What Does a Consumer Safety Officer Do?

Becoming a consumer safety officer can be a rewarding career choice, especially in this struggling economy. Consumer safety officers have a huge impact on the general public across the country, and before entering into this industry, individuals need to understand exactly what this job entails to make sure they have made the right career choice.

Understanding What the Job Entails

Consumer safety officers ensure the general public’s welfare by inspecting regulated services and products for regulatory compliance. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is one agency that hires consumer safety officers for monitoring and regulating the nation’s drug and food supplies. Those who are contemplating a career as a consumer safety officer need to understand that this industry can be extremely demanding and diverse.

When consumers file complaints, consumer safety officers review and determine what steps need to be taken to fix the issues as well as need to be able to sort through numerous complaints, choosing reports that are valid and need to be further investigated. Consumer safety officers also travel to facilities for the review of manufacturing practices, order tests to make sure products aren’t contaminated, and take certain measures to assist in investigations. Proper documentation of the entire process is vital to the investigation, especially in the event of a court case.

Uncovering a Regulatory Violation

Should a consumer safety officer uncover a regulatory violation at a facility, the official needs to implement the proper action measures against the facility, whether it is temporarily shutting down the facility, fining the offending party, or filing a lawsuit. Both the government and the public can file a lawsuit against a facility that has released a harmful, faulty product. During the regulatory process, consumer safety officers provide consultation services for businesses, government agencies, and interested parties.

The education and outreach portion of this career entails meetings with the offending facilities and submissions of new drugs to obtain government approval. Consumer safety officers can travel for inspections and meetings with those who need consultation services as well as attend conferences to stay in contact with industries of interest.

Obtaining the Proper Qualifications

Before aspiring consumer safety officers can be hired, they need to first obtain the proper education and training. Employers will only hire individuals who have studied at an accredited university or college and have earned at least a bachelor’s degree. Consumer safety officers will also need 30 semester hours in biological sciences, pharmacy, chemistry, food technology, physical sciences, nutrition, engineering, medical science, veterinary medical science, epidemiology, or other scientific fields that relate to this career. In order to qualify for a higher position at a company, consumer safety officers need to obtain further training in specialized studies.

According to Simply Hired, consumer safety officers can expect to earn an average salary of $59,000 annually, but the salary can vary due to the location, experience, training, company, industry, and benefits.

Consumer safety officers play a vital role in the food and drug industry, protecting consumers from contaminated products. Understanding this industry is key to becoming a highly qualified consumer safety officer at an upstanding corporation.