The Steps to a Career in Environmental Health and Safety

These days one of the more lucrative jobs that you can get is in the field of environmental science, safety, or health. Over the 10 years from 2016 to 2026, experts estimate that environmental engineering jobs and related opportunities will grow by as much as 11%. Environmental scientists in 2017 pulled in a median salary of just under $70,000 a year, while occupational health and safety specialists see a median of $73,600. All this is not without purpose, either, because the safety standards that have been implemented since 1970 have made an enormous difference in the American workplace. In 1970, there were an average of 38 workplace fatalities every day in the United States. Today, that number has dropped to 14. For those who are interested in how to become an EHS coordinator or EHS engineer, here is what you need to know about entering this career.

Environmental Health Jobs

the primary duty of an EHS coordinator or similar professional is to ensure the health and safety of someone or something: typically the workers at a particular company, the general public, or the environment. Many people in EHS work for government agencies at the local, state, or federal level while others work for corporations directly. The job does require unusual hours and travel, and it is not uncommon for an EHS coordinator or supervisor to have to put themselves into a risky situation in order to determine whether something is safe or not. Because of this, most people in this field make an above-average salary.

What Education is Necessary?

To enter the environmental health and safety field, you will need to begin with a bachelor’s degree. Many universities offer bachelors and masters degrees in occupational health, occupational safety, or scientific disciplines related to either of these. The next step is getting certified, and you can get certified through professional organizations and through government bodies. Most people will then need to go through an internship, and you will typically need at least five years of related experience before you can get any type of EHS coordinator or management position.

What Do I Need To Be Able To Do?

Someone working in EHS will typically be based out of an office but will do a lot of travel to multiple locations. It’s very important that an EHS coordinator be able to manage their time, be a skilled multitasker, and be an excellent problem solver. It is also crucial that anyone in this field be able to keep up with written, oral, and mobile and computer-based communication in order to pass on information.

Is This Job Just All About Inspections?

Being an EHS coordinator or inspector is about much more than simply looking at a workplace. It requires being familiar with all the codes, regulations, laws, and policies that apply in health and safety to any facility or workplace both inside and outside. It means being able to assess risk and identify when something is a hazard. It means being able to train teams and individuals, and having the technical know-how to ensure that machinery, fire alarms, HVAC systems, and other important health and safety-related systems are in good working order. It means being able to organize and complete permits and having the expertise to inspect protective equipment and spot potential problems.

What Opportunities Are There For Advancement?

It is possible to advance quite far in this field, and this usually begins with acquiring a master’s degree in environmental health, occupational health, or some kind of safety engineering. Those who reach the senior level of environmental health and safety will often have to travel to multiple facilities and managed teams and all aspects of any EHS project. they will also be required to hold workshops, seminars, and personal training and to coordinate emergency response teams.

EHS professionals provide important service to businesses and the public. The job can be difficult, but it is also rewarding. If you are interested in environmental consulting jobs, look into training opportunities and get started on your new career.

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