Build in-demand professional skills for a vital industry and promote great health at work by studying a WHS course.
What do whs graduates do?
Graduates of WHS courses usually work as occupational health and safety officers, and may work independently, in a safety team, or with the management team of a business or organisation. As a workplace health and safety professional, you may perform tasks like:
- Developing, communicating, implementing and reviewing workplace health and safety policies;
- Conducting workplace risk assessments, detailing hazards and preparing risk management and hazard control plans;
- Developing plans and strategies for the safe and effective disposal of waste;
- Implementing prevention programs and strategies for communicable diseases, food safety, waste water treatment and disposal systems, recreation and domestic waste water quality, contaminated and hazardous substances, and minimising air, water and noise pollution to improve employee health outcomes;
- Reviewing and researching relevant safety legislation and regulations;
- Advising colleagues on and implementing relevant legislation and regulations;
- Training colleagues in safe working procedures, including safe sitting and standing positions, personal protective wear, hand washing and hygiene, and best-practise safety behaviours;
- Recording and reporting injuries in the workplace, and adjusting risk management plans; and
- Inspecting and auditing the workplace regularly for risks, hazards and policy compliance.
You’ll enjoy working in health and safety if you:
- Can think critically
- Can make decisions
- Enjoy working with people
- Thrive under pressure
- Have excellent time management and organisational skills
- Enjoy detailed work
- Are a natural leader
- Enjoy problem-solving
- Are highly motivated
- Have strong communication and interpersonal skills
- Are proactive and efficient
- Can think strategically and exercise sound judgment
- Can speak confidently in public
The Australian Government’s Job Outlook describes the health and safety industry as a medium-sized and growing sector in Australia. Currently employing approximately 24,000 people, the sector has been growing in size for the past decade and is likely to continue growing at the same rate to employ approximately 27,400 people by 2020.
Similarly, approximately 6,000 people are employed in Australia as safety inspectors, and Job Outlook predicts opportunities in the profession to expand at a similar rate, to employ approximately 6,600 safety inspectors by 2020.
According to PayScale, a safety office may expect to earn an annual salary between $49,000 and $96,000, with an annual average salary of approximately $66,000.
A health and safety manger can expect to earn between $59,000 and $126,000 per year, with an annual average salary of approximately $85,000, according to PayScale. PayScale notes that a strong, positive relationship exists between earning capacity and experience, with managers with 20 years of professional experience or more earning on average $122,000 per year, while entry-level managers earn on average approximately $73,000 per year.