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Before you consider a path to become a certified safety specialist, you will need to determine what governing body outlines the requirements for certification in your area. You may want to inquire about certification within your own company or by visiting a government website; in the United States, for example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) outlines the regulations for workplace safety, so you will need to research this administration's guidelines to become a certified safety specialist. Private companies may require certification from other entities, so be sure to check what requirements exist ahead of time.
Another governing body that will help you become a certified safety specialist is the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP). An alliance exists between the BCSP and OSHA, meaning many of the requirements between the two entities may be overlapping. In countries other than the U.S., other similar governing bodies exist; in Europe, for example, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) regulates certification. You will need to earn an associate's degree in health or safety, though in some cases you may actually need to earn a bachelor's degree. Once you earn this degree, you will need to gain experience in the health and safety field; you can do so by taking an entry-level position within the field and learn as much as possible about the administration of safety and health planning.
Once you complete your job training or experience, you will need to pass certification exams to become a certified safety specialist. It will be a wise decision to study for such an examination; an existing safety specialist can give you guidance as to how to study for such examinations. Be sure to research how many times you can take the exam in order to try to pass; you may need to wait a set period of time between examination periods once you have taken the exam once.
If you take a job as a safety or health employee, your employer may help you become a certified safety specialist by giving you job training and even potentially paying for additional training or studies. The employer may also give you the opportunity to take the exam, taking care of any fees associated with the process. Not every employer will do this, but you can inquire with your employer about any support that may be offered. Otherwise, you will need to finance your pursuits yourself; it is a good idea to research various fees ahead of time so you can plan financially for your certification and preparations.
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