Question: “How can I break into the safety field with my certifications and construction experience, but zero actual experience as a working safety pro?”
Answer: Here’s a blog post about how most people come to find themselves working in safety: The Incidental Safety Professional
And I’ve got some advice for you—continue applying for safety jobs and acquire the experience. Without a formal education in occupational health & safety, you’re at a disadvantage when competing for safety jobs. So, you either acquire that formal educational or build your professional experience. The good news here is that many “safety professionals” are aging out of the workforce and retiring right now, so positions are opening up and a new generation of safety professionals are badly needed.
Not many folks think of safety as an attractive or lucrative field, but I’ve met with a handful of Certified Safety Professionals who are handsomely compensated.
Check out this American Society of Safety engineers (ASSE) salary survey: Salary Survey
See also the 20 Best Values in Occupational Safety Degree Programs.
In fact, if I wasn’t doing this, I’d go back to school for safety in a heartbeat.
Network, my friend. Attend safety industry trade shows. Connect on LinkedIn. Be relentless!