Wondering which safety certifications you should get and how they can help progress your career? Hoping to get a peek into the process and what to expect? Here's the worker's guide to safety certifications (and how to choose the right ones for you).
Safety Certifications: The Basics
When it comes to safety training and certifications, you have a lot of options. That's why it's important to take a few steps back and understand what these certifications really mean and why they're worth pursuing--that way, you can do all the right training to help on your career path.
Here are a few key things to know about safety certifications:
What Are Safety Certifications?
Your future bosses and coworkers want to know that you're confident in your field. Safety certifications are proof that you have both experience and education--two key pillars of learning how to prevent or address safety risks. You may have to complete both classroom and hands-on work, and some certifications require renewals every few years.
How Do You Get Safety Certifications?
Different safety certifications have different requirements. You may be able to take training courses through your workplace, or you may need a combination of real-world experience in relevant roles and an associate's or bachelor's degree (depending on the certification level).
Why Should You Get Safety Certifications?
There are plenty of reasons to pursue safety certifications, including:
- Improved Confidence: Experience and training help you know what to expect when things don't go right--and how to make sure that doesn't turn into an incident or accident. This can make your work life much easier.
- Employability: Safety certifications show that you're determined, educated, and armed with valuable skills. This might give you an edge over other job applicants.
- Salary Potential: In some cases, safety certifications expand your ability to secure higher salaries because you're knowledgeable, experienced, and comfortable in a variety of situations.
Your Guide To Safety Certifications
There are many safety certifications to choose from depending on your current level of education, your field, your particular role, and more. Here are a few of the most popular certifications to consider:
Associate Safety Professional® (ASP)
The Board of Certified Safety Professionals offers this entry-level certification.
Prerequisites: Before you can get started, you'll need one year of experience on the job, and you'll need to have spent at least half your time on safety management and related tasks.
Requirements: You'll need to complete an associate's or bachelor's degree. 12 of your semester hours must be related to the ASP® exam, which you'll need to pass before you're officially certified.
OSHA Safety Certifications
OSHA offers these entry-level courses, often for construction-specific industries.
Requirements: You have two basic options depending on how much education you want to complete. One certification requires 10 hours of education on worker rights, complaints, hazard prevention, and more. You could also go for 30 hours and complete a certification intended for higher-level roles like supervisors or safety workers.
First Aid and CPR
You can take first aid and CPR training from a variety of providers.
Requirements: Most first aid training requires about four and a half hours of training; to learn about CPR, you'll need another half-hour of education. Courses may also include workplace-specific requirements and learning material depending on where you get your certification.
Certified Safety and Health Manager® (CSHM)
This certification, issued by the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management (IHMM), is intended to support roles specifically focused on health and safety.
Prerequisites: You need technical and foundational knowledge of safety, business, and financial principles. You should also have a solid understanding of the relationship between safety and management.
Requirements: For certification, you need a bachelor's degree and five years of relevant field experience. There's also an exam on leadership, health, workplace safety, and more.
Certified Hazardous Materials Manager® (CHMM)
The IHMM also offers this certification, focused on handling and managing hazardous materials.
Prerequisites: You need experience or understanding of hazardous materials and their role in many workplaces.
Requirements: You'll need a bachelor's degree, plus four years of experience working with hazardous materials or in a related field. In addition, you need to pass an exam.
No matter what role or industry you're in, safety certifications are an important part of learning about workplace safety and how to prevent potential accidents. Certification can also make you more employable--and it might help you secure a higher salary along the way.
Ready to get safety certifications relevant to your career? Contact us today to learn more about your options!