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3 Highest-Paying Career Options for Environmental Health Majors
By Contributing Editor

According to the BLS, people who work in the Environmental Health field are experts in safety procedures, statistical analysis, and monitoring environmental conditions that may impact a community or specific population. The highest paying career path for a person interested in Environmental Health are Health and Safety Directors, HS Engineers, and Epidemiologists. These professionals provide organizations with expert oversight. The guidance that these professionals offer enables programs that promote policy, and respond to the potential danger that impacts people.

1. Health and Safety Directors

These professionals oversee workers in productivity and operations. They develop environmental policies and practices and produce record keeping systems. These executives often face the task of ensuring compliance with Federal, State, and Corporate regulations as part of maintaining the compliance of their large company or organization. As a director of any field, managerial, communication and analytical skills are necessary. HS Directors most often have a Master’s in Environmental Health, Public Health or Safety Management. Having a history of being OSHA certified is often essential as well. According to the BLS, HS Directors stand to earn between $108,352 and $134,000 per year.

2. Health and Safety Engineers

HS Engineers design systems to make safety measures work well. The primary job of an HS Engineer is to keep employees safe from hazards while in the workplace. They also oversee prevention policies to prevent harm to the environment. An HS Engineer may design products and create safety procedures for employees working in dangerous situations like mines, manufacturing plants, or even the local grocery stores. These professionals often have a Master’s in Safety Engineering, Physics, and Computer Science. The average salary for a Health and Safety Engineer is $88,510, according to the BLS. However, with more experience, the pay can make as much as six figures.

3. Epidemiologist

The description of an Epidemiologist is most accurate when full of statistics and scientific terminology. The job consists of integrating experiments, risk management techniques, and statistical analysis. They are public and environmental health workers who perform surveys, collect data and study patterns of disease. The goal in this is to learn enough to prevent devastating outbreaks in the future. An Epidemiologist may design research studies while monitoring and reporting results to the public. Epidemiologists often have a Master’s Public Health, focused on Epidemiology. Many successful Epidemiologists are also medical doctors. Studies in natural sciences, mathematics, biology, and statistics are common courses. The average salary is between $69,660 and $103,000 annually, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

What Are Steps to Take in School That Help Graduates Stand Out to Employers in the EHS Field?

While studying to become an Environmental Health and Safety major, a few steps that help students stand out on their resume include becoming certified, leadership development in environmental clubs, excellent grades, and published works in the focus area in which the student hopes to work. There are many important certifications through organizations like OSHA, the Institute for Safety and Health Management, and the American Society of Safety Engineers. Obtaining these certifications deepen the level of awareness and professionalism for EHS professionals. Completing them while in school would show a great deal of dedication and skills to the field to potential employers.