At a Glance
Years in School (after high school graduation):
4 or more
$27.74-$59.18 (Mean $41.73)
*Based on 2016 Alaska DOL data for Occupational Health & Safety Specialists
NOTE: Industrial Hygienists are typically the highest paid Health and Safety professionals, so they may make much more than the range shown here.
One-page Description (PDF):
Industrial hygienists are scientists and engineers who anticipate, recognize, evaluate, and control hazardous conditions in the workplace and in the community. They assist employers in developing plans and implementing systems to make the workplace and community a safe and healthy environment.
Many industrial hygienists work for private corporations or federal or state government agencies as salaried employees. However, the fastest-growing segment of the industrial hygiene profession is self-employment or consulting. Many industrial hygiene careers can lead to upper management positions. The hygienist’s job is a multifaceted one that touches every aspect of an organization and benefits a company’s bottom line through increased productivity, improved morale, and lower workers’ compensation and liability costs. The industrial hygienist acts as an adviser, making recommendations and setting standards to keep the workplace safe. This requires working with employees at all job levels and requires a genuine commitment to caring about people and the environment.
- Graduation from high school with a strong college preparatory background especially in the sciences.
- Completion of a four-year Bachelor’s degree in industrial hygiene, environmental health, chemistry, physics, biology, engineering or a closely related physical or biological science.
- Many industrial hygienists also complete a Master’s degree in one of the above listed sciences. To be a “Certified Industrial Hygienist,” one must apply for and pass an exam after completing four years of practical experience in the field of industrial hygiene. The exam is administered by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene.
There are no industrial hygiene programs in Alaska, but there are a variety of science and engineering programs available throughout the University of Alaska system.
Accreditation of Industrial Hygiene programs is administered by The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). ABET accreditation, which is voluntary and achieved through a peer review process, provides assurance that a college or university program meets the quality standards established by the profession for which the program prepares its students. ABET is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
The closest ABET school is Montana Tech University of Montana. Many IH’s in Alaska have attended this program. This is a Masters level program. To find a list of ABET accredited IH programs, visit this website: http://www.abih.org/become-certified/abet-accredited-ih-programs
Industrial hygiene programs are also available at several universities and colleges accredited by the National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council (http://www.ehacoffice.org/) and the Council on Education for Public Health (http://www.ceph.org/). Note: not all universities and colleges accredited by EHAC and/or CEPH have industrial hygiene programs.
The closest environmental health program is in Seattle, WA.
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
University of Washington
P. O. Box 357234
Seattle, WA 98195
Phone: (206) 543-4207 (undergraduate program); (206) 543-3199 (graduate program)
(AIHA) American Industrial Hygiene Association-Midnight Sun Section
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH)
1330 Kemper Meadow Dr.
Cincinnati, OH 45240
Phone: (513) 742-2020
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