Health and Safety Job roles and Courses

Health and Safety job courses are designed to lead to significant career advancement due to the industry recognition and qualifications offered from IOSH and CMI career qualifications.

Starting out in a health and safety career , starts with gaining experience and a type of apprenticeship although many organisations don’t call it that.  CMI, Communications & Management Institute, has set out a career guide for the key roles of the Occupational Health and safety profession.

Job courses in Health and SafetyThe key career roles are as follows:

  • Health and Safety Trainee/ Apprentice
  •  Health and Safety Assistant
  • Health & Safety Advisor/Practitioner
  • Health & Safety Officer/ Compliance Officer/ Auditor
  • Health & Safety Manager/ OHS Advisor / OHS Consultant

Choosing the correct level of qualification. Studying while working in any of these roles will enormously help and support your personal development and success.  Part time courses, one night per week, compliments on-the-job training and supports further health and safety knowledge.

Choose the organization and sector you wish to work in wisely. Different sectors have different degrees of challenges. There is higher demand for qualified health and safety professionals in the Construction, Pharma and Manufacturing sectors. Each sector has it own processes and every organisation has it own health and safety culture.

The Career guide in Occupational Health and Safety provides a pathway to working, gaining work experience while doing part-time evening qualifications.

Enjoy a long and highly rewarding career in health and safety and follow this pathway to success.

Health and Safety Jobs Courses – Career Pathway

Health and Safety Job roles Ireland

For more information contact CMI Health & Safety Job courses – CLICK HERE


Health and Safety Job courses and role

Health & Safety Assistant/Trainee or Apprentice

When hired as a Occupational Health and Safety trainee, a large part of the first 6 months involves being assigned a mentor. A mentor could be a health and safety manager or health and safety officer who has more than 5 years’ experience working in occupational health and safety. Their knowledge and support will prove invaluable.

In the first few months, you will learn from your mentor how health and safety procedures are being carried out.  You will learn quickly how things are being done within the organization and how risk and hazards are identified. A large part of the first 6 months of working as a Health and Safety trainee/apprentice is keeping records, doing tasks delegated by your mentor and learning on the job.

Newly hired health and safety trainees or apprentices are usually assessed against core criteria after 6 months. Research conducted by CMI Career Qualifications shows the following as the most important:

  • Personal Performance
  • Communication Skills
  • Working with others
  • Accountability and responsibility
  • Fundamentals of Health and Safety knowledge

Personal Performance: How you performed in the trainee health and safety role largely depends on your own self-motivation and discipline. Being self-aware of your strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for development is a key aspect of learning any new profession and working as a health and safety professional, is no different. Your health and safety mentor will respond well to any trainee who shows high levels of self-motivation, enthusiasm and willingness to learn.

Communication skills: A large part of working in health and safety roles is about good communication skills whether through verbal or non-verbal methods. It is essential to show empathy to injured workers, active listening, be assertive and influence, and inspire others to act safely.  Good communication skills helps’ achieve the health and safety goals in any organisation.

Working with others: Your mentor will observe how you interact and work with others. To work in health and safety you must get ‘buy-in’ from staff and senior management, that you are a person who ‘says what they do’.  A good positive, can-do attitude, being able to get cooperation and have positive meaning work relations is essential.

Accountability and responsibility:  Admitting where and when mistakes were made is an essential part of the role. Being honest and sincere helps gain respect from fellow workers. All health and safety systems are based on learning from mistakes and continual improvement. So as you learn new health and safety tasks, it is just as important to admit to your health and safety manager when mistakes have been made. Taking responsibility will help you earn respect from your mentor and fellow workers.

Safety meetings: Your mentor will ask you to attend safety meetings, initially as an observer and later as an active participant.  You will be expected to take safety meeting minutes and write up reports on hazards identified.

Accident investigations: One of the most significant aspects of gaining new responsibility is being asked to participate in accident investigations.  Initially as an observer and later your mentor will ask you to go further and write up reports on incidents, near misses or actual injuries experienced in the workplace. A big part of the job is analysing data, for example, near misses and injuries and coming up with solutions to unsafe work practices.

