Career Development

What Does an EHS Manager Do?

Find out what an EHS Manager does, how to get this job, salary information, and what it takes to succeed as an EHS Manager.

The EHS Manager plays an integral role in ensuring that the workplace environment meets all safety, health, and environmental standards set by the company and regulatory bodies. This position involves developing and implementing policies that create a safe and healthy work environment, thereby reducing the risk of accidents and ensuring compliance with environmental laws. By conducting regular audits, providing training to employees, and responding to incidents, the EHS Manager works to minimize risks and protect the company’s assets, employees, and the environment. This role requires a proactive approach to anticipate potential issues and address them effectively, ensuring the well-being of all stakeholders and the sustainability of the business operations.

EHS Manager Job Duties

  • Develop and implement comprehensive environmental, health, and safety (EHS) policies and procedures to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal regulations.
  • Perform risk assessments to identify potential hazards and implement preventive measures to mitigate risks.
  • Design and deliver EHS training programs for employees to promote awareness and understanding of safety protocols.
  • Investigate accidents and incidents to determine causes and implement corrective actions to prevent recurrence.
  • Manage the disposal of hazardous waste in accordance with regulatory requirements and company policies.
  • Coordinate with external EHS consultants and regulatory agencies during audits and inspections to ensure compliance with EHS standards.
  • Develop and maintain emergency response plans, including evacuation procedures and first-aid measures.
  • Oversee the sustainability initiatives to minimize environmental impact and promote resource conservation within the organization.

EHS Manager Salary & Outlook

Factors influencing an EHS Manager’s salary include industry sector (e.g., manufacturing vs. healthcare), company size, years of experience, specific expertise in environmental, health, or safety areas, and the scope of responsibility, such as managing large teams or overseeing multiple facilities. Advanced degrees can also significantly impact earnings.

  • Median Annual Salary: $99,750 ($47.96/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $132,000 ($63.46/hour)

The employment of EHS managers is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

This growth is driven by increasing regulatory compliance demands, heightened awareness of workplace safety, and environmental sustainability efforts. EHS Managers are crucial for implementing safety protocols, ensuring regulatory compliance, and fostering safe, sustainable work environments across various industries.

EHS Manager Job Requirements

Education: An EHS Manager typically holds a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Environmental Science, Safety Management, Industrial Engineering, or a related field. Coursework often includes occupational health, environmental policy, waste management, and industrial safety. Advanced degrees may focus on strategic leadership and complex regulatory compliance. Academic emphasis on analytical skills, legal frameworks, and risk assessment prepares candidates for the multifaceted responsibilities of ensuring workplace and environmental safety.

Experience: EHS Managers typically emerge from a background rich in environmental health and safety roles, having progressively taken on more responsibility. Their journey often includes hands-on experience in developing and implementing EHS programs, conducting risk assessments, and ensuring compliance with regulations. On-the-job training, coupled with participation in formal training programs, equips them with the necessary skills. Experience in leadership, communication, and problem-solving is crucial, as is familiarity with industry-specific safety standards. This blend of practical experience and targeted training prepares them to effectively manage EHS initiatives within organizations.

Certifications & Licenses: EHS Manager positions often require certifications such as Certified Safety Professional (CSP) or Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH). In some regions, an Environmental Professional (EP) certification may be beneficial. Licenses specific to environmental health and safety regulations at the state or federal level can also be necessary, depending on the job location and industry sector.

EHS Manager Skills

Hazard Analysis: EHS Managers employ a detailed approach to identify workplace hazards and assess the risks they pose. Their expertise in analytical methods, combined with a comprehensive understanding of safety protocols and regulatory compliance, allows them to develop and implement strategies that reduce risks and maintain a safe environment for employees.

Regulatory Compliance: The role of an EHS Manager involves ensuring that an organization adheres to environmental, health, and safety laws at all levels of government. They are responsible for regularly updating policies and procedures to reflect the latest regulations, conducting internal audits to identify compliance gaps, and taking corrective actions to address these issues and maintain organizational integrity.

Safety Training Program Development: EHS Managers are tasked with creating and executing training programs that educate employees about health and safety protocols. By identifying workplace hazards and developing risk mitigation strategies, they play a crucial role in fostering a safe working environment.

Environmental Auditing: Through systematic reviews, EHS Managers assess an organization’s compliance with environmental laws and regulations. Their evaluations cover operational practices, waste management, emissions, and chemical use, drawing on their deep understanding of environmental legislation and industry-specific processes to ensure legal standards are met and to avoid penalties.

Incident Investigation: When workplace accidents or near-misses occur, EHS Managers conduct thorough investigations to pinpoint root causes and take corrective measures. This process involves collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, and working with teams across the organization to strengthen safety protocols and training initiatives.

Risk Management: EHS Managers focus on identifying, assessing, and mitigating hazards that could impact people, property, or the environment. They strive to balance regulatory compliance with operational efficiency, integrating safety measures into daily activities without disrupting productivity.

EHS Manager Work Environment

An EHS Manager typically operates within a varied environment, balancing office duties with on-site assessments. Their workspace is often equipped with standard office tools alongside specialized safety equipment for field inspections. This role demands adaptability in work hours, with the potential for early starts or late finishes to align with operational hours or emergency situations.

Dress code fluctuates based on the day’s tasks, ranging from business casual in the office to protective gear on-site. The culture emphasizes collaboration and compliance, fostering a community focused on health and safety. Interaction with employees at all levels is frequent, requiring strong communication skills.

The pace can be fast, driven by project deadlines and the need to respond promptly to safety incidents. Technology plays a crucial role in managing data and staying updated on regulations. Professional development opportunities are abundant, reflecting the evolving nature of environmental and safety standards. Overall, the role is marked by a blend of strategic planning and hands-on engagement, within a framework that prioritizes well-being and regulatory adherence.

Advancement Prospects

EHS Managers can progress to senior leadership roles within an organization, such as Director of EHS or Vice President of Environmental, Health, and Safety, where they oversee broader strategies and policies. Achieving these positions often requires a deep understanding of both regulatory compliance and sustainable business practices.

Another advancement path includes specializing in a specific area of EHS, such as hazardous waste management or occupational health, leading to roles like Chief Safety Officer or Environmental Compliance Specialist. This specialization can be crucial for companies in industries with high environmental impacts or significant health and safety risks.

Transitioning into consultancy is a viable option for experienced EHS Managers. As consultants, they can offer their expertise to multiple organizations, helping to develop and implement EHS programs, conduct audits, and provide training. This path allows for a broader impact across industries and flexibility in projects.

To accomplish these advancements, EHS Managers should focus on building a strong track record of successful EHS program implementations, demonstrating leadership in crisis situations, and showing an ability to adapt to changing regulations and technologies.


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