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What Does an HSE Engineer Do?
Find out what an HSE engineer does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as an HSE engineer.
Table Of Contents
- HSE Engineer Job Duties
- HSE Engineer Salary & Outlook
- HSE Engineer Job Requirements
- HSE Engineer Skills
- HSE Engineer Work Environment
- HSE Engineer Trends
- How to Become an HSE Engineer
- Advancement Prospects
- Job Description Example
HSE engineers are responsible for ensuring that companies and organizations follow all relevant safety standards. They commonly work with management to identify hazards, develop plans to mitigate those hazards, and implement these plans on an ongoing basis.
HSE engineers may also be tasked with auditing existing processes to ensure compliance with regulations. This includes reviewing documentation related to equipment maintenance, training programs, etc.
HSE Engineer Job Duties
HSE engineers have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:
- Providing training to staff on hazardous materials or processes in order to prevent accidents
- Conducting research on new materials or processes to improve safety
- Inspecting equipment and facilities to ensure they meet safety standards
- Recommending changes to equipment or work methods to improve safety
- Following up on employee injuries to ensure they receive proper treatment and are able to return to work
- Creating and maintaining occupational health and safety policies and procedures
- Inspecting equipment to identify defects that could lead to accidents
- Conducting investigations into accidents, injuries, or illnesses in order to identify the causes and suggest solutions
- Establishing safety standards and policies to ensure that they are followed by all workers
HSE Engineer Salary & Outlook
The salary of a HSE engineer can vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the company they work for.
- Median Annual Salary: $73,500 ($35.34/hour)
- Top 10% Annual Salary: $122,000 ($58.65/hour)
The employment of health and safety engineers is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.
Employment growth will be driven by the need for health and safety engineers in manufacturing industries, where automation and technological improvements are increasing productivity and efficiency. In addition, demand for health and safety engineers will continue to come from consulting firms that serve a variety of clients.
HSE Engineer Job Requirements
The following are some of the requirements for becoming a health and safety engineer:
Education: Most employers require HSE engineers to have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, industrial engineering, industrial technology or a related field. Some of the coursework that these programs include is engineering design, manufacturing processes, quality assurance, statistics, business management and computer-aided design.
Training & Experience: HSE engineers will receive on-the-job training once they are hired. This training will familiarize the engineer with the company’s specific policies and procedures. It will also familiarize the engineer with the equipment and processes used by the company.
Certifications & Licenses: HSE engineers are required to have a professional engineering license. To earn a license, you will need to pass the Professional Engineering Exam administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES).
HSE Engineer Skills
HSE engineers need the following skills in order to be successful:
Technical skills: HSE engineers use technical skills to research, develop and implement safety protocols and procedures. They also use technical skills to analyze data and make informed decisions about workplace safety.
Communication skills: HSE engineers communicate with many people throughout their workday, including other engineers, project managers, clients and other stakeholders. Effective communication skills, including written and verbal communication, can help HSE engineers share information and ideas effectively.
Problem-solving skills: HSE engineers use their problem-solving skills to identify potential hazards and risks in a workplace and develop solutions to mitigate them. They also use their problem-solving skills to identify and repair equipment that’s malfunctioning.
Leadership skills: HSE engineers often work in teams with other professionals, such as safety managers, environmental engineers and other HSE engineers. Leadership skills can help you motivate your team and encourage them to work together to find solutions to workplace challenges.
Analytical skills: Analytical skills are the ability to identify a problem, its cause and potential solutions. HSE engineers use analytical skills to identify potential hazards and risks in the workplace and develop solutions to prevent them. They also use analytical skills to evaluate the effectiveness of safety measures and procedures.
HSE Engineer Work Environment
HSE engineers work in a variety of settings, including office buildings, factories, and construction sites. They may spend considerable time traveling to different work sites. HSE engineers typically work a regular 40-hour week, but they may be required to work overtime to meet deadlines or to respond to emergencies. HSE engineers may be exposed to hazardous materials and conditions, so they must take precautions to protect themselves. They may also be exposed to loud noise levels and to dust, fumes, and other airborne particles.