Performance Appraisal: As your experience and confidence grows as a Health and safety apprentice/ trainee, your health and safety manager may give you more responsibility. After 6 months, your mentor/ health and safety manager will sit down and appraise your personal performance. A decision will be made as to whether they will promote you from a trainee to a health and safety assistant.

Learning about the relevant health and safety legislation, codes of practice, types of risk assessments and what to do, where and when, requires patience and study. A formal qualification will compliment your apprenticeship and lead you on a great career. It will also indicate to your mentor, that you are serious about a career in occupational health and safety.

Health and Safety Trainee/ Apprentice Qualifications and Courses

Most health and safety trainees admit that they don’t acquire enough health and safety knowledge in the first year to move from trainee to health and safety assistant. To progress, they feel they need to do further study outside of normal working hours. Doing a part time entry level Occupational Health and Safety Certificate course, will provide the knowledge needed to become a fully qualified health and safety assistant.

The level 3 Technical Certificate in Occupational health and Safety  (comparable to level 5 in Ireland) is designed for trainees and apprentices.  At technical level, you are learning about the technical fundamentals of working in health and safety and acquiring knowledge about health and safety legislation and risk and incident management.  Consider becoming Tech Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Certified today.

For  more information on this course CLICK HERE


Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) officers are in high demand by employers. Both national and multinationals organisations depending on the sector, require Occupational Health & Safety qualified graduates.

The type of qualification you will choose will largely reflect your previous academic qualifications achieved and work experienced gained thus far. Admissions criteria in universities and third level institutes vary.

        ‘Over 74% of Employers recruit Occupational Health & Safety staff that have achieved a minimum of Certificate or Diploma level.’


The main reason for this is the difficulty in recruiting qualified OHS staff with higher qualifications. The supply of higher level graduates is just not there. The entry level to executive traineeships and Health & Safety officer roles has dropped significantly. Health and safety practitioners with experience are in very high demand. .

Many employers are satisfied that candidates to health and safety officer jobs have achieved some work experience and gained a Certificate or Diploma depending on the role applied for.

‘Over 92% of Employers expect to provide some on-the-job training to the right candidate.’

The more work experience you have gained while studying the better. This blend of achieving a OHS qualification combined with the relevant work experience will make you a very valuable recruitment target.

The Pharmaceutical, Construction, Healthcare, and manufacturing sectors are perhaps the biggest employers in Occupational Health and Safety in Ireland.

The following guide explains how Occupational Health & Safety qualifications lead to the following roles.


Role:  Health & Safety Executive/Trainee/Apprentice
Experience: 0-2 years
Qualification needed: Technical Certificate in Occupational Health & Safety (level 5 or equivalent)
Entry level qualification for those starting an apprenticeship in Health and Safety.
Salary expectations: 35K

Role: Health & Safety Officer
Typical work experience: 0-2 years
Qualification needed:
Certificate in Occupational Health & Safety (level 7 or equivalent)
Ideal qualification for those wishing to learn the basics of the Health and Safety officer and Safety practitioner role.
Salary expectations: 40-50K


Role: Health & Safety Manager/ Compliance Manager/ OHS Auditor
Typical work experience: 2-5 years


Qualification needed:
Diploma in Occupational Health & Safety (level 7 or equivalent) or Ordinary BSc Degree level 7 or Hons BSc Degree level 8
Ideal qualification for those wishing to have a deeper knowledge , skills and understanding of the Health and Safety officer and Safety practitioner role.
Salary expectations: 60-75K

Role- Health & Safety Manager/Safety Advisor/OHS Consultant: 

Typical work experience: 6+ years
Qualification needed:
Post Graduate Diploma in Occupational Health & Safety Management level 9 /
Masters Degree in Occupational Health & Safety
Salary expectations: 80-135K


Interested in learning more about Occupational Health & Safety qualifications and a career? Click here