Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene

Occupational health and industrial hygiene each aim to improve workplaces. The former does this primarily by engineering the workplace to offer improved usability; the latter does so mainly by eliminating hazards. Many organizations need workers trained in these disciplines.

Inside Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene

Occupational health and industrial hygiene overlap to some extent. Both require knowledge of environmental toxicology, epidemiology, ergonomics and work space engineering. Occupational health, however, is more likely to emphasize the last two, while industrial hygiene emphasizes the first two. Industrial hygiene can also involve more study of safety equipment and safety process management.

Education Information

There are a handful of bachelor's, several master's and a few doctoral degree programs in occupational health and industrial hygiene. There may also be programs in occupational health nursing. Students will learn how to evaluate physical, chemical and biological hazards, ergonomics, air quality and water quality in the workplace. The links below describe some of the degree options for industrial hygienists and occupational health specialists.

Distance Learning Options

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