Here’s some good news for aspiring safety professionals in this tough economy: The profession “safety and health engineer” was identified by CareerBuilder as one of the seven fastest-growing jobs that pays an annual salary of about $75,000.
The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) President Richard A. Pollock, CSP, was glad to hear this news, even if it doesn’t come as a surprise. He pointed out that ASSE has seen an increase of job postings on its career Web site and acknowledged that the safety profession is a growing one.
“As more businesses have seen the positive results in their bottom line of not only employing occupational safety, health and environmental (SH&E) professionals in their companies, but working with them and developing and implementing effective safety programs and systems for their workplaces, the demand continues to grow globally,” he said. “Hence, not only has demand increased for SH&E professionals over the years, but so too has their value.”
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates the EHS profession’s job growth will increase by 13 percent from now until 2020. And a recent NIOSH-commissioned study suggested that the demand for EHS professionals in the next 5 years will outpace the number of students expected to graduate from EHS-related programs.
Furthermore, awareness of the profession continues to increase. For example, Money magazine’s 2010 feature “The 50 Best Jobs in America” listed the “environmental, health and safety specialist” job as No. 22, the “environmental engineer” job as No. 5, and, the “risk-management manager” job as No. 14.
“Safety is good business and through developing and implementing effective workplace safety and health programs at companies globally, ASSE members have proven through the past 101 years that they can and do make a difference,” Pollock said.
CareerBuilder’s information was based on projected growth and annual pay from BLS. Other professions on the list included financial examiner, hydrologist, web developer, medical scientist, physical therapist and radiation therapist. The $75,000 salary amount was chosen based on the “happiness plateau” concept, which suggests that workers apparently are happier with more money, but that their happiness plateaus once they reach $75,000 or more a year.
EHS Today and PureSafety partner each year to offer the Future Leaders in EHS scholarship to encourage and support those studying to enter EHS-related fields.