Employment of health and safety engineers is expected to grow 13 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Health and safety engineers have long been employed in manufacturing industries to cut costs, save lives, and produce safe consumer products.
They are also now applying the same principles in new areas, such as health care, in which recent studies have documented the high costs of accidents in hospitals. Health and safety engineers can help prevent accidents as biomedical engineers develop advances in their field. Accident prevention is likely to become increasingly important for the healthcare industry as a way of cutting costs.
Another major factor likely to drive employment is the emerging field of software safety engineering. Software must work exactly as intended, especially when it controls, for example, elevators or automobiles, where a glitch in the software could cause serious injury to people and damage to equipment. The number of machines and mechanical devices controlled by software is expected to continue to grow, and the need to apply the principles of systems safety engineering to this software is expected to grow as well.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition