Certifications are a great way to advance your career, stay up-to-date in your industry, and keep your skills current. Having that three- or four-letter designation after your name can make you more marketable and even help you earn more money.
But which certifications should you pursue? To help you decide, we’ve shortlisted 10 EHS certifications to consider. No matter what your role and interests, you’ll find something here that meets your needs.
Top 10 EHS Certifications to Consider
1. Certified Safety Professional (CSP), Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP)
This is the most commonly held license among safety professionals — and for good reason. On average, Certified Safety Professionals are more likely to get hired, earn higher salaries, and receive more promotions and leadership opportunities than their peers, according to the 2018 SH&E Industry Salary Survey. If you’re applying for a new role this year, it’s likely you’ll see the CSP certification on the list of desired qualifications.
2. Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH), American Board of Industrial Hygiene (AIBH)
If you’re looking to advance your career in health and safety, the Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) certification is an excellent choice. The CIH certification is a globally recognized credential that demonstrates your commitment to protecting the health and safety of workers and the community. An added benefit: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, professionals with the CIH or CSP certification earned $30,000 more per year than the average Occupational Health and Safety Specialist.
3. Certified Safety and Health Manager (CSHM), Institute for Safety and Health Management (ISHM)
Another popular certification among safety professionals is the CSHM certification. This certification emphasizes both technical knowledge as well as business management skills, so it’s easy to see why professionals with this credential are in high demand. According to ISHM, this certification is ideal for people who are seeking Executive positions in their organizations, such as manufacturing, construction, healthcare, education, and more.
4. Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM), Institute of Hazardous Materials Management (IHMM)
Do you deal with hazardous materials or dangerous goods? If so, you might want to consider the Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM) certification. This certification has grown in popularity in recent years, with over 12000 people achieving certification. State and federal agencies, including the US Army Center for Health Promotion & Preventive Medicine and the US National Park Service, seek out professionals with this certification and may even require supervision by a CHMM in their contracts. Many private businesses, too, recognize the value of the CHMM designation.
If you’ve worked in the field of safety and health for a while, you’ve likely seen the IOSH designation in your colleagues’ email signature or on their business card. IOSH is the world’s largest membership organization for safety and health professionals, and their certifications are among the most widely recognized. IOSH offers two learning tracks: IOSH Managing Safely, for managers and supervisors; and IOSH Working Safely, for staff at any level.
6. OSHA 30-Hour
While not a true OSHA “certification”, many employers will be looking for the OSHA 30-Hour qualification on your resume. That’s especially true for openings in the construction field, though you’ll also see it in job postings for general industry. Supervisors and safety managers who complete the OSHA Outreach 30-hour course through an authorized trainer will receive an official card from the Department of Labor (DOL).
For human factors/ergonomics/user experience professionals, Board Certification in Professional Ergonomics is the gold standard. BCPE offers one professional certification with a choice of designation: Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE), Certified Human Factors Professional (CHFP), Certified User Experience Professional. Which designation you choose depends on your specialty and work focus. But no matter which route you decide to go, certification can open the door to new opportunities: HFE salaries are on the rise, and 66% of employers prefer to hire certified professionals.
8. Associate in Risk Management (ARM), The Institutes
To thrive in today’s business climate, EHS professionals have to get really good at managing risks. In fact, 78% of EHS leaders name “risk management” as a top factor in ensuring EHS success. So it’s worth strongly considering the Associate in Risk Management (ARM) certification. The certification, which takes between 9-15 months, is designed for anyone who makes decisions based on risk. After completing your training, you’ll be better prepared to anticipate and manage risks in your organization.
9. Certified Professional Environmental Auditor (CPEA), Board of Environmental, Health & Safety Auditor Certifications (BEAC)
Certified Professional Environmental Auditors conduct compliance audits for utilities, manufacturing facilities, hospitals, universities, municipalities, and more. You can earn your certification in four specialties: Environmental Compliance, Health and Safety, Management Systems, and Responsible Care. Holding the CPEA credential demonstrates your knowledge of environmental, health, and safety regulations and can increase your earning potential up to 51%, according to the IIA’s 2017 Internal Audit Compensation Study.
10. EMS auditor, CQI/IRCA
Today, many organizations are implementing ISO 14001 environmental management systems as a way to minimize their impacts and grow sustainably. EMS auditor certification prepares auditors and environmental system managers to audit environmental management systems against ISO 14001 requirements, either as a third- or second-party auditor. The course takes five days to complete and is available from a number of training partners.
Your next steps
Even if you’re not looking for a new job, now is a great time to add a professional certification to your resume. Certification offers numerous career benefits. Getting certified shows your employers and your peers that you’re serious about your work, and can help you do your job more effectively. What’s more, many of these certifications can be completed online — which means you can advance your career without leaving the comfort of your couch.
Next, discover 7 EHS manager skills to develop this year.
Tell us in the comments below: Do you hold a professional certification? If so, how has it helped you achieve your career goals? If not, do you plan to pursue certification in the future?