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Occupational health and safety specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree in occupational health and safety or in a related scientific or technical field.Education
Occupational health and safety specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree in occupational health and safety or in a related scientific or technical field, such as engineering, biology, or chemistry. For some positions, a master’s degree in industrial hygiene, health physics, or a related subject is required.
Typical courses include radiation science, hazardous material management and control, risk communications, and respiratory protection. These courses may vary with the specialty in which a student wants to work. For example, courses in health physics focus on topics that differ from those in industrial hygiene.
High school students interested in becoming occupational health and safety specialists should take courses in English, math, chemistry, biology, and physics.Important Qualities
Ability to use technology. Occupational health and safety specialists must be able to use advanced technology. They often work with complex testing equipment.
Communication skills. Occupational health and safety specialists must be able to communicate safety instructions and concerns to employees and managers. They need to be able to work with technicians to collect and test samples of possible hazards, such as dust or vapors, in the workplace.
Detail oriented. Occupational health and safety specialists need to understand and follow safety standards and complex government regulations.
Physical stamina. Occupational health and safety specialists must be able to stand for long periods and be able to travel regularly. Some specialists work in environments that can be uncomfortable, such as tunnels or mines.
Problem-solving skills. Occupational health and safety specialists must be able to solve problems in order to design and implement workplace processes and procedures that help protect workers from hazardous work conditions.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Although certification is voluntary, many employers encourage it. Certification is available through several organizations, depending on the field in which the specialists work. Specialists must have graduated from an accredited educational program and have work experience to be eligible to take most certification exams. To keep their certification, specialists usually are required to complete periodic continuing education.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Industrial Hygienist
Top Careers After Industrial Hygienist
Hispanic or Latino9.0%
Black or African American0.7%
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Columbia Southern University13.4%
Montana Tech of the University of Montana12.2%
Utah State University7.3%
University of Utah6.1%
University of Central Missouri5.7%
Murray State University5.3%
West Virginia University5.0%
University of Alabama at Birmingham4.2%
Eastern Kentucky University4.2%
University of Houston3.4%
School of Health3.4%
Wayne State University3.1%
University of Cincinnati3.1%
University of North Alabama3.1%
Texas A&M University3.1%
Indiana University of Pennsylvania3.1%
Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania2.7%
Illinois State University2.7%
University of Findlay2.7%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|SR Industrial Hygienist||BP America Inc.||Blaine, WA||Dec 15, 2011||$101,150|
|Industrial Hygienist||Vintage Pharmaceuticals LLC D/B/A Qualitest Pharmaceuticals||Huntsville, AL||Sep 14, 2015||$85,634|
|Industrial Hygienist||Vintage Pharmaceuticals LLC||Huntsville, AL||Mar 24, 2016||$78,312|
|Industrial Hygienist||Vintage Pharmaceuticals LLC||Huntsville, AL||Aug 10, 2015||$78,312|
|Industrial Hygienist||Vintage Pharmaceuticals LLC||Huntsville, AL||Oct 16, 2015||$78,312|
|Industrial Hygienist||Vintage Pharmaceuticals LLC||Huntsville, AL||Oct 01, 2015||$78,214|
|Industrial Hygienist II||The Sherwin-Williams Company||Cleveland, OH||Oct 26, 2015||$76,000 -
|Industrial Hygienist II||Freeport-McMoran Morenci Inc.||Morenci, AZ||Apr 01, 2015||$72,176|
|Associate Industrial Hygienist, North America Manufacturing||General Motors Company||Warren, MI||Aug 16, 2016||$72,000|
|Industrial Hygienist||Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory||Berkeley, CA||Apr 06, 2015||$72,000|
|Industrial Hygienist-I||KCI Technologies, Inc.||MD||Jul 30, 2013||$64,438|
|Industrial Hygienist||Health Science Associates||Los Alamitos, CA||Nov 29, 2016||$61,200|
|Industrial Hygienist||Health Science Associates, Inc.||Los Alamitos, CA||Jun 03, 2014||$58,800|
|Industrial Hygienist I||Freeport-McMoran Corporation||Safford, AZ||Sep 04, 2012||$57,000|
|Industrial Hygienist||Hygiene Technologies International, Inc.||Torrance, CA||Sep 15, 2016||$55,792|
|Industrial Hygienist||R. Sterling & Associates, Inc.||Milpitas, CA||Oct 01, 2011||$54,000|
|Industrial Hygienist||Health Science Associates||Los Alamitos, CA||Sep 29, 2010||$53,580|
|Industrial Hygienist||Ellis Environmental Management, Inc.||Rancho Palos Verdes, CA||Oct 01, 2014||$53,000|
|Staff Industrial Hygienist||Sandler Occupational Medicine Associates, Inc.||Gaithersburg, MD||Oct 01, 2011||$50,489|
|Staff Industrial Hygienist||Sandler Occupational Medicine Associates, Inc.||Gaithersburg, MD||Oct 01, 2011||$50,409|
|Industrial Hygienist||Dominion Environmnetal Consultants, Inc.||Phoenix, AZ||Jan 18, 2010||$50,000|
|Industrial Hygienist||Dominion Environmental Consultants, Inc.||Phoenix, AZ||Apr 01, 2010||$50,000|
|Industrial Hygienist||Louis Berger & Assoc., P.C.||New York, NY||Oct 09, 2016||$46,530 -
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