HSE Engineer Trends
Here are three trends influencing how HSE engineers work. HSE engineers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.
The Need for More Cybersecurity Professionals
As businesses become more reliant on technology, the need for cybersecurity professionals will continue to grow. This is because hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and are able to find new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in software and hardware.
HSE engineers can capitalize on this trend by becoming certified in cybersecurity and developing skills that allow them to protect businesses from cyberattacks. In addition, they can also work to educate employees about how to stay safe online.
The Importance of Cultural Awareness
Cultural awareness is an important trend for HSE engineers as it allows them to better understand the needs of their employees and clients. By understanding different cultures, HSE engineers can create a more positive work environment that promotes collaboration and communication.
This trend is especially important for companies that do business internationally, as it can help them to build stronger relationships with their partners and customers. HSE engineers who are culturally aware can use this knowledge to create products and services that meet the needs of their customers.
More Focus on Employee Engagement
Employee engagement has become a major focus for many businesses in recent years. This is because employers have realized that having engaged employees leads to greater productivity and profitability.
As HSE engineers, you can play a key role in ensuring that your company’s employees are engaged. You can do this by creating a workplace that is conducive to employee satisfaction and by providing support and resources that help employees feel valued.
How to Become an HSE Engineer
A career as an HSE engineer can be rewarding in many ways. It offers the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives, to work with cutting-edge technology, and to help companies achieve their goals. However, it’s important to consider all aspects of this career before embarking on it.
One of the most important things to think about is where you want to work. Do you want to work for a large company or a small one? Do you want to work in a city or a rural area? Do you want to travel or stay put? These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself when planning your career as an HSE engineer.
You should also consider what type of engineering you want to specialize in. There are many different specializations within engineering, so you have plenty of options. You may want to focus on mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, civil engineering, or another field.
HSE engineers typically advance in their careers by taking on more responsibility within their organization. As they gain experience, they may be promoted to positions with more authority, such as HSE manager. In some cases, HSE engineers may also choose to start their own consulting business.
HSE Engineer Job Description Example
At [CompanyX], we are committed to protecting the safety of our employees, customers, and the environment. We are looking for a highly skilled and experienced HSE Engineer to join our team. The ideal candidate will have a strong background in health, safety, and environmental compliance. He/she will be responsible for developing and implementing HSE programs, conducting audits and investigations, and providing training to employees. The HSE Engineer will also be responsible for maintaining compliance with all applicable local, state, and federal regulations.
HSE Engineer Job Description
- Featured in:
It is up to an HSE engineer to ensure that all occupational health and safety standards are followed and that adherence to environmental laws is maintained in industrial or manufacturing settings. HSE engineers devise safety plans, monitor practices to ensure compliance, write up safety policies and procedures, and respond to emergencies as needed. They also review the impact an industry has on the environment and create plans to minimize or eliminate any impact on a company's surroundings.
These engineers can work in the oil and gas industry or for waste management plants, construction companies, utility companies, or consulting firms. HSE engineers collaborate with managers, safety leaders, inspectors, and other professionals, and they split time between an office and the field. They work full time and occasionally work longer hours when handling an emergency or crisis situation.
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HSE Engineer Duties and Responsibilities
Create Safety Policies and Plans
HSE engineers develop safety policies to minimize risks, outline safety procedures, and ensure regulatory compliance with federal occupational health and safety laws and regulations. They explain how to prevent accidents, implement safety plans, and respond to emergencies. They also use knowledge of environmental laws and regulations to review company practices and devise processes to address the impact of a company’s practices on the environment.
Generate Safety Issue Reports
It is up to HSE engineers to detail accidents and safety issues within an occupational setting. They work with managers, OSHA representatives, and other personnel to investigate incidents, offer solutions, and follow up to ensure that the issue leading to the incident has been addressed and corrected.
Conduct Safety Audits
HSE engineers lead safety audits to identify possible hazards and address potential accidents. They work to resolve issues revealed by these audits and cooperate with OSHA inspectors to do so.
