United States Occupational Health Safety Graduate Degrees
Introduction to Occupational Health and Hygiene Graduate Programs
Occupational health and hygiene professionals work to protect people and the environment by analyzing business practices and inspecting workplaces. They often design and deliver programs, procedures, and trainings to organizations and businesