What does a Green Job in the Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Field Look Like?

As more and more green businesses around the world adopt sustainability plans, the need for professionals in the environmental, health, and safety (EHS) field will becoming increasingly large. Green jobs in the EHS field offer plenty of opportunities with a wide range of interests – technical jobs to health care jobs to inspection jobs to legal jobs to scientific jobs. No matter your particular interest, you’re bound to find something in the EHS field.

What is an Environmental, Health, and Safety Green Job?

So what does a green career in the EHS field look like? These individuals work to ensure that companies are compliant with local and federal safety and environmental laws in order to protect workers, property, the general public, and the environment. Many people with green jobs in the EHS field work for the government ensuring that laws and regulations are enforced. However, there are also many EHS jobs with private firms that work to design safe work spaces and stations, machinery, commercial and residential buildings, industrial processes, and so on.

In addition, many private companies are now hiring environmental, health, and safety experts to provide in-house guidance for compliance and regulatory purposes, including businesses such as insurance companies, manufacturing companies, utilities, chemical companies, and more. There are also many third-party inspection firms that provide reliable audits and reviews for the purposes of securing green certifications and seals of approval.

Green Jobs Available in the EHS Field

The types of functions performed by EHS professionals varies extensively. For instance, if you secured a green job in the EHS field, you might do any one of these types of tasks:

  • Provide employee education about safety and environmental regulations
  • Study environmental and health laws to ensure your employer was compliant with all regulations
  • Research processes and materials used in hazardous manufacturing situations to determine the level of the threat, clean-up regimens, and disposal requirements and costs
  • Work within a private company to ensure their EHS records and processes are prepared, organized, and enforced, recommending changes when necessary, and developing proprietary reference materials and technical reports
  • Evaluating suppliers for your company to ensure they adhere to your standards for EHS compliance
  • Work with a government agency to evaluate and develop spill prevention and removal regulations and corrective actions
  • Do on-site analysis of public environmental disasters to determine the magnitude of the situation and make recommendations for remediation
  • Review and evaluate applications for certification of a company or product for a green seal of approval
  • Use scientific research to determine the best method for disposing of hazardous medical waste

As you can see, there are many ways to find a green career as an EHS professional.  EHS professionals often combine highly specialized skills such as scientific expertise, engineering expertise, and management skills. The following are some potential job titles you’ll see when applying for EHS jobs:

  • Cause Analyst
  • Environmental Health and Safety Lead
  • Environmental Technician
  • Environmental, Health, and Safety Engineer
  • Hazardous Waste Chemist or Hydrologist
  • Health Care Technician
  • Industrial Specialist
  • Occupational Health and Safety Specialist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Plant Maintenance supervisor
  • Plant Safety Engineer
  • Plant Technical Operating Specialist
  • Property Disposal Technician
  • Safety Equipment Tester
  • Safety Inspector
  • Safety Investigator
  • Soil Conservation Technician
  • Water Conservation Technician

Image Via Flickr: Argonne National Laboratory

This post was written by:

Maryruth Belsey Priebe

Maryruth has been seeking the keys to environmental justice - both at home and at work - for over a decade. Growing up adjacent to wild spaces, Maryruth developed a healthy respect (and whimsical appreciation) for things non-human, but her practical mind constantly draws her down to earth to ponder tangible solutions to complex eco-problems.

With interests that range from green living to green business, sustainable building designs to organic gardening practices, ecosystem restoration to environmental health, Maryruth has been exploring and writing about earth-matters for most of her life. Of special interest is the subject of ecopsychology and the role the natural world plays in the long-term health and well-being of humanity. You can learn more about Maryruth's work at www.JadeCreative.ca.

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