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What Does An Environmental Health Specialist Do?

An Environmental Health Specialist is responsible for determining the existence of possible health hazards and taking measures to prevent or corect them. They monitor health and safety conditions in resedential, industrial, commercial, and recreational settings.

Here are examples of responsibilities from real environmental health specialist resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Obtain and manage hot work permits and HAZMAT storage.
  • Manage all asbestos relate incidents/clean-ups.
  • Provide strategic leadership and work with management on identify EHS issues/recommendations/opportunities to foster continuous improvement of EHS programs and culture.
  • Participate in site EHS audits and assist in program development by drafting audit documentation and tracking corrective actions and monitoring trends.
  • Assist with manufacturing facility safety program management
  • Maintain SDS and GHS programs.
  • Assure EPA approve sampling methods are followed.
  • Serve as an in-house expert for GHS - SDS and labeling issues.
  • Help integrate EHSMS internal audits with QMS internal audits for ISO 13485 and reviewing QSR.
  • Assist training- LOTO, confine space, line break, hot work, respiratory testing & EAP.
Environmental Health Specialist Traits
The ability to use technology involves being knowledgable about how to use technology related to a specific industry.
Detail oriented involves being extremely mindful and observant of all details.
Physical stamina shows that you are able to exert your energy for long periods of time without tiring.

Environmental Health Specialist Overview

When it comes to understanding what an environmental health specialist does, you may be wondering, "should I become an environmental health specialist?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, environmental health specialists have a growth rate described as "as fast as average" at 6% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of environmental health specialist opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 7,500.

Environmental health specialists average about $25.39 an hour, which makes the environmental health specialist annual salary $52,816. Additionally, environmental health specialists are known to earn anywhere from $38,000 to $73,000 a year. This means that the top-earning environmental health specialists make $35,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become an environmental health specialist. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include a safety officer, safety trainer, safety instructor, and safety and training coordinator.

Environmental Health Specialist Jobs You Might Like

Environmental Health Specialist Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 13% of Environmental Health Specialists are proficient in Environmental Health, Procedures, and EHS. They’re also known for soft skills such as Ability to use technology, Detail oriented, and Physical stamina.

We break down the percentage of Environmental Health Specialists that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Environmental Health, 13%

    Manage Environmental Health programs including hazardous waste disposition and training, managing asbestos abatement projects, and other environmental concerns.

  • Procedures, 9%

    Conduct procedural audits and monitor hazardous operations to insure compliance with prescribed procedures involving contact and cooperation with all supervisory personnel.

  • EHS, 7%

    Participated in site EHS audits and assisted in program development by drafting audit documentation and tracking corrective actions and monitoring trends.

  • Osha, 7%

    Transitioned approximately 500 Material Safety Data Sheets to new OSHA required Safety Data Sheets and distributed to appropriate departments.

  • Ensure Compliance, 6%

    Conduct audits and inspections of company facilities and recommended required corrective action to ensure compliance with regulatory agency requirements.

  • Regulatory Agencies, 6%

    Develop constructive relationships with regulatory agencies, vendors, company executives, and internal customers, influence change and deliver objectives.

"environmental health," "procedures," and "ehs" aren't the only skills we found environmental health specialists list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of environmental health specialist responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for an environmental health specialist to have happens to be ability to use technology. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "occupational health and safety specialists and technicians must be able to use advanced technology" Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that environmental health specialists can use ability to use technology to "assured compliance with the fda food code and local ordinances, reporting results to the virginia state department of health. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many environmental health specialist duties rely on detail oriented. This example from a environmental health specialist explains why: "occupational health and safety specialists and technicians need to understand and follow safety standards and complex government regulations." This resume example is just one of many ways environmental health specialists are able to utilize detail oriented: "provide detailed osha injury and illness recordkeeping. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among environmental health specialists is physical stamina. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a environmental health specialist resume: "occupational health and safety specialists and technicians must be able to stand for long periods and be able to travel regularly" This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "conducted physical hazardous materials inventory and qeas for all three locations. "
  • An environmental health specialist responsibilities sometimes require "communication skills." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "occupational health and safety specialists and technicians must be able to communicate safety instructions and concerns to employees and managers" This resume example shows how this skill is used by environmental health specialists: "provided annual training to staff concerning the safety program, hazard communication standard, fire safety, and respirator fit testing. "
  • Yet another important skill that an environmental health specialist must demonstrate is "problem-solving skills." Occupational health and safety specialists and technicians must be able to solve problems in order to design and implement workplace processes and procedures that help protect workers from hazardous conditions. This is clearly demonstrated in this example from an environmental health specialist who stated: "provide action and solutions to hazardous materials classification issues, questions, and inquiries such as spills and other emergencies. "
  • See the full list of environmental health specialist skills.

    After discovering the most helpful skills, we moved onto what kind of education might be helpful in becoming an environmental health specialist. We found that 68.7% of environmental health specialists have graduated with a bachelor's degree and 12.1% of people in this position have earned their master's degrees. While most environmental health specialists have a college degree, you may find it's also true that generally it's possible to be successful in this career with only a high school degree. In fact, our research shows that one out of every eight environmental health specialists were not college graduates.

    The environmental health specialists who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied public health and biology, while a small population of environmental health specialists studied environmental science and business.

