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April 8, 2015

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Who’s earning £50k? Find the highest paying sectors in health and safety.


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, according to new research.

The latest annual Jobs Barometer from NEBOSH (National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health), revealed that of nationally advertised health and safety management vacancies:

  • 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% in the surrounding South East region;
  • 17% were in the North of England;
  • 12% in the Midlands;
  • 5% in the South West & Wales; and
  • 3% in Scotland.

Who earns what?

  • £50,000 was the highest average top-end salaries  in construction and civil engineering;
  • £46,000 – utilities;
  • £43,000  – consulting;
  • £38,ooo – manufacturing; and
  •  £33,000 – public sector with the lowest average top-end salaries on offer.

Qualifications and professional status

The average top-end wage for all health and safety jobs advertised was £46,000. However, qualifications and professional status made a considerable difference to the salaries available. The survey found that where applicants were required to hold a NEBOSH diploma qualification, the average top end salary was £49,000.

This fell to £42,000 when a diploma was not specified.

  • Overall, 55% of all positions advertised insisted on candidates holding a NEBOSH Diploma, up from 48% last year and 41% five years ago.
  • The highest salary on offer was in the banking and finance sector based in London.
  • The position of ‘Global Head of Health and Safety‘ attracted an annual wage of £125,000. Both a NEBOSH Diploma and CMIOSH were required.

“Compared to five years ago, the average salary on offer in the health and safety jobs market has hardly changed, rising to £46K this year from £45K in 2011,” said Teresa Budworth, NEBOSH Chief Executive. “However, what we can see is that more and more employers are demanding professional qualifications and status, and that they are willing to offer better salaries to secure those who value their own continuing professional development.”

  • 38% of vacancies called for a NEBOSH Certificate level qualification, up from 33% last year and 30% in 2011.
  • Overall, 92% of positions asked for either some form of NEBOSH qualification and/or Membership of IOSH, up by 4% from 88% in 2014.

As noted in previous years, many of the health and safety management roles on offer also featured responsibilities for environmental (39%) and quality (18%) management.

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9 years ago

Whilst I accept that the NEBOSH diploma is used as a benchmark and that CMIOSH is seen as the minimum level for a professional, neither significes the capabilites of the health and safety “professional”. Yes, the road to CMIOSH requires technical knowledge and an example of how you manage H&S via the peer review but does either really let a potential employer know whether you are capable? Measuring ones ability to do the job by using the above is akin to measuring health and safety perfòrmance using only accident and incidents. You don not get a true reflection. Professionals need… Read more »

Tom Rawcliffe
Tom Rawcliffe
9 years ago
Reply to  Andy

It is a very good point Andy.

Interestingly, it is what the HSE seem to be pulling away from (especially in the CDM 2015 regulation changes) where previously you may be a ‘competent’ person, but now must be holding ‘the necessary skills, knowledge, training and experience’.

However, presumably the HR/Interviewer for the hiring company will also interview/select based on a whole raft of other characteristics (personality, cultural fit, etc) as with any other role.

Reece Parnell
Reece Parnell
4 years ago
Reply to  Andy

I’m thinking about taking my nebosh level 3 and then going on a take a diploma level 6 in health and saftey occupational. I have a 12-15 year in vast trades but have not been on a building site for 8 years. Can you guys give me any advice.