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.
Activities in this discipline typically include program management in industrial, healthcare, and government settings. Emphasis is often on planning, process design, and evaluating hazards such as noise levels, confined space entry, chemical safety, ergonomics, eye safety, respiratory protection, indoor air quality, hazardous material/waste, lead based paint, asbestos, manufacturing practices, construction safety, and compliance with other Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standards.
Industrial Hygienists are employed by state and local governments, large corporations and businesses, private industry, insurance carriers and the military. In rural Alaska, Industrial Hygienists generally work in the regional hubs and larger communities or may have positions that combine their IH duties with those of a Safety Officer.
- 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. For a list of Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accredited bachelors level and masters level programs, visit: http://www.abih.org/
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/). Not all universities and colleges accredited by EHAC and/or CEPH have industrial hygiene programs, therefore you will need to contact EHAC and/or CEPH accredited programs to verify whether they have an industrial hygiene program.
The closest environmental health program is in Seattle, WA.
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
School of Public Health, University of Washington
Box 357234, Seattle, Washington, USA 98195-7234
Phone: (206) 543-6991
Fax: (206) 616-0477
Web site: http://deohs.washington.edu/
(AIHA) American Industrial Hygiene Association-Midnight Sun Section
The Alaska Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE)
PO Box 243752
Anchorage, AK 99524-3752
American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA)
3141 Fairview Park Dr., Suite 777
Falls Church, VA 22042
Phone: (703) 849-8888
Fax: (703) 207-3561
Web site: http://www.aiha.org
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH)
1330 Kemper Meadow Dr.
Cincinnati, OH 45240
Phone: (513) 742-2020
Fax: (513) 742-3355
Web site: http://www.acgih.org
American Society of Safety Engineers
1800 E Oakton St
Des Plaines, IL 60018
Phone: (847) 699-2929
Fax: (847) 768-3434
National Safety Council
1121 Spring Lake Drive
Itasca, IL 60143-3201
Phone: (630) 285-1121
Fax: (630) 285-1315
This page was last updated by Janice Troyer on June 30, 2013