Health and safety adviser

health and safety officer health and safety coordinator
Administration, business and management

Career outlook for health and safety adviser

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would keep people safe from accidents, injuries and health problems in the workplace. You’d create health and safety policies and make sure employers and workers follow them.

Depending on your employer, your work could cover areas such as:

  • Fire safety
  • Occupational health
  • Noise
  • Safe use of machinery
  • Control of hazardous substances

You would:

  • Develop effective policies and procedures
  • Make regular inspections and risk assessments
  • Keep records of accidents
  • Advise on protective clothing and equipment
  • Train employees on safety issues
  • Investigate accidents and recommend improvements in safety standards
  • Write reports

You’d work with Health and Safety Executive inspectors and trade unions.

You’d need to have a good knowledge of health and safety legislation and keep up to date with changes in the law.

In some companies, responsibility for health and safety may be part of another job role such as personnel or facilities management.

Working conditions


Your typical working hours would be 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. In some industries your hours could be more irregular. You may work shifts or be on call in case of emergencies or accidents.


You would normally be based in an office. You could also spend time in other environments like factories, building sites or offshore rigs, depending on the industry you work in. In some industries the work could be very physical and you may need to work outside, at heights or in cramped spaces. You may also be required to wear protective clothing like overalls, safety glasses or ear protectors.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Building relationships
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Problem solving
  • Empathising
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Negotiating
  • Understanding

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on


To become a health and safety adviser, you can either study for health and safety qualifications whilst you are working or take a training course before looking for a trainee position.

The type of training you take will depend on the industry you work in.

Relevant work-based qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Occupational Health & Safety (SVQ level 3/4) or a Higher National diploma (SCFQ level 8), degree (SCQF level 9/10) or postgraduate qualification (SCQF level 11) in a subject like Occupational Health & Safety, Engineering, building or sciences.

The University of the West of Scotland offers a Occupational Health & Safety Degree (SCQF level 9/10) which requires National 5 qualifications and a minimum of three Highers or a relevant HNC/HND.

To enter a postgraduate course (SCQF level 11) you will usually require an honours degree in a relevant subject.

Qualifications should meet Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) standards.  

Useful subjects

  • Maths, (required by most courses)
  • English (required by most courses)
  • Science subjects  (required by most courses) 
  • Business Management
  • Sociology

Technologies (many involve health & safety procedures) may also be helpful.

You will also need

You must hold a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent and pass a health and safety test to work and train on construction sites.

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that develop an understanding of relevant health and safety regulations and allow you to use problem-solving and communication skills.