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To become an Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) manager, it might be necessary to pursue an undergraduate degree in environmental science. EHS managers play important roles in a number of different industries, so it also can be a good idea to know in which field or industry you would like to work. For example, if you would like to become an EHS manager in the manufacturing industry, it also might be a good idea to take courses or to declare a secondary major in a field such as engineering. EHS managers often have high-level positions and may be responsible for communicating with employees, executives, clients, and the public. For this reason, to become an EHS manager, it probably is necessary first to gain years of valuable work experience.
An EHS manager is a professional who is responsible for managing all of an organization's issues related to environmental health and job safety. Some common goals of an EHS manager may include reducing the number of work-related injuries, lessening an organization's negative impact on the environment, and monitoring the health of those who are affected by an organization. Professionals in the field normally are expected by employers to have a strong understanding of legislation regarding safety and environmental health.
For a person who would like to become an EHS manager, it is advisable to begin studying environmental science as early as possible. As an undergraduate student, you may want to take courses in which you can become familiar with common environmental hazards and laws and regulations that are designed to reduce environmental risk. This also may be a good time to determine in which field or industry you would like to practice.
While a postgraduate degree is probably not essential for a person who would like to become an EHS manager, many environmental health specialists agree that it can be a value credential. EHS managers often possess a thorough knowledge of laws and public health and safety practices that are best attained through advanced academic training. Most graduate students in this field also participate in internships and clinical research studies.
After earning necessary degrees, it next can be a good idea to apply for safety management positions in a field of your choice. These positions can help aspiring EHS managers to learn from experience how best to work with sometimes complex environmental and safety regulations and laws. It is common for many employers to request that EHS job applicants have at least five years of experience working as a safety manager.