How to save us all, no experience required! (A career in safety)

By Brandon Chavez

So you want to make a difference? You want to change the world, or at least do your part to make it a better place to live in? Yes, of course you do! Now you just need to figure out how.

Maybe you are fresh out of school and embarking on one of your very first job searches. Or you are attempting to switch out of a boring career into something more rewarding. Or perhaps you are a military veteran trying to transition into civilian life.

The answer is clear – begin a new career in safety. Why safety? Because the main goal of safety professionals is to do all they can to ensure everybody leaves at the end of the day alive and well, headed back home to see their friends, families and puppy dogs. And that is one of the most rewarding things you can be a part of – and you want to feel that kind of happiness.

Now that we have figured out why, how do you get started? That’s the easy part: just walk into the closest company office and say “I’m here to save us all! How much does it pay?”

No, wait. That won’t work. OK, so you do need some measure of safety experience and education to qualify for the job.

kid-puppy.jpgLet’s try again. You need something comprehensive and in-depth that includes hands-on experience, offers leadership education, includes a paid internship opportunity and can lead to a full-time job upon completion. Where are you ever going to find that?

Oh, right. UC San Diego Extension’s Occupational Safety and Health Department, in partnership with the Associated Builders and Contractors, just came out with a new Professional Certificate for entry-level safety positions. Good thinking by you!

Now what? You better apply soon because the inaugural San Diego-based 13-week Safety Specialist Certificate program begins in July.

What else is on your mind? How many lives you can positively impact over your new career? No? The cost of the program? Don’t worry about that! Financial assistance through private loans is available and the program is approved for eligible students to use their VA benefits on the Certificate Program.

You’re all set! What are you waiting for now?

You want to know if you will be qualified for a rewarding, stable and well-paying job after you finish the program? OK, you like stats and quotes? Yes and yes?

Try these:

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) cites a median income of $60,000+ for Occupational Health and Safety Specialists.

  • According to the BLS, jobs for Occupational Health and Safety Specialists will grow at 9 percent through 2020, and 13 percent for Occupational Health and Safety Technicians.

  • According to a recent National Safety Council survey of industry professionals, more than 90 percent of respondents reported that their job is stable.

  • It is estimated that there are at least 3 million serious work related injuries each year costing approximately $198 billion – many of which could have been avoided with proper safety programs in place.

  • According to former Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, David Michaels, injured workers see that their “American dream quickly becomes a nightmare” forcing hard-working families “out of the middle class and into poverty.”

  • “Partnering so closely with ABC insures that we tailor the instruction to the needs of employers, who report that leadership and communication with workers and upper management are the most valuable skills on the job,” lead instructor Bob Harrell.

Now are you ready to get started saving us all? Great!

What’s that? You want to thank me for telling you about this opportunity? No need, just be sure to get as many people back to their friends, families and puppy dogs as you possibly can. After all, that’s the best gift you can possibly give someone.


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