    When you're ready to become an environmental health specialist, you might wonder which companies hire environmental health specialists. According to our research through environmental health specialist resumes, environmental health specialists are mostly hired by DuPont, Los Angeles County, and Boeing. Now is a good time to apply as DuPont has 19 environmental health specialists job openings, and there are 6 at Los Angeles County and 5 at Boeing.

    If you're interested in companies where environmental health specialists make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A, Oracle, and General Electric. We found that at Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A, the average environmental health specialist salary is $95,415. Whereas at Oracle, environmental health specialists earn roughly $88,606. And at General Electric, they make an average salary of $87,681.

    View more details on environmental health specialist salaries across the United States.

    Some other companies you might be interested in as a environmental health specialist include General Electric, Siemens, and Raytheon Company. These three companies were found to hire the most environmental health specialists from the top 100 U.S. educational institutions.

    The industries that environmental health specialists fulfill the most roles in are the manufacturing and health care industries. But the highest environmental health specialist annual salary is in the technology industry, averaging $66,905. In the manufacturing industry they make $64,118 and average about $62,759 in the health care industry. In conclusion, environmental health specialists who work in the technology industry earn a 47.1% higher salary than environmental health specialists in the government industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious environmental health specialists are:

      What Safety Officers Do

      A safety officer specializes in maintaining a safe and healthy work environment for employees in a building or establishment. Aside from adhering to the safety standards and regulations within a company, a safety officer also has to craft and improve policies that prioritize the physical and mental health of workers. Furthermore, it is essential to implement safety programs by educating workers on various precautionary measures, performing regular inspections of equipment and machines, and ensuring the proper disposal of any hazardous waste materials.

      In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take safety officer for example. On average, the safety officers annual salary is $6,443 lower than what environmental health specialists make on average every year.

      Even though environmental health specialists and safety officers have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require ehs, osha, and ensure compliance in the day-to-day roles.

      As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because an environmental health specialist responsibility requires skills such as "environmental health," "procedures," "environmental compliance," and "public health." Whereas a safety officer is skilled in "facility," "safety procedures," "risk management," and "cpr." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

      The education levels that safety officers earn is a bit different than that of environmental health specialists. In particular, safety officers are 15.7% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than an environmental health specialist. Additionally, they're 0.2% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Safety Trainer?

      The Safety Trainer ensures that all employees are safe from dangers and are educated well on handling threats and problems. Alongside this, the Safety Trainer properly educates and informs all company employees on the company's safety protocols and procedures. It is the safety trainer's discretion on how they will be able to conduct workshops and seminars for all employees. The safety trainer is an administrative task, and the position is open for people with relevant skills concerning office works.

      Now we're going to look at the safety trainer profession. On average, safety trainers earn a $10,912 lower salary than environmental health specialists a year.

      Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Environmental health specialists and safety trainers both include similar skills like "ehs," "osha," and "ensure compliance" on their resumes.

      While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that environmental health specialist responsibilities requires skills like "environmental health," "procedures," "regulatory agencies," and "public health." But a safety trainer might use skills, such as, "cdl," "safety procedures," "training records," and "cpr."

      Safety trainers may earn a lower salary than environmental health specialists, but safety trainers earn the most pay in the energy industry with an average salary of $59,155. On the other side of things, environmental health specialists receive higher paychecks in the technology industry where they earn an average of $66,905.

      On the topic of education, safety trainers earn lower levels of education than environmental health specialists. In general, they're 13.8% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.2% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Safety Instructor Compares

      The duties and responsibilities include coordinating classes on safety procedures, advising management on problems and possible solutions, and meeting safety compliance requirements.

      Let's now take a look at the safety instructor profession. On average, these workers make lower salaries than environmental health specialists with a $16,427 difference per year.

      Using environmental health specialists and safety instructors resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "osha," "hazardous materials," and "safety rules," but the other skills required are very different.

      Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from environmental health specialist resumes include skills like "environmental health," "procedures," "ehs," and "ensure compliance," whereas a safety instructor might be skilled in "cpr," "customer service," "high quality," and "powerpoint. "

      When it comes to education, safety instructors tend to earn lower education levels than environmental health specialists. In fact, they're 13.6% less likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.8% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Safety And Training Coordinator

      A safety and training coordinator helps ensure that all employees, subcontractors, and vendors adhere to the safety protocols and safety behaviors. They oversee safety instructor's safety teachings, procedures, and implementation.

      Safety and training coordinators tend to earn a lower pay than environmental health specialists by about $8,935 per year.

      While their salaries may vary, environmental health specialists and safety and training coordinators both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "ehs," "osha," and "ensure compliance. "

      Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, an environmental health specialist might have more use for skills like "environmental health," "procedures," "environmental compliance," and "public health." Meanwhile, some safety and training coordinators might include skills like "safety procedures," "incident investigations," "cpr," and "facility" on their resume.

      Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The energy industry tends to pay more for safety and training coordinators with an average of $74,805. While the highest environmental health specialist annual salary comes from the technology industry.

      Safety and training coordinators reach lower levels of education when compared to environmental health specialists. The difference is that they're 20.0% more likely to earn a Master's Degree less, and 1.5% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.