How to Become an Environmental Health and Safety Specialist | 2023

Environmental health and safety specialists are some of the most revered professionals in the world.

They safeguard the health of people and the environment by enforcing environmental rules and regulations.

Environmental health and safety specialists can work for government agencies or engage in private practices. However, they play a critical role in almost all sectors of the economy.

This article will give you everything you need to become an environmental health and safety specialist.

Who is an Environmental Health and Safety Specialist?

Environmental health and safety specialists perform research and investigations to find and eliminate environmental dangers and pollution sources.

A wide range of specialists exist, including climate change analysts, environmental restoration planners, and industrial ecologists.

A four-year bachelor’s degree is typically required for environmental health and safety specialists. Moreover, in the natural sciences and engineering, there are many different options for specialization.

A master’s degree in a specialty field is often required for advancement in this field.

Is Environmental Health and Safety Specialist a Good Career?

Occupational demand for environmental health and safety specialists is expected to rise by 8% between 2020 and 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Because of the public’s increased awareness of environmental threats, there will be a rise in the demand for environmental health and safety professionals.

The majority of specialists are employed by state and federal governments, as well as private companies that provide management, scientific, and technology consulting services.

The majority of their time is spent in the lab, examining materials and generating reports, despite the fact that their profession involves extensive time spent in the field.

Additionally, they’re usually compelled to travel to meet new clients and present their findings at conferences.

Conservationists and foresters, environmental engineers, hydrologists, and chemists are some of the associated professions.

Since all of these vocations are based on the natural sciences, the educational requirements are fairly similar.

Like environmental health and safety specialists, these occupations demand extensive supervision, operation monitoring, and the ability to think critically to thrive.

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How long does it take to become an Environmental Health and Safety Specialist?

A degree in Environmental Health, Safety Engineering, or Occupational Health with at least five years of related experience in environmental health and safety is required for an Environmental Health and Safety Manager.

Work in an office or travel significantly to several sites of a corporation to do your job duties.

Steps for building a career in environmental health and safety specialties:

You can become a professional in environmental health and safety by taking the following steps:

1. Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree:

It is understood that most employers expect their environmental health and safety specialists to possess a bachelor’s degree in environmental health and safety or an associated field of studies like biology or chemistry.

This is because in-depth math, physics, and chemistry knowledge are needed to excel in the field.

As a student of an environmental health and safety specialty course, some of the courses you are expected to study will deal with waste management, environmental law compliance, ergonomics, and several other areas.

Meanwhile, during your studies, apply for an internship and ensure you get some in a respected environmental health and safety firm or any firm that is affiliated with the field.

This is because internship programs will help you obtain valuable work experience. Several degree programs package internships into their coursework, which shows how important it is.

2. Gain Experience:

Private employers always desire to hire environmental safety specialists with at least three years of work experience.

However, government jobs are one of the only ways you can secure a valuable job as an entry-level applicant.

Meanwhile, before you can be employed by anyone in the environmental health and safety specialty field, you must show that you are knowledgeable in the area.

So, even if you don’t get work in the field immediately after graduation, ensure that you attach yourself as an intern to any renowned company that focuses on the field.

The experience will help you understand how to test drinking water, impose product safety ethics, clean up polluted places, and scrutinize public places for health threats.

3. Obtain Certification:

Certification is not enforced by law, but intentional certification could improve your chances of landing well-paying jobs in the industry.

For instance, the Board of Certified Safety Professionals is responsible for giving out the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) title.

To obtain this title, you must have a 4-year undergraduate degree in any discipline or a 2-year degree in environmental health and safety.

Moreover, you must have at least three years of work experience in the environmental health and safety field and score well on two tests based on safety values and regulations before obtaining the certification.

Also, understand that countless professional boards and organizations offer several other specialty certifications.

However, having most of them will always give you an edge on a job application over other applicants.

3. Obtain a Master’s Degree:

A master’ degree and many years of work experience are always needed for high-level safety specialist roles and duties.

Many colleges normally offer master’s degree programs to people that want to advance their educational knowledge.

Several master’s degree programs in environmental health and safety can take you a step further in terms of knowledge and expertise.

