Study: Most EHS Managers Salaries Fall Within a Narrow Range

Nov. 3, 2004
Roughly half of environment, health and safety (EHS) professionals will earn between $70,000 and $101,000 in 2004, according to a new survey released by the Bureau of National Affairs (BNA) Inc. and NAEM, the National Association for Environmental Management.

EHS salaries follow a predictable pattern by job title, with vice presidents earning a median of $200,000, and considerably higher median salaries for directors ($110,000) than for EHS managers ($86,000).

The Environment, Health & Safety Benchmarks 2004 survey of EHS department officers was conducted in the spring of 2004 to develop a detailed summary and analysis of expenditures and budgets, staffing, job responsibilities, titles, salaries, outsourcing, and job experience in the environment, health, and safety arena.

"Metrics on the EHS profession have been in short supply," said BNA EHS Executive Editor Audrey Hipkins. "We thought that EHS departments would be well served by a closer examination of their roles and responsibilities inside different types of companies, with the ability to benchmark the variables going forward."

Among other findings in this report:

  • Outsourcing is a fact of life. Nearly three-fourths of the surveyed organizations (73 percent) handed off some aspect of their programs, tasks or activities to an outside firm or consultant. Seventy-nine percent reported no change in their departments' outsourcing arrangements over a 12-month period, although reported expansions were twice as common as scale backs during the period.
  • Top EHS managers have a wealth of experience in their jobs, with their organizations, and in the EHS field. They report a median tenure of 7 years in their current positions and 10 years with their organizations. Moreover, almost half of the surveyed EHS professionals have logged at least two decades in the EHS field.
  • According to the survey participants, EHS managers hold down the middle of the corporate hierarchy. Two-thirds of EHS professionals are managers (46 percent) or directors (21 percent). Only 21 percent hold the title of vice president.
  • Three out of 20 EHS professionals acquired new programs or activities for which they are responsible, while just 10 percent relinquished any duties between 2003 and 2004.
  • EHS department staff levels were little changed between 2003 and 2004. Fourteen percent added new positions during the period, while virtually the same proportion (13 percent) eliminated EHS jobs. Seven out of 10 surveyed departments (71 percent) have the same number of staff this year as in 2003.

To access the executive summary or purchase the full report, visit

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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