Occupational and Environmental Health Professionals develop, implement and evaluate policies and programs to monitor environmental health and occupational health and safety and related legislation to ensure safe and healthy working conditions, and assist injured staff through the workers' compensation and rehabilitation process.

A Bachelor Degree or higher, or at least 5 years of relevant experience, is usually needed. Around half of workers have a university degree. Sometimes relevant experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to the qualification. Registration or licensing may be required.

Tasks

  • developing, implementing and reviewing environmental health management plans and occupational health and safety plans
  • preparing and implementing plans and strategies for the safe, economic and suitable disposal of commercial, industrial, medical and household wastes
  • advising on and enforcing legislation, implementing prevention programs and strategies for communicable diseases, food safety, waste water treatment and disposal systems, recreation and domestic water quality, contaminated and hazardous substances, and minimising air, sea, water and noise pollution to improve health outcomes
  • identifying hazards, and assessing and controlling risks in the workplace
  • developing, implementing and monitoring programs minimising workplace and environmental pollution involving chemical and physical hazards
  • promoting ergonomic principles within the workplace such as matching furniture, equipment and work activities to the needs of employees
  • inspecting and auditing workplaces, processes, plant, and chemical and physical hazards for legislative compliance
  • training employees in personal protective equipment and safe working procedures
  • recording and investigating injuries and equipment damage, and reporting safety performance
  • coordinating the return of injured workers into the workplace

Job Titles

  • Environmental Health Officer
  • Occupational Health and Safety Adviser, Coordinator or Officer
  • Environmental Health Officer

    Develops, enforces and evaluates environmental health policies, programs and strategies to improve health outcomes, and oversees the implementation and monitoring of environmental health legislation. Registration or licensing may be required.

  • Occupational Health and Safety Adviser, Coordinator or Officer

    Develops, implements and evaluates risk management policies and programs, trains employees in occupational health and safety procedures, monitors and audits the workplace, and records and investigates incidents to ensure safe and healthy working conditions.

    Specialisations: Food Safety Auditor, Food Safety Officer

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,771 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    strong
  • Skill Level

    Bachelor Degree or higher
  • Employment Size

    24,000
  • Unemployment

    average
  • Male Share

    61.1%
  • Female Share

    38.9%
  • Full-Time Share

    78.8%

Find Vacancies

This is a large occupation employing 24,000 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen slightly.
Strong growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 10,001 and 25,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Occupational & Environmental Health Professionals work in most parts of Australia.
  • They work in many industries. Some of the main industries are: Public Administration and Safety; Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; and Health Care and Social Assistance.
  • Full-time work is common. Full-time workers, on average, work 37.7 hours per week.
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are high at around $1,771 per week. Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The workforce is fairly mature. The average age is 46 years (compared to 40 for all careers) and around 6 in 10 workers are aged 45 years or older.
  • Around 1 in 3 workers are female.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was similar to the average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearEmployment Level
200514300
200615100
200714200
200825400
200921700
201025400
201127000
201226600
201324800
201428800
201524000
202027400

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Careers Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015 cat. no. 6333.0. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsOccupational and Environmental Health ProfessionalsAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings17711230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016.
CategoryOccupational and Environmental Health ProfessionalsAll Jobs Average
Full-time90.469
Part-time9.630.8
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)41.140.2

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Public Administration and Safety19.5
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services15.7
Health Care and Social Assistance12.9
Construction11.4
Other Industries40.5

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016.
StateOccupational and Environmental Health ProfessionalsAll Jobs Average
NSW28.631.8
VIC15.525.5
QLD24.819.8
SA4.06.7
WA20.711.1
TAS2.42
NT2.41.1
ACT1.71.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016.
Age BracketOccupational and Environmental Health ProfessionalsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.0-5.45.4
20-242.1-9.99.9
25-3416.4-23.323.3
35-4425.2-21.621.6
45-5436.0-21.121.1
55-599.8-8.68.6
60-645.5-5.95.9
65 and Over5.0-3.73.7

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016.
CategoryOccupational and Environmental Health ProfessionalsCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males61.6Males53.8
Females38.4Females46.1

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

A Bachelor Degree or higher is usually needed to work in this job. Registration or licensing may be required.
If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Occupational & Environmental Health Professionals who are caring and empathetic and can work well in a team, with the ability to communicate with a diverse range of people.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. English Language

    83% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  2. Law and Government

    80% Important

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  3. Education and Training

    79% Important

    Teaching and course design.

  4. Public Safety and Security

    79% Important

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  5. Customer and Personal Service

    75% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

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O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    91% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

  2. Checking Compliance with Standards

    90% Important

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  3. Getting Information

    88% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  4. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

    87% Important

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  5. Training and Teaching Others

    84% Important

    Identifying the educational needs of others, developing training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Occupational Information Network Environmental Compliance Inspectors Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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