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29 April 2019

Where could a career in Functional Safety take you?

Emily Wright

Emily Wright

Senior Consultant

After studying performing arts at TVU and graduating in 2010, Emily worked in retail and…

Emily Wright joined IC Resources 3 years ago focusing purely on Functional Safety recruitment.

Since joining Emily has built a strong portfolio of clients. Her in-depth knowledge, grown from all round knowledge of the industry, means that Emily has a contact list crammed with candidates. All looking for roles around the world.

I caught up with Emily to find out more about the Functional Safety market. As well as to find out how those seeking a career in this growing area can boost their chances.

What is Functional Safety?

According to the IEC, ‘Functional safety is part of the overall safety that depends on a system or equipment operating correctly in response to its inputs. Functional safety is achieved when every specified safety function is carried out and the level of performance required of each safety function is met’. 

Whereas ISO 26262 refers to it as: ‘the absence of unreasonable risk due to hazards caused by malfunctioning behaviour of electrical / electronics systems’.

To you and me, this means ensuring protective measures are put in place to prevent a disaster occurring.

Functional Safety, regulated by IEC 61508, works across most industries. However, it has become increasingly important with drone technology and the autonomous vehicle industry.

Whilst a large part of Functional Safety is pre-emptive, there is also an investigatory element too. Ensuring that where something has gone wrong, the cause is investigated and a safety plan developed and put in place.

Where are roles appearing?

Emily’s seeing many of her roles appearing in tech and automotive hot spots.  Including Austria and Munich. Munich is a rapidly growing technology hub that appeals to many chip sensor manufacturers and chip developers. However, in these locations, Functional Safety is a relatively new concept. Companies need to attract experience from India and China, where standards have been around longer.

It is an appealing area to work in as it’s one of the higher salary band jobs in quality control. As technology continues to advance, we are seeing more UK graduates moving into Functional Safety where its value to industry becomes increasingly recognised. Nowadays, it’s even possible to complete a Master thesis in Functional Safety in the UK.

How to stand out in the market

When asked how candidates can boost their chances of landing their dream role, Emily recommends becoming certified. A qualification with a well-known body such as TUV-SUD will give you a well-respected grounding in the industry. At present, there is a real dearth of candidates qualified to this level.

What’s next for Functional Safety recruitment?

The biggest challenge for the market remains finding the right experience in the right places. Many companies are now implementing these functionalities into their businesses. This means many roles are new, ready to be nurtured and shaped by experienced and certified professionals. In due course, it’s likely that candidate supply will catch up with business demands, possibly leading to an eventual saturation, but this isn’t something that we’re likely to see in our generation.

As industry experts we’re perfectly positioned to find the right roles and to support you through relocation, visa applications and the settling in period.

To find your next role, or for help with your Functional Safety career or hiring needs, contact Emily at


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