Also commonly referred to as Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), Work Health and Safety (WHS) is a rapidly growing industry within Australia; according to an Ibis World report
issued in July 2020, the Occupational Health and Safety sector is projected to be worth more than one and half billion dollars
in 2021, an expected increase of 7.7% year on year.
Compared with other Australian industries in the past five years, the market size of the OHS Services industry has increased faster than the economy overall.
As accidents in the workplace become more prevalent due to the rising number of total employees in the labour force, pursuing a career in Occupational Health and Safety or Work Health and Safety is quickly becoming a highly desired (and smart!) vocational trajectory.
What is Work Health and Safety (WHS)?
The primary focus of a work health and safety officer or professional is to prioritise the health and safety of both the employer and employees within a business
and to ensure that the overall company culture supports these objectives.
A WHS or OHS officer will usually create policies or procedures that are adapted by a company which function to keep everyone safe and well within the workplace.
These systems and guidelines are routinely reviewed and revised in line with new hazards that present or any issues that arise from various investigations.
Why should you pursue a career in Work Health and Safety?
There are numerous reasons a career in Work Health and Safety is worth considering - from room to grow within the sector to the capacity to earn a significantly above-average salary, there are notable benefits to working within this burgeoning industry.
1. There are plenty of opportunities to be found
With 30,600 WHS professionals predicted to be employed in Australia by 2022,
the sector as a whole consists of stable job opportunities for men and women of all ages which are available in most areas of the country.
Tens of thousands of Safety Representatives, WHS Co-ordinators, WHS Assessors, and Rehabilitation Coordinators are required across a multitude of industries to keep up with growing OHS requirements, meaning this is a booming field of employment.
2. You have a strong prospect of ongoing career advancement
If you’re keen to stay in your industry of choice, a career in WHS is an ideal way to do so.
Oftentimes when you want to move up into a role with greater managerial responsibilities, many positions require some level of WHS/OHS expertise.
By having already developed this skill set, you may find yourself a step ahead of other candidates vying for those more senior positions.
3. It offers varied career paths
Completing a certification or course in Work Health and Safety can open up doors to a plethora of industries; WHS professionals are required across dozens of sectors, including agriculture, forestry, nursing, government, hospitality, construction, mining and transportation.
In addition, the opportunity to further develop job proficiency and undertake supplementary training or qualifications
is strongly encouraged and available once employed within the industry.
Having this scope for growth available leads us into the next reason it’s worth considering a career in WHS.
4. There is the capacity for significant earning potential
The average Work and Health Safety officer’s salary is over $100,000 per annum
(with some mining safety jobs offering in excess of $550,000!), which makes its earnings 90 percent higher than all other jobs in Australia.
Suffice to say, the sky's the limit for generating a very healthy income within the WHS/OHS industry.
How to become a Work Health and Safety Officer
While there are no mandatory education requirements to pursue a career as a Work Health and Safety officer, most employers look closer at candidates who hold at least an Australian accredited BSB41419 - Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety.
Once you have landed a job in the industry, room to grow your skill set through additional courses or training opportunities is vast and varied.
What skills do I need?
If you’re a highly analytical mind who has a knack for finding and eliminating risks
under pressure and in a high-stakes environment, a Work and Health Safety job may be an ideal fit for you.
A career in the WHS industry is also well suited to those who are strong communicators, observant, investigative and good at interacting with people.
Kickstart your career in work health and safety
Upskilled offers courses like BSB51319 - Diploma of Work Health and Safety
and BSB41419 - Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety
to help get you started on your journey.
If you're considering a career in Work Health and Safety, or are just interested in understanding those course options available to you, get in touch with Upskilled today on 1300 009 924.
Katie Quirk is a PR and communications professional who has almost a decade of experience working with clients across a myriad of industries under her belt, including several in the education, government, not-for-profit and business sectors. In October 2019, Katie launched her own consultancy Katie Quirk Communications and is passionate about continuing to use her professional skill set to help inspire, encourage and ignite positive change within the community.