Thus, embrace it immediately to boost your chances of landing well-paying jobs.

Read more: 5+ Top Online Business Degrees and Schools (FAQs)

How to Build a Successful Environment Health and Safety Specialist Career:

There are certain habits and activities that successful people in the field of environmental health and safety specialize in.

Thus, to succeed in the field of environmental health and safety specialty, apply the following working strategies.

1. Make a Connection to Your Goals:

Before even thinking about a career path, get to know yourself first. The vast majority of successful people in this sector adopt a really good pattern as they progress during their careers.

To begin, think about your most logical aspirations in environmental health and safety. Then, dig further into your self-reflection and examine the link connecting your intellectual aims and your inner aspirations.

It takes work and time to connect with your objectives, but it is an aspect of a successful person’s path. 

2. Creating a High-Quality Resume:

Fundamentally, your resume is a tool for you to demonstrate your abilities. That’s why it’s important to have a clean and well-polished one.

You’ll never be surprised if you take care of this detail. You should always have a strong résumé on hand if you’re interested in working for one of the world’s top environmental health and safety companies.

3. Determine Your Strengths:

Self-improvement requires a high level of self-awareness. It’s possible to change your life for the better if you’re conscious of your innermost thoughts, talents, aspirations, and shortcomings.

Your knowledge and abilities can be put to good use, and you’ll reap many rewards in the process.

4. Take Full Ownership of Your Own Life:

Accountability is a key difference between those who are poor and those who are excellent. Even if you understand the idea, you may not put it into practice regularly.

Always assume the worst when anything horrible happens. Stop blaming others for your faults and take responsibility for whatever you do.

5. Continuously improve your quality:

Those who succeed and those who don’t are very different. It is your values that shape your thoughts, beliefs, and actions.

You will never be content with anything less than your full potential with high expectations. In most cases, people who set high expectations for themselves are more accomplished than the rest.

Take a few moments every two or three months to pause and consider your core principles and values. It’s important to work on your weaknesses one at a time until you find yourself at your finest.

6. Build a solid network:

Prospects and partnerships are at the heart of effective networking. Try to build a relationship with everyone you meet in the environmental health and safety profession.

Successful people are always meeting new people and forming long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.

So, create social media profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to start.

More so, business executives use social media sites like LinkedIn to build their brands and expand their professional networks simultaneously. Along the way, you’ll have a slew of options for employment.

Frequently Asked Questions on how to become an Environmental Health and Safety Specialist:

Who is an environmental health and safety specialist?

A professional in environmental health and safety (EHS) sets and enforces laws to safeguard the health and safety of the environment, the workforce, and the general public. Typically, EHS professionals are self-employed or employed by federal, state, or local government entities.

How do I get a job in health and safety?

As a safety, health, and environment technician, you can get an advanced apprenticeship. You can become a technical member of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health after about 24 months.

How much does a safety officer earn in the UK?

In the UK, the average salary for a safety officer is £32,500 per year, or £16.67 per hour. Beginner jobs start at £27,795, and most experienced workers can make up to £44,153 per year.

Is EHS manager a good job?

Yes, being a safety manager is a good job if you want to make a lot of money and make sure that workers have safe places to work. On average, they make $86,000 a year, or $41.40 an hour. On the low end, they can make around $58,000, which is usually for entry-level jobs.

What is a safety specialist do?

The job of a safety specialist is to implement and manage safety procedures. For example, they can establish rules and regulations to guarantee that safety practices are in compliance with government norms and regulations. In addition to conducting safety inspections and writing reports, safety specialists can also carry out assessments of a workplace’s safety.


Building a successful career in environmental health and safety takes time, work, and patience.

However, you can achieve your career goals if you’re prepared to put in some effort and aren’t afraid to venture outside your comfort zone.

To be successful, you must, first and foremost, be open to professional development. Also, be willing to go as far as you can in your education to gain new and valuable abilities.

Awesome one; I hope this article answered your question.

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ST Admin
ST Admin

Hello, I am ST Admin! For five years, I began actively assisting students in Europe, the United States, and Canada in their pursuit of college advice and scholarship prospects. I am the Administrator of at present.

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