Industrial hygienists are in high demand within occupational health and safety. If you’re interested in becoming one, this article is for you.
In premise, to become an industrial hygienist, you need 1) an education, 2) certification, 3) on-site training.
In this article, we will cover what an industrial hygienist does, where they work, what are the requirements for becoming on, etc.
So if you’re interested in learning how to become an industrial hygienist, keep reading.
Industrial hygiene is critical to the safety of the work environment. Many people have to work with toxic substances at work. Materials such as testing chemicals and cleaning fluids are harmful.
But industrial particles can lead to serious health repercussions for the public. An industrial hygienist is tasked with safety control. For example, this might include ensuring that ventilation is maintained appropriately.
They are also tasked with enforcing safety procedures, in terms of proper material storage and the use of safety equipment. Sometimes, they are placed in charge of providing training for others in the industry.
As a whole, their role is to recognize issues before they become dangerous and to know what to do if they do become dangerous. Workplace injury and illness cost individuals their health and livelihood.
This also costs business lots of money, as well as their reputation. An industrial hygienist is a sort of an applied scientist, and their job is to protect the environment and people from industrial processes, such as repair, engineering, manufacturing.
Where Do They Work?
Industrial hygienists are not limited to a locale. They can work wherever their services ar needed. This covers the majority of work environments on a global scale. They are not limited to locations that use toxic chemicals either.
They can protect environments, such as construction sites. Another name for the industrial hygienist is an Occupational Health & Safety Specialist.
Very few industrial hygienists work for the local or state government. In these cases, they are working in the form of an inspector to ensure businesses adhere to workplace safety.
An even smaller portion works for the federal government. Most industrial hygienists work for the military or the CDC. These individuals can be seen at civic buildings, universities, science institutions, etc.
Factories are also a popular locale for industrial hygienists. These locations require a greater number of such workers to ensure the safety of all employees.
Thus, you can expect to find no shortage of work in such places. Feel free to look for work directly through internships or databases.
Requirements for How to Become an Industrial Hygienist
Industrial hygienists, at the least, need a bachelor’s degree. A typical BA for this type of work should be acquired in physics, chemistry, engineering, or biosciences.
Graduates must have an understanding of biology, as well as the effects of substances and chemicals in the workplace. Medical qualifications are great but are not required.
In terms of work, a master’s degree is not required. But as competition increases in the landscape, those without a prolonged advanced degree will have a hard time competing.
Masters degrees will include training with hazardous materials, public health, health physics. As well as a more comprehensive understanding of safety law.
Doctorates are only required for those who want to partake in academic research, especially those who are interested in physics, biology, or chemistry specifically. They are also great for individuals who wish to enter the medical industry.
Even though certification is not required for work, it’s highly recommended. So now you know how to become an industrial hygienist.
Earn the Degree
The American Board of Industrial Hygiene has outlined specific criteria for students that want to become a certified industrial hygienist. Regardless of the major, students have to have 180 contact hours in the academic field of specific industrial hygiene courses.
Of these hours, at least half has to be related to the basics of industrial hygiene, measurements, controls, toxicology. Other coursework can address hazards, such as asbestos, lead, mold, and confined spaces.
Most degree programs offer internships. These experiences will allow the individual to get some real-life abilities in practical work circumstances.
Potential industrial hygienists must develop their communication and interpersonal skills. These are necessary to help instruct and communicate safety concerns to managers and employees.
They must also be able to work with technicians. To enhance these abilities, students can take psychology and public speaking courses.
Most employers will hire hygienists who have been certified by the prior mentioned board. The ABIH offers examination to become certified.
To be eligible, candidates have to have their degree that includes the professional experience, two work references, and coursework.
The certification has to be renewed every five years. The maintenance process for certifications consists of many steps, as well as a point system. These points can be gathered by teaching, furthering education, attending conferences, mentoring.
As well as authoring, presenting, and participating in professional work. Hygienists can also redo their examinations instead of achieving maintenance credits.
Industrial Hygiene Is Waiting for You
Now that you know how to become an industrial hygienist, you are well on your way to ensure that you do it the proper way. In any case, it’s your life and your choice. if you really want it, you will get it.
There is no limit to your potential, so long you allow it to blossom. Don’t limit yourself, and think about the possibilities.
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