How to Become an Environmental Health and Safety Specialist

 In Tips
Managers work hard within both private, and public sectors to achieve workplace best-practices. Overall, business owners rely on EH&S managers to take care of the environment, and other types of safety obligations. They may find it difficult to keep up with the constant changes in legislation relating to the workplace, so it is common for EH&S professionals to take on a contract, or full-time job. Businesses see the benefits of employing an EH&S professional in order to reduce their environmental impact and reduce workplace safety risks. While there are some differences between Environmental Public Health professionals and Environmental Policy, and Planning professionals, each work within the perimeters set by legislation. Each procedure requires great attention to detail and a working knowledge of the current environmental law. 

What Is An Environmental Health and Safety Manager?

Job searching within organizations that comply with environmental, and government legislation regarding safety in the workplace could be considered a luxury. For some people who promote good work habits as an employee, working as an Environmental Health, and Safety Manager may be a desirable career goal. If you enjoy working within a role that includes the environment, health protection, and safety management, and Environmental Health, and Safety officer position may be for you! Consider the many opportunities offered including project manager, construction superintendent, project engineer, construction, or commercial superintendent, construction manager, safety manager, assistant project manager. While each role is different, they include some of the same steps in order to obtain the position and maintain updated changes with legislation. Working directly with the organizations affected by the legislation, the Environmental Public Health professionals, and the Environmental Policy, and Planning work on a direct level. Working to address potential hazards in day-to-day operations, procedures, and actions, these positions require a great amount of skill, and knowledge of current environmental safety management. 

What Options Do Environmental Health Specialists Have for Employment?

The following organizations offer a range of employment opportunities for people interested in working within health, and safety, or safety, and environmental health, and safety management.  
  •  BCSP – The Board of Certified Safety Professionals is the largest American organization for Health, and Safety Professionals, as well as Environmental Safety. Able to hire new employees, the BCSP also certifies professionals so they are eligible for hire by organizations. 
  • OSHA – The Occupational Safety, and Health Administration offers support to businesses, and professionals. As the largest supplier of data, and reports on health, and safety in the workplace, OSHA helps to build a network professional can use to achieve a safer workplace.
  •  NESHTA – The National Environmental Safety, and Health Training Association is responsible for publishing training manuals, and courses for Health and Safety professionals in the U.S. People who care about health safety environment issues can seek employment opportunities with NESHTA.

Am I Qualified to Be an Environmental Health Manager?

am-i-qualified-to-be-an-environmental-health-manager Earning a bachelor’s degree is suitable for most positions however, with lower demand for general Health, and Safety professionals, long-term work may be harder to find. If you are an educated person searching for a specialized position, you may want to further your environmental health and safety degree with a specialized focus. This may include Occupational Health, and Safety degrees, Business Law education, and electives in technical subjects, chemistry, ecology, biology, along with entry points for your career type. If your specialty is working with hazardous materials, working on-site, or in a research position may be possible without a doctorate. 

An Environmental Health and Safety Manager Will Need To:

  • Have a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Health, Safety Engineering, or Occupational Health 
  • Have at least 5 years related work experience 
  • Be able to work independently in an office, and travel if necessary to multiple locations
  • Use time wisely, and show expert time management skills
  • Multi-task and problem solve easily
  • Maintain oral, written, and digital conversations with other employees in order to effectively communicate within the workplace
  • Maintain up-to-date information on all health, and safety laws, codes, regulations, and policies relating to the interior, and exterior of the facility 
  • Accurately access all of the risk factors in the workplace 
  • Complete permits pertaining to health, and safety (fire safety, environmental, and operating permits)
  • Perform regular maintenance on equipment, machinery, and facility alarms, sprinklers, and HVAC 
  • Train new employees, and team members in all areas of the organization 
Over time, you will be able to take on a senior-level position. A senior Environmental Health and Safety Manager oversees operations of various health, and safety teams over a larger-scale business, and may have a department to manage.

A Senior Environmental Health and Safety Manager Will Need to:

  • Have a Master’s degree in Environmental Health, Safety Engineering, or Occupational Health 
  • Have at least five years related work experience in environmental health, and safety
  • Be able to travel to multiple facilities, and oversee health, and safety operations
  • Manage employee training, permit renewals, and maintenance 
  • Properly train everyone that enters the site including visitors, and contractors for risks, and hazards
  • Manage all aspects of EHS projects
  • Prepare inspection reports, and audits for administrative teams
  • Create reports for all health, and safety information
  • Communicate verbally, and digitally at workshops, seminars, and meetings
  • Maintain personal training to ensure that knowledge, and certifications are current
  • Conduct health, and safety inspections of all interior, and exterior areas of the facility
  • Create, train, and manage employees within departments, incident management, and emergency response teams

What Are the Salary Expectations for an Environmental Health and Safety Manager?

what-are-the-salary-expectations-for-an-environmental-health-and-safety-manager Environmental Health and Safety professionals can expect a comfortable salary. Details are likely to vary with training however, the median salary for all H&S professionals is usually around $70,500. The highest paying employer for H&S professionals is generally higher, at about $78,000. Considering the rise in demand for EH&S professionals in the past few decades, the sector is expected to see continued job growth. Advanced degrees are said to become available to help people find more employment opportunities within the Environmental Health, and Safety sector. 

Finding Work As an Environmental Health and Safety Manager

If you are interested in a career that supports environmental sustainability, health, and safety, becoming an EH&S manager may be for you. There are many different organizations that comply with private, and public best-practices in the workplace however, in most places a professional is needed to observe businesses, and organizations to ensure compliance. This is the main reason Environmental Health and Safety Managers these salaries during their careers. Environmental Health and Safety Managers start out with a comprehensive education that builds the foundation they need for their job. Then, they learn as they go how to enforce all of the environmental health, and safety requirements they come across. Regardless of where the EH&S manager is located, it is their role to ensure all steps are correctly taken to protect everyone within the environment from any unsafe actions taken by the organization, or individuals. You can find work as an Environmental Health and Safety Manager where you live, but you may need to talk to people at your school, office, or within your network for the best places to find employment.
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