The National Association for Environmental Management (NAEM) is the largest professional association for corporate environment, health and safety (EHS) and sustainability decision-makers. We are dedicated to empowering our members to advance environmental stewardship, create safe and healthy workplaces, and promote global sustainability.
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NAEM to Release “EHS Career Profiles and Skills for Success” Research Report
NAEM to Release “EHS Career Profiles and Skills for Success” Research Report

Washington, DC, October 27, 2015 - NAEM will be releasing a research report in November that examines the core competencies, attributes, and responsibilities of EHS professionals at different stages of their career. This report continues NAEM's ongoing research series which aims to provide a comprehensive benchmark of the corporate EHS and sustainability profession.

Nearly 500 responses from employees of more than 300 companies comprise the latest study, titled Career Profiles and Skills for Success.

A key finding of the report is that EHS career trajectory is less strongly correlated with job title or level of education than with the responsibilities that EHS professionals have and the skills they employ. Based on qualitative and quantitative data on EHS skills and responsibilities, the report identifies discrete career stages that describe an advancing EHS professional's role and defining attributes: '0-5 Years, Early-career Managers'; '6-10 Years, Advancing Managers'; '11-15 Years, Emerging Leaders'; '16-20 Years, Advancing Leaders'; and '21+ Years, Experienced Decision-Makers'.

The study found that years of experience affect how an EHS professional will use their skills. For example, those in the first five years of their career will focus more on task-based work requiring updated technical knowledge, whereas employees in a mid-career position (6-15 years) are tasked with more management responsibilities. By comparison, those in the "experienced decision makers" category (21+ years) focus on organizational strategy, including risk management, company design and succession planning.

"Technical knowledge, business acumen and interpersonal skills are the three core aspects of an EHS professional's skill set," the report states. As careers progress, however, these core competencies are applied differently. For example, a technical aptitude was found to be vital for early-career managers, whereas interpersonal skills grow more important in mid-to-late career stages.

The full report will contain detailed analysis for each profile within as well as across career stages, including:

  • Top Activities by Years of Experience
  • Technical and Business Skills
  • Most Critical Attributes and Behaviors
  • Shared vs. Owned Responsibilities
  • Oversight vs. Direct Execution of Tasks
  • Technical and Business Knowledge Areas
  • Salaries
  • Relative Importance of EHS Competencies in Different Career Stages
  • Top Degrees and Certifications

EHS leaders, HR professionals, and management consulting companies can use data from the full report to inform decisions on:

  • Hiring/EHS team development
  • Defining job responsibilities
  • Knowing who/when to promote
  • Salary of new employees and pay increases

Register to attend a free informational webinar showing finding's from NAEM's benchmarking research at 1:00 p.m. on November 12:

For additional information on the Career Profiles report and to order the full report:

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