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Where can I earn the most as an HSE professional?

Posted by NOSA on Mar 9, 2017 11:00:00 AM

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We’ve said this before – having a passion for your work is important, but this would mean nothing if its compensation doesn’t come close to feeding you and your family. This blog reveals what you can expect to earn, depending on where you are in the world, and the employment landscape for each of the areas we discuss. We focus on three continents specifically – the United Kingdom, Africa and the United States.

Remember: These salary brackets can vary. The information provided here has been compiled from data covering as wide a proportion of the international industry as possible. Also, as we have done in previous blogs, the salaries are annual earnings, and are listed in US dollars for ease of reference.

The United Kingdom

According to new research, the construction and civil engineering sectors in London and the South East currently offer the best opportunities for jobs in the health and safety profession in the UK. Of the nationally advertised health and safety management positions:


  • 29% fell within the construction and civil engineering sectors;
  • 13%  in manufacturing;
  • 11%  in consulting;
  • 10% in public sector; and
  • 7% in utilities.


Out of all nationally advertised health and safety positions in February and March 2015:

  • 42% were based in London
  • 19% were in the surrounding South East region
  • 17% were in the North of England
  • 12% were in the Midlands;
  • 5% were in the South West and Wales
  • 3% were in Scotland


So who earns what?

  • $60 000 (was the highest average top-end salaries in construction and civil engineering)
  • $52 000 (utilities)
  • $49 000 (consulting)
  • $43 000 (manufacturing)
  • $37 000 (public sector with the lowest average top-end salaries on offer)



In Africa, research showed a wide range in terms of earning potential, particularly in the mining sector. Here’s what you can (more or less) expect to earn when working on this continent, and often in one very specific field. Mining salaries can be very lucrative but vary widely depending on the:

  • location
  • size of the company
  • years of experience
  • educational qualifications of an employee.


Here are the top ten positions you can expect to fulfil, and their possible earning potential.



Earning potential


Project director/drilling operations director

Up to $400 000

A project director provides strategic leadership to a mining project in different stages. A drilling operations director is responsible for the overall planning, direction and execution of drilling operations for a mining organisation. 

Project controls and site managers

Up to $350 000


The salaries of mine managers, technical services managers and drilling operations managers, which are the other key managerial positions in the core mining industry, range between $200 000 and $280 000.


Up to $240 000

Engineers represent the third highest paid mining jobs. The mining industry also employs civil, mechanical, electrical, and process engineers, whose annual average salaries range between $70 000 and $180 000.


Up to $230 000

Mines employ two categories of geologists – mine geologists, who ensure that mining occurs in right places and that good sampling is carried out, and exploration geologists, who are responsible for resource discovery and evaluation.


Up to $220 000

Metallurgists are employed in the processing sites of mining organisations. With significant years of relevant experience, a metallurgist could be promoted to the positions of process engineer and process manager. Many mining companies employ a principal metallurgist to spearhead research and development in the field.


Up to $200 000

A geophysicist's role typically involves conducting surveys to locate minerals or ground water as well as detect, monitor and predict seismic, magnetic, electrical and thermal activity in a given earth body.

Occupational health safety and environmental professionals

Up to $190 000


Mine supervisors/mill superintendents

Up to $168 000



Up to $165 000

Surveyors who measure underground and open-cut mines help the mining organisations maintain a proper mine plan by updating the surface layouts and keeping a record of underground workings.


Between $150 000 and $165 000

Different operators engaged in mining operations including mill operators, excavator operators, dump truck operators, bogger operators; technicians including the geological technicians, pit technicians, instrumentation technicians, Heavy Duty (HD) fitters, auto electricians, boiler makers and welders, and metallurgical and laboratory technicians; drillers; and underground miners are generally the tenth highest paid mining employees.


United States

Upon investigation into current vacancies advertised in the United States, you can expect to earn within the following ranges for these positions:


Job title

Pay range

Master data specialist in an HSE division

$85 000–$110 000

EHS specialist

$75 000–80 000

Safety manager

$80 000–$90 000

Environmental specialist

$80 000–$90 000

Turbines manager

$65 000–$100 000

Plant engineer

$70 000–$100 000

HSE manager

$110 000–$130 000

Project engineer

$125 000–$135 000

Safety director

$80 000–$100 000

Safety specialist

$65 000–$75 000

Safety manager

$90 000–$105 000

Manufacturing engineer

$85 000–$115 000

Safety leader

$69 000–$81 000




Related posts:

How much can you expect to earn with your HSE qualification?


Where can I work with my HSE training?


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Topics: Career in Health and Safety, work safety, Occupational Health and Safety, Global Trends

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