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Survey Shows Value of Safety Certifications

May 31, 2018
The median base salary for full-time EHS professionals was $97,000.

Full-time safety professionals with at least one certification earn $20,000 more per year than those with none, according to a new survey from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE).

The 33-question salary questionnaire surveyed nearly 10,000 safety, health and environmental professionals based primarily in the United States and Canada. It identified the typical salary, benefits, credentials and experience of these workers.

“The value of safety, health and environmental certifications continues to grow, with many laws and standards specifically citing them,” said BCSP CEO Treasa M. Turnbeaugh, Ph.D., MBA, CSP, ASP, CET, CAE, IOM in a statement. “Many companies include certifications in their job requirements, and contracts for safety services also call for them. Earning certifications that support your specialty and heighten your expertise is the smart thing to do.”

According to survey results, the median base salary for full-time professionals was $97,000, with 22 percent of respondents earning $125,000 or more. The certified safety professional (CSP) designation added $30,000 to the salary of a practitioner with no other credentials.

“The salary survey validates the earning power of safety and health professionals, demonstrating the advantage of adding credentials and gaining experience,” said ASSE President Jim Smith, M.S., CSP, in a statement. “It should encourage people within the industry to seek accredited education programs and professional certifications to maximize their earning potential in such a dynamic field.”

The survey showed that formal education also correlates positively with salary levels as those with a doctoral degree typically earned $16,000 more annually than those with a bachelor’s degree, and $20,000 more than those with an associate degree.

Examining a typical workday revealed that the most time is spent on safety functions (26%) and safety management (15%). Traveling for their job consumes about one day per week. These safety professionals primarily work in company offices (58%) versus in the field (30%) or at a home office (12%).

The average respondent was 47 years old and has worked as a safety, health and environmental professional for 16 years. When asked how they first entered their practice, the largest proportion of professionals indicated it was by obtaining a degree in the field (31%). Almost half of the respondents (47%) directly supervise other staff, with each boss overseeing 21 people on average.

The survey identified the various departments where the safety function resides, led by operations/production (24%) and followed by risk management (17%) and human resources/administration (12%). About half of the respondents were employed at privately owned organizations while one-third worked at publicly traded companies and 13% held government positions.

The survey was designed by BCSP and Minnesota-based Readex Research, a nationally-recognized independent research company. Since its founding in 1947, Readex has completed thousands of surveys for clients in many markets, including associations, corporations and government.

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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