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Industrial Hygienist


Industrial Hygienists evaluate health hazards in the work environment and make recommendations in an effort to keep employees safe from any potential health hazard. They use their specialized training to anticipate, evaluate, and control any health hazard that may exist in industry, government organizations, the community, or the environment. They often review reports and conduct research to determine if diseases or illnesses are work-related. They then consult with other health professional and management in an effort to neutralize or remove potentially hazardous materials from the occupational environment.

Some other duties performed by industrial hygienists include preparing and calibrating equipment used in collecting samples, collecting samples of potentially toxic materials, evaluating samples in a laboratory setting, reviewing accident reports, preparing reports of observations about industrial health problems, and using cost-benefit analysis to justify changes in procedure or the purchasing of protective equipment. Industrial hygienists are also responsible for conducting educational and training seminars that inform employees about occupational health and the prevention of workplace accidents. These professionals often work as part of a team and therefore must be articulate and have good communication skills. They must also be able to follow strict safety and procedural guidelines as well as remain calm in stressful situations.

Work Environment:


Industrial Hygienists may work alone or with industrial engineers, physicians, industrial managers, government officials, or other members of an industrial team. They are usually employed by government agencies, insurance agencies, environmental agencies, consulting firms, labor unions, or industry.

High School Preparation:


Students interested in industrial hygiene should take high school courses in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, biology, chemistry, physics, English, health, computer skills, and health occupations/medical professions education.

College Requirements:


Individuals interested in becoming an industrial hygienist must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Students must complete a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in occupational safety and health, environmental health engineering, physical science, or natural science. Most employers, however, prefer candidates with master’s degrees in Occupational Safety and Health, Environmental Health Engineering, or Environmental Health Sciences. The American Board of Industrial Hygiene offers varying degrees of certification for individuals that have completed the required education.


Students interested in industrial hygiene should contact schools for information on admission and course of study.

For educational institutions in Mississippi
offering this course of study click here.

Career Outlook:


Employment opportunities for industrial hygienists should be good over the next decade as the public demand for a safe and healthy work environment increases. This demand, however, will be balanced by a desire keep government small and federal regulations at a minimum. As a result, growth in this sector will occur at about the same rate as all other occupations through the year 2012. Since federal, state, and local governments employ nearly half of all industrial hygienists, job security is usually fairly high for these health professionals.




Average Annual Salary



Salary Range



Professional Organizations:


American Board of Industrial Hygiene

6015 West St. Joseph, Suite 102

Lansing, MI


Phone: (517) 321-2638

Fax: (517) 321-4624


American Industrial Hygiene Association

2700 Prosperity Ave., Suite 250

Fairfax, VA 22031

Phone: (703) 849-8888

Fax: (703) 207-3561


National Environmental Health Association

720 South

Colorado Blvd.

South Tower, Suite 970

Denver, CO


Phone: (303) 756-9090

Fax: (303) 691-9490

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