Oversee Safety Training
In this role, HSE engineers lead safety training programs for employees. They explain health and safety laws and regulations, detail safety procedures, discuss preventative strategies, and address employee concerns.
HSE Engineer Skills and Qualifications
Are you an analytical individual? Do you possess strong organization and leadership skills and work well in a team? Do you care for the safety of workers and the environment? Based on our study of various online job postings, you'd meet the expectations of most employers, who look for the following skills and abilities:
- Computer skills – it is helpful for HSE engineers to possess strong skills in areas of word processing, presentation applications like PowerPoint, and various programs such as incident reporting and environmental management software
- Technical skills – a thorough understanding of electrical safety, equipment lockout, machine safeguarding, and industrial machinery operations is crucial for HSE engineers
- Project management – team building, estimating, and scheduling are top project management skills that should be displayed by HSE engineers
- Collaboration – from OSHA inspectors to safety leaders, HSE engineers must work with other professionals to create a safe environment for workers
- Eye for detail – HSE engineers must be able to spot potential hazards, identify safety concerns, and recognize practices that could harm the environment
- Analytical thinking – analyzing regulations, compliance guidelines, safety practices, audit reports, and other documentation is a must for these engineering professionals
- Problem-solving skills – HSE engineers review safety issues and possible environmental impacts and offer real solutions to prevent accidents and injuries and address environmental concerns
- Communication skills – producing clear and concise reports, leading training classes, and speaking with federal officials such as inspectors and auditors calls for strong verbal and written communication skills
HSE Engineer Education and Training
To start in this field, candidates first need to obtain a bachelor's degree. Most employers require a four-year degree in occupational health and safety or environmental science. Applicants can also possess a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering, systems engineering, or mechanical engineering. These programs should combine classroom studies with labs and field experiences. Completion of an OSHA training program can be helpful.
HSE Engineer Salary and Outlook
HSE engineers earn a median annual wage of $88,500, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). HSE engineers in the lowest 10th percentile make about $52,000 annually, while top earners realize a yearly salary of more than $139,000.
HSE engineers working in the petroleum and coal product manufacturing industry and in oil and gas extraction make the highest annual mean wages in the US, at about $114,000 and $113,000, respectively. At nearly $110,000, HSE engineers working in New Mexico make the highest yearly average wage, followed by those in Texas (just over $108,000) and California (nearly $107,000).
The BLS projects a 9 percent increase in employment for HSE engineers through 2026. The expected creation of new safety and health regulations and the need to ensure worker safety as industrial processes change are believed to be major factors in this employment growth prediction.
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American Society of Safety Professionals
since 1911, ASSP has provided various safety professionals, including HSE engineers, with educational and career development opportunities. Formerly known as the American Society of Safety Engineers, ASSP offers online learning and conferences, information about safety standards, continuing education, and news articles relevant to the field
Safety, Health, and Environment
how do you recognize potential safety hazards? What is the best personal protective equipment (PPE)? What are key terms in safety, health, and environmental engineering and related areas? These are just some of the topics you’ll learn about when you refer to this comprehensive book
Industrial Safety & Hygiene News
ISHN is an online publication offering product reviews and news, as well as articles addressing safety in the oil and gas and construction industries. Learn more about government regulations, safety standards, industrial hygiene, environmental health, and personal protective equipment
EHS on Tap: The Podcast for EHS Professionals
safety culture. Risks of non-compliance. OSHA recordkeeping. Overcoming safety challenges. The future of EPA regulations. Hear industry experts discuss these types of subjects in free podcasts
International Journal of Safety and Security Engineering
though a bit technical, you can download free papers about environmental protection, safety systems, prevention practices, risk analysis, emergency response, and public safety
Safety + Health
the official magazine of the National Safety Council (NSC) Congress & Expo, Safety + Health features detailed articles about training, regulatory practices, PPE reviews, safety tips, and much more
Safety Engineering: Principles and Practices
from emergency response planning to inspection preparation, this book covers the professional practices and duties of all those involved in health and safety, including HSE engineers. You’ll review OSHA standards, federal regulations, noncompliance issues, and more