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Once you decide to build a career that involves any aspect of work health and safety, you have to decide how you will gain the experience and learn the skills that are necessary for this line of work. There are many Australian regulations and local laws that you must master in order to understand how businesses comply fully with those expectations. You also have to learn how to manage projects, develop and maintain processes and strategies, conduct research, and deliver presentations. Depending on your exact position and future career ambitions, there may be many other skills that you need to master as well.

You have to main training options:

1. Apply for entry-level positions that offer on-the-job training for new employees. The company will put you through their own training in order to teach you while you start to earn money.

2. Complete an accredited training program for the Cert IV in WHS. This is a training program that teaches you a variety of skills and knowledge bases related to jobs in WHS. You can apply this information and your new skills to your resume in order to qualify for more job opportunities.

Which path to training you select will depend on the following factors:

1. Your learning style. If you learn best through hands-on experience and struggle to learn from a book or by listening to lectures in a classroom, then you may do best with on-the-job training. On the other hand, if you want to thoroughly study the information prior to walking onto a job so that you feel more confident at work, you may want to go with the Cert IV training.

2. Available opportunities. Depending on where you live and where you want to work, you may not find many opportunities for on-the-job training. In some cases, the opportunities that are available are highly competitive and may be difficult to land.

3. Your career ambitions. If you know that you want to work supervising or managing others, then you may go ahead with the Cert IV in WHS to demonstrate your eagerness to get ahead and your advanced knowledge of workplace health and safety issues. The training program will also ensure you have the proper skills to deliver presentations, write reports and analyse the presentations and reports delivered by others. These are skills that are not always covered extensively while on the job, but they are valuable to employers looking for upper management employees.

4. Time availability. If you need to start earning money immediately, then on-the-job training may be your best route. You train while starting to bring in a paycheck, even if the position is not as high as it might be with a Cert IV in WHS listed on your resume. You can always go back to earn your Cert IV later once you have money coming into your household.

The more ambitious your career goals, the more likely you are to complete the Cert IV in WHS training program. It is simply faster to move up in your career when you have this experience and knowledge to your credit.

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