Job Functions for an Environmental Health and Safety Manager
Environmental Health and Safety Managers have the main responsibility for ensuring that business processes comply with environmental regulations. To accomplish this, the EHS Manager must follow the local, state, and federal environmental regulations to determine what specific policies and regulations affect the company.
EHS Managers also must understand the manufacturing and assembly processes that may create environmental contamination that requires monitoring and control. In this role, the EHS Manager will work closely with operations managers to ensure that the processes used comply with wastewater, air quality, and storm water issues and permits. The EHS manager also monitors environmental investigations and waste processing at the company facilities.
Compliance and Efficiency Functions for the EHS Manager
The EHS Manager also has compliance duties in performing periodic inspections and audits of the environmental programs to ensure compliance with all regulations. The EHS Manager also routinely reviews data that is collected during monitoring, audits, and inspections to help create constructive recommendations to improve operational effectiveness as well as compliance with regulations.
By functioning as a consultant to operations on avoiding creating waste and implementing processes that are more efficient to reduce emissions of pollutants from combustion, the EHS Manager may also help the company save money through efficiency programs. With high energy and raw materials prices, EHS Managers are uniquely situated to assist companies in designing more efficient use of raw materials and collection of waste materials generated from the manufacturing process.
The EHS Manager also has the responsibility for developing and conducting an annual review of any hazardous material business plans that are required by local, state, or federal governments.
Skills to Highlight on Resumes and Cover Letters for EHS Manager Jobs
Because EHS Managers work with managers across the company, from manufacturing to finance, communication skills are critical. The EHS Manager candidate should be able to demonstrate excellent presentation skills, as well as written skills. Reports written by the EHS Manager may be presented to senior management, to governmental agencies, or to press briefings. The EHS Manager candidate will need to demonstrate an ability to work closely with engineers as well as public relations experts, depending on the business and issues that the business must manage.
In this position, the EHS Manager also must demonstrate excellent leadership, as well as a positive attitude to ensure that training programs instituted are well received and used by employees. Because the EHS Manager may also be responsible for OSHA and EPA regulations, candidates should demonstrate a strong familiarity with how the regulations apply to the industry, as well as knowledge of how to establish training programs that are effective partners with the training department.
Candidates for EHS Manager positions also must have an excellent understanding of the business environment, the local issues and political environment, as well as the nature and history of the company in the local and regional area. Understanding finance, accounting, and the costs associated with options for complying with regulations is also an excellent skill for the candidate to demonstrate. Candidates who have held other environmental health and safety jobs, such as analysts or technicians, may be considered for promotion to the EHS Manager level.
Because many of the EHS Manager’s reporting systems are electronic and are computer-based, a working proficiency with Microsoft Excel, as well as with databases, is helpful.
For project-based EHS Managers, candidates should demonstrate effective project management skills and abilities, including understanding the key knowledge areas of project management as they apply to environmental health and safety issues.
Educational Requirements and Certifications
Many organizations hiring EHS Managers require the candidate possess a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in Environmental Management or an affiliated field. Companies employing EHS Managers in manufacturing industries may require the candidate to hold a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering or Chemical Engineering.
The National Association for Environmental Management is the professional society for EHS Managers and allied professionals who have responsibility for managing the environmental health and safety of a regulated organizations or agencies.
Job Prospects and Average Salary
Environmental Health and Safety Managers have an average salary of approximately $124,000 per year. Salaries are greatly influenced by the size and location of the employer, as well as if the position requires an engineering degree. Positions requiring an engineering degree will usually pay in the higher range.
Environmental Health and Safety Manager positions may take many forms depending on the industry and location of the company. While EHS Manager positions are expected to grow at the same rate as other industry positions, manufacturing companies may experience a slight decrease in the number of positions, depending on the economic environment. Safety and environmental jobs may be an excellent choice for the environmentally conscious candidate.