26th Jul, 2020 Read time 6 minutes

What different roles are available for a career in health and safety?

Picking the right career for your future aspirations can be challenging, especially in a time when many have been reducing their recruiting capacity. Health and safety is an industry that has seen a lot of change and there are now several different EHS related roles that could work for your individual talents.

In this article, we have a look at just a handful of these different roles and who they might be suited for.


Health and Safety Manager

The main role of a health and safety manager is to advise and steer the business’s health and safety in the right direction. They will be responsible for not only keeping people safe but also ensuring that their workplaces are complying with legal health and safety requirements.

Typical roles and activities and roles involved in this health and safety job include:

  • Conducting risk assessments
  • Training employees on relevant health and safety practices
  • Enforcing and encouraging the use of PPE
  • Conducting site inspections and audits
  • Creating health and safety plans to improve performance

Average Salary: £35,940

As this is a more senior position, most enter the role with a good deal of experience behind them. This can be invaluable when it comes to taking top level decisions that have a big impact on health and safety issues.


Health and Safety Advisor

The main difference between a health and safety manager is the level of autonomy over decisions. Health and safety advisors tend to be more site orientated whilst managers can work more independently and view how health and safety functions within the wider role and departments of the business.

Some of the most common roles for this job in health and safety focus around:

  • The creation of health and safety policies
  • Advisory documents to management on HSE practices
  • Keeping accident records
  • Writing reports
  • Investigation accidents from a safety perspective

Average Salary: £29,622

Due to the advisory level, many enter this job with less experience than a full-on managerial role. Having said that you will still need a good theoretical and practical background when it comes to making any health and safety recommendations.


EHS Officer

EHS stands for Environment, Health and Safety and looks at the whole process of health and safety including the environment. In this health and safety job, the officer’s main aim is to prevent work-related illnesses and injuries. A greater focus is put on health in this role with EHS officers often concerned with their workers wellbeing and how this influences health and safety in the organisation.

Some of the most common duties for an EHS officer include:

  • Creating relevant health and safety policies
  • Conducting risk assessments across the business
  • Developing strategies for safeguarding mental wellbeing
  • Keeping and maintain an up to date accident book

Average Salary: £29,622

This health and safety job requires a wider grasp of the workplace and the environment around it. Because of this, it is also a position that requires a lot of prior work experience.


Health and Safety Coordinator

The job of a health and safety coordinator mainly revolves around performing the admin and checking roles that are involved in health and safety management. Health and safety coordinators also need to ensure inspections are completed and that health and safety compliance is maintained throughout.

Some of the most common roles for this health and safety job include:

  • Investigating working environments for unsafe practices
  • Updating compliance documents for health and safety
  • Reporting safety violations to the relevant parties
  • Maintain and audit safety-critical procedures.

Average Salary: £23,018

When embarking on a career in health and safety it is vital to get practical on the job experience in addition to the academic grounding. For many, the role of a health and safety coordinator provides a good chance to test different theories and work practices to help develop the experience for more senior roles.


EHS Manager

An EHS manager is a more senior health and safety job role with a focus on helping organisations analyse the risks of their current activities and how they can be optimised from a safety perspective. EHS managers should also look at the environment the workplace operates in and changes can be made to make practices more environmentally sustainable.

  • Common tasks for EHS managers include:
  • Creating and updating recommendations on how practices can be improved
  • Ensure the business is compliant with all environmental and safety requirements
  • Lead and direct accident investigation activities

Average Salary: £40,045

The job of an environmental health and safety manager usually requires a more senior level of experience than that of an officer. This is one of the reasons why the average salary is higher.


Safety Engineer

The role of the safety engineer is a senior position and is often a more specialised field of health and safety. This health and safety job often involves the creation of new procedures, equipment and practices for developing a safe system of work for those in the industrial sector. Safety engineers try and identify and resolve health and safety issues before they materialise.

Typical requirements for this health and safety job role include:

  • Installing and testing machines to evaluate their safety
  • Monitoring potential hazards and developing ways to mitigate them
  • Developing new forms of safety best practice for workers to follow

Average Salary: £40,363

The role of a safety engineer commands the highest average salary out of the positions listed and this is in part due to the specialised knowledge and experience ist requires. The engineering aspect of this field also requires a lot more experience of technical concepts.


Consider all different factors when choosing your career path

A career in health and safety is one that many find fulfilling and enjoy the ability to safeguard people’s health. If you are considering a career change or are looking to start your journey in health and safety, you should consider all different aspects of what the job may involve before you make your decision. All different roles incorporate similar themes and require similar skills and experience.


Average salaries available at: Payscale

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