that just 0.8% of respondents were aged 18-24 years old
  • More accidents happen at home than anywhere else

About NEBOSH - Our Sponsor

The National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health, also known as NEBOSH is a leading global organisation, which provides health, safety and environmental qualifications.

Tens of thousands of people from more than 170 countries study for a NEBOSH qualification every year, learning with our network of over 450 Learning Partners.

Through NEBOSH qualifications, learners and their employers can improve the lives of people around the world by keeping their colleagues and their communities safe from work-related accidents and ill-health.