HSE Officer Job Description
HSE officers, also known as health, safety, and environment officers and environment health and safety officers, monitor health and safety, assess risk, and design strategies to reduce potential hazards within an assigned workplace or geographic area. Private companies and government offices hire HSE officers to work full daytime weekday hours, both in office environments and out in the field. HSE officers manage and train other health and safety staff members and frequently travel to perform field investigations and respond to incident reports.
HSE Officer Duties and Responsibilities
HSE officers perform varied job duties based on the area they’re responsible for, but these core tasks are common in all environments:
Monitor Health and Safety
HSE officers monitor incidents of injury, illness, and other situations within an assigned geographic area.
HSE officers write reports detailing health and safety within their assigned research market.
HSE officers design strategies to reduce incidents of illness, environmental accidents, and other issues that may affect public safety.
HSE officers go into the field to investigate environmental accidents and other public safety concerns within their market. They may also assign team members to investigate reported incidents.
Design Training Programs
HSE officers design training programs to provide safety awareness education.
HSE officers give presentations about current safety hazards based on market research to educate others about avoiding health, safety, and environmental hazards.
Recruit Crew Members
HSE officers recruit and train new HSE crew members.
Perform Risk Assessments
HSE officers assess risks associated with tools and equipment, jobsites, and work environments within their assigned research market.
HSE Officer Skills and Qualifications
HSE officers are detail-oriented professionals with strong critical thinking skills who assess risks and create reports to protect others against health, safety, and environmental dangers. Employers hire HSE officers who have the following essential skills:
- Communication skills – HSE officers use written communication skills to create reports and training materials, and verbal communication skills to delegate tasks to other HSE staff members
- Organization skills – HSE officers use organization skills to manage multiple safety projects and analyze multiple studies at once
- Analytical thinking – good analytical skills and the ability to think critically are must-haves for HSE officers, who analyze data and compile it into usable material and reports
- Public speaking – HSE officers use public speaking skills to give presentations and present oral reports regarding health, safety, and environmental hazards within a specific workplace or geographic area
- Leadership – HSE officers use leadership skills to manage other health, safety, and environment staff members and assign them specific investigative tasks
HSE Officer Education and Training
Employers require HSE officers to have a bachelor’s degree in a health, safety, or environmental field of study. Because HSE officers travel frequently, a valid driver’s license with a clean driving record is also required. Many employers additionally require HSE officers to have previous work experience with health, safety, and environmental matters.
Training is not typically provided to HSE officers, who already have the education needed to perform their regular job duties. However, some employers do provide a brief orientation period for new employees so they can become familiar with their duties and their assigned area of study. This orientation period usually lasts one to two weeks at most.
HSE Officer Salary and Outlook
According to PayScale, HSE officers earn a median annual income of $59,652. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), however, shows that occupational health and safety specialists and technicians earn $67,720 in median annual income. The BLS predicts the number of these professionals will increase as fast as the national job growth average, about 8 percent, through 2026.
Complete benefits packages including health, dental, and vision insurance are provided to HSE officers by most employers. Paid holidays, vacation, and sick days are also typically included. Some employers may additionally provide travel reimbursement to HSE officers who conduct field investigations.
These books and websites provide career strategies, job listings, educational resources, and other helpful tools for HSE officers who want to excel:
Environmental Science – look for jobs, find education resources, and learn more about environmental science at this website
Safety, Health, and Environment – this book covers health, safety, and environmental factors like hazard recognition, government regulations, and objectives for HSE officers
NAEM – find webinars, publications, job openings, news updates, and many other resources for HSE officers at NAEM
Health and Safety, Environment and Quality Audits: A Risk-Based Approach – this book covers the basics of risk-based auditing for HSE officers
National Environmental Health Association – explore the professional development resources at the NEHA website to look for job openings, find training courses, and learn more about certification programs
Guidelines for Integrating Process Safety Management, Environment, Safety, Health, and Quality – learn the guidelines for managing HSE processes with this in-depth book
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