Salaries in Environmental Risk Management and Related Fields

The median annual salary for a Certified Industrial Hygienist in the USA is $72,356, according to good sources.*  It’s $76,000 per year according to other good sources.**  And some sources, like, said it’s $100,000/year.

Given that Environmental Risk Manager is a hot term for — well — someone responsible for a large part of the EHS responsibilities, we researched that title.  Notably, we discovered that Risk Management salaries in general are skyrocketing – as this graphic shows.  But more specific to us, we discovered that the average salary for an Environmental Risk Manager is around $75,000/year ($80,000/year in Chicago).

Then we wondered how this figure was arrived at, and some interesting components came up.  The following graphic is interesting on three levels:  One, because of the salary numbers.  Two, because of the parts deemed associated with an Environmental Risk Manager. And three, because key terms can bolster a bio or CV, anyone freshening up a resume might notice the words “process” and “engineer” are worth some money.

Another salary breakdown: an Environmental Standard Risk Management Development Manager Salary in Chicago, IL averages $90,000/year.  An obscure title, good, because we can look at its parts and get a lot of data.  Do note that the midwest tends to be the lowest geographical segment according to pay scale surveys that break down this kind of thing.

Analysis:  the salary gap  A background in EHS has probably given any professional a perspective on Risk Management.  You might consider re-orienting your bio in that direction for 2012.  That phrase on your CV may put you in a different category where more hiring is happening and the salaries are comparable.

It’s important to emphasize the word “environment,” but always with a “risk management” appendage, to show potential employers that you care about environment, health and safety but you wear shoes, not sandals (but not combat boots either)!

Of course, you can’t call yourself an “engineer” if you aren’t one, but remember that a process can be “engineered.” Also someone has to “engineer” a quality or compliance program.  Just saying.

Another key word for a higher salary we noticed is “strategy.”  If you can “strategize” and “create and drive programs,” you may be wordsmithing your way into a higher tax bracket.  Use these words in 2012!

Finally, one suggestion is to scan the above salary lists and also job descriptions online, like this CIH job post from PepsiCo, and see what other phrases are being used.  Use them.  Then talk your way into a higher salary in 2012.

Happy New Year, everybody.

Guest blogger K.M. Hurley is the Director of Corporate Communications at Actio Corporation.




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About Kal

Kal Kawar, CIH, PE, has a bachelor's in chemical engineering and a master's in industrial hygiene. His professional experience includes serving as staff industrial hygienist for IBM's New York semiconductor manufacturing facility, and as industrial hygienist for IBM’s US headquarters. Now executive vice president of Actio, Kal taps more than 20 years' worth of chemical engineering, industrial hygiene, and environmental engineering experience. His far-reaching expertise with global regulatory challenges created by EPA, TSCA, REACH, RoHS, WEEE – and hundreds of others – aid in developing Actio software solutions for MSDS management, raw material disclosure compliance, and product stewardship in a supply chain.