An industrial hygienist is a combination scientist and engineer that works to ensure that the safety and health of employees and makes sure that they are being protected in the workplace. This includes evaluation and protection of the workplace environment and employees.

An industrial hygienist main job function is to develop procedures and outline regulations that must be followed within the workplace at all times. They implement these procedures and regulations and ensure that they are followed. In order to complete this process, an industrial hygienist will evaluate the work area to make sure that workers are not being exposed to harmful contaminants or substances. If there are any harmful substances, they are removed and guidelines are put into place for proper handling of these substances.  Research will be part of your job. You may also work with the government on passing different regulations and educating the public on safety in the workplace. It is also your job to oversee the workers and make sure that all safety guidelines are being followed.  This can include indoor air quality, emergency response planning, radiation handling and hazardous waste management. They also investigate any accidents that happen in the workplace to determine why the accident happened and how to prevent similar accidents from happening in the future.

Industrial Hygienist Salary:

The current national average industrial hygienist salary is $65,000 per year. The amount that is offered will depend on several things such as the type of place you work, the amount of experience you have and even the type of degree that you have. There are several different industries to work in that offer a higher than average industrial hygienist wage. These industries are electric power companies, insurance agencies and carriers, waste management and residential building construction companies. The industrial hygienist salary can range from $58,000 to $76,000 a year in these industries. Working in these five industries can ensure you a higher than average industrial hygienist income. Another way to increase your industrial hygienist salary is with experience in the field. This can increase the amount of the industrial hygienist salary by more than fifteen percent.

Industrial Hygienist Education:

If you are interested in becoming an industrial hygienist, there are two ways that you can accomplish this. The first way is to receive on the job training. This will include working in the health and safety department at a company you are already employed at. Most industrial hygienists will need to attend college and obtain a associate’s or bachelor’s degree. This will take two to four years depending upon the course that you take. The programs will include courses in industrial hygiene and safety, sanitary engineering, physics, mechanical engineering, biology, chemistry and several math and science classes. After you have graduated, you will be eligible to take the ABIH certification test. Requirements to take the certification test will include 180 hours of academic training along with 240 hours of continuing educational credits. The certification will need to be taken every five years to maintain membership. This will include teaching at conferences and giving presentations. Completing all of these steps will ensure that you obtain the best salary possible.

Industrial Hygienist Work Environment:

The work environment of an industrial hygienist will depend on the type of place that they work in. They can work in office buildings, factories, mines and will even do a considerable amount of work in the field and out of the office. More than twenty five percent of all industrial hygienists work in the local and state government industries. Many work in hospitals and mines so the environment can change a lot depending on the type of place that you work in. Much of the work that is done will be on the feet and will include collecting data and evaluating different situations. Travel may also be required as a part of this job. This job will involve being exposed to dangerous situations and harmful substances. This can be a highly stressful job and may require the use of safety equipment such as gloves, helmets and goggles. The average work schedule is forty hours per week but this can vary if an emergency situation arises.

An industrial hygienist is the perfect job for someone who works well in stressful situations, has well developed problem solving skills and a good level of stamina. Technical skills will also need to be very well developed in order to perform all the tests and experiments that are a part of this job. This is also a career in which you will need good time management skills as you will often be working without any supervision. Currently, there are 10,000 people employed as industrial hygienists. The career of an industrial hygienist is currently seeing a good outlook for the future. This number will increase by more than thirteen percent within the next eight years. This will create an additional 1,400 jobs for new industrial hygienists.

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