Your Future Career: Why You Should Consider a Career in QHSE

Quality, Health, Safety, and Environment – all vital aspects for engineering and manufacturing firms to consider. In smaller firms, the four areas are often grouped together, but larger firms with larger teams will have specialists in each area. Whether you’re looking for a generalist role, or something that allows you to niche down, there’ll be something in QHSE for you.

Why Consider a Role in QHSE?

Given how important health & safety compliance is, purely in a legal sense, it’s no surprise that QHSE roles are abundant in all sectors. There are so many government-mandated policies to adhere to, and they are not going away any time soon. As a result, QHSE officers are guaranteed to always be in demand.

In fact, demand for QHSE officers is on the up! Some reports are even stating that HSE opportunities have increased by a staggering 270% in the last 8 years alone.

This increase is largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which triggered many businesses to shore up their health and safety policies. Another contributing factor could be the increased interest in environmental issues. Legal requirements are becoming more stringent, and customers are demanding better.

An infographic demonstrating the potential career steps in QHSE: Quality Inspector, £28k - HSE Advisor, £35k - QHSE Manager, £45k - Head of HSE, 60k-80k

*Salary estimates from our 2023 Salary Survey

So, we know that QHSE roles come with excellent job security and progression opportunities.

The other great thing about QHSE is that it’s a relatively easy field to get into. You do not require a specific degree, and many people move sideways into QHSE from admin or shopfloor. If you develop an interest in this area, you can often work with your employer to move your career in this direction.

But perhaps the most valuable aspect of a career in QHSE is how it allows you help others. We all want to go home safe at the end of a workday, and for our friends and family to do the same. This is a role where you can really see the positive difference you are making.

What Roles Are Available in QHSE?

Roles under the QHSE title can often be categorised according to which part of the acronym they represent…

Quality – Sometimes separated from the HSE, Quality roles are focussed on the product/service that a company offers. Your responsibilities will include quality inspections, monitoring materials and production methods, ensuring compliance with standards and regulations, and recommending and implementing improvements.

An HSE Inspector conducting an audit on a production shop floor

Health & Safety – The core of HSE is all about creating a safe working environment. This will involve conducting risk assessments, delivering training, managing legal claims, developing safety procedures, and investigating accidents to learn where you can improve.

Environment – What used to be a small part of compliance is fast becoming its own area of expertise. More and more companies are appointing Chief Sustainability Officers to help achieve sustainability goals including becoming carbon neutral. Specialising in this area will allow you to optimise all areas of business; production, supply, logistics, office overheads and more.

7 Skills to Develop for a Successful Career in QHSE

Qualifications – While you may not need a degree to work in QHSE, you will need certain qualifications. To get started, you’ll likely need an IOSH or NEBOSH accreditation. After that, you’ll need more advanced qualifications depending on your specific industry. Employers are usually receptive to funding these qualifications as it’s in their best interest to have a well-trained compliance officer.

Analytical – In order to optimise any process, you need a problem-solving mindset. Those who can be methodical assess the situation, identify the goal, and apply logic to find a solution will go far in QHSE.

Report Building – It may seem obvious, but a lot of the day-to-day QHSE work comes down to reports. In order to progress, you must be comfortable collating data, identifying trends and presenting that information in a clear format for your seniors to understand.

A busy board meeting where a QHSE Officer needs to make their recommendations heard.

Confidence – QHSE officers have a huge influence on business operations. However, it takes resilience and commitment to make yourself heard sometimes. QHSE officers need stand their ground and communicate the importance of their recommendations, even as directors resist them.

Personable – Confidence will get you so far, but a great QHSE officer will pair confidence with excellent people skills. If you can understand how different team members work, you’ll be much more likely to win them over.

Big Picture Thinking – It’s easy to focus on the minutia of business operations, optimising one specific area to perfection. However, QHSE personnel who can hold the big picture in their head will be able to make much more effective changes.

Curiosity – People who are always asking questions will do well in QHSE. You must be inquisitive to understand how a process works in order to then offer improvements. You need to keep an open mind so that you can come up with creative solutions, instead of getting trapped in what’s always been done. Plus, you need to stay curious about industry and national developments that may affect your work.

An infographic wheel showcasing the 6 key skills of a QHSE Officer: IOSH/NEBOSH Qualifications, Analytical Mindset, Report Building, Personable + Confident, Curiosity, Big Picture Thinking.

If you’re looking to take the next step in your QHSE career, we’re here to help. We can work with you to highlight all those essential skills on your CV, as well as finding you the best vacancies available to suit your career goals.

Our specialist QHSE recruiters always have a number of opportunities available. Take a look at their vacancies or get in touch for a chat about your next steps.


Chris Savage vacancies

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