According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of occupational health and safety specialists and technicians is expected to increase as much as 17 percent through 2014.

Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, emergency preparedness has become a greater focus for both the public and private sectors, according to the handbook. Extra job openings will arise from the need to replace safety professionals who transfer to other occupations, retire or leave for various other reasons.

Most occupational health and safety specialists and technicians work in large private firms or for federal, state and local governments.

A career in the safety field can offer strong advancement opportunities, says Benjamin Mangan, president and founder of MANCOMM and American Safety Training, Inc.

“Careers in safety can experience both lateral and vertical growth. Safety professionals can advance to management positions, and often, they possess skill-sets that can secure positions in other key departments, like human resources or employee training,” says Mangan.