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Online Industrial Hygiene Certificate and Degree Program Information

Industrial hygienists work with individuals and groups to promote safety and health in a variety of environments. Graduate-level certificate programs in industrial hygiene are available online and generally require a minimum of a bachelor's degree for enrollment.

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Essential Information

Several schools offer online post-baccalaureate certificate programs in industrial hygiene that may qualify graduates to apply for professional certification. These programs may be entirely online or in a hybrid format that calls for on-campus work in addition to online courses. Students in an online program generally view lectures and complete class assignments at any time, within set deadlines.

These certificate programs usually consist of six or fewer courses. Required courses deliver an overview of how to identify workplace hazards through the use of engineering and scientific principles. Students learn to interpret the degree of threat and methods of preventing worker exposure.

Most programs require several core courses in the general principles of industrial hygiene and toxicology, including the effect of toxins on body systems and how to identify hazards in the workplace. Students usually can choose electives such as current issues in industrial hygiene, air sampling, radiological health and legal issues in industrial hygiene.

Overview of Industrial Hygiene Certificate Programs

Graduate-level industrial hygiene degree programs are designed for students who already hold a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as public health, law enforcement or healthcare services. Some certificate programs incorporate toxicology as well as industrial hygiene into the curriculum.

Completion of an industrial hygiene certificate program can lead to careers in the public and private sector of the healthcare and corporate world. Students can develop the necessary skills to become a certified industrial hygienist and take the certification exams offered through organizations such as the Council on Certification of Health, Environmental and Safety Technologists (CCHEST), American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ANIH) and Board of Certified Safety Officials (BCSP).

Program Information and Requirements

Prospective students can find these certificate programs, which can be completed in less than a year, available entirely online or in hybrid format. Coursework is accessible to work on at any time prior to its due date. Lecture material is also offered in a flexible manner, including PowerPoint presentations, video, audio or other electronic formats. In order to enroll in online courses students must have access to the Internet, as well as an updated Web browser and operating system.

Online Industrial Hygiene Certificate Program Courses

There are not typically any required general education courses for online certificate programs in industrial hygiene. Students can expect to enroll in elective courses in addition to the core curriculum, covering topics such as toxicology, occupational public health and environmental education.

Human Health Environmental Influences Course

This course provides insight into the potential hazards the environment can cause to human health. Specific topics include hazardous waste, polluted water and contaminated air quality. Physical, biological and chemical hazards are also covered, as well as the different effects these hazards have on human populations.

Industrial Hygiene Fundamentals Course

Students can gain an understanding of contemporary methods used by industry professionals that are cleaning and preventing diseases in the workplace. Course topics include survey protocols, formation of air pollution and air sampling analysis.

Exposure Assessment Course

In this course students learn the basic benefits of assessing environmental health hazards in the workplace. In addition, the course focuses on the development of new techniques for measuring exposure levels.

Safety Monitoring Course

Disaster planning, accident analysis and safety methodology are all topics covered in this course. The course also prepares students to handle potential extreme exposure situations and disasters. Contemporary monitoring procedures and methodologies are also covered.

Career Information for Graduates

Upon completion of the certificate program and examination, students can acquire entry-level positions as industrial hygiene technicians. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists this position under the umbrella of the occupational health and safety field ( The BLS projects that between 2008 and 2018 employment of occupational health and safety technicians is expected to increase by 14%. The average annual salary for industrial hygiene workers in this area was $45,360 in May of 2008 according to the BLS.

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