An occupational health nurse develops programs to prevent illness and injury in the workplace, and cares for workers who become sick or injured while at work. The nurse consults with management and employees to identify problems and solutions, and provides worker education on safety and health promotion. Some occupational nurses provide annual physicals and flu vaccines. While most occupational health nurses are registered nurses, licensed practical nurses also work in this field.
The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration defines occupational health nurses as registered nurses who work independently, observing and evaluating the health status of workers in regard to job duties and safety issues, and providing treatment when needed. The median salary for a registered nurse working in occupational health as of the date of publication is $68,155 per year, according to Salary.com. The middle 50 percent of these nurses earn $61,325 to $76,002 per year. The bottom 10 percent have annual salaries at or below $55,107, and the top 10 percent are earning $83,146 per year and more.
The median salary for a registered nurse working as a head nurse in occupational health is $77,083 per year, reports Salary.com. A head nurse directs the nursing service in larger organizations. He trains new nurses, investigates injuries and ensures compliance with rules and regulations pertaining to occupational health and safety. The middle 50 percent of head nurse registered nurses working in occupational health is $69,678 to $86,456 per year. The bottom 10 percent have salaries at or below $62,935, and the top 10 percent earn $94,990 per year and more.
Licensed Practical Nurses
Licensed practical nurses also work in occupational health, typically under the supervision of a registered nurse. The median salary for a licensed practical nurse working in occupational health is $43,574 as of the date of this article's publication, according to Salary.com. The middle 50 percent of these licensed practical nurses earn $37,419 to $51,810 per year. The bottom 10 percent have annual pay at or below $31,816, and the top 10 percent earn $59,308 per year and more.
Certified Nursing Assistants
A certified nursing assistant may find employment in the occupational health field in larger organizations. She assists a licensed practical nurse or a registered nurse with more routine duties in the workplace, such as checking blood pressure and applying bandages. The median salary for an occupational health certified nursing assistant as of the date of this article's publication is $27,876 per year, according to Salary.com. The middle 50 percent of these certified nursing assistants earn $25,686 to $30,621 annually, while the bottom 10 percent make $23,692 and less, and the top 10 percent $33,120 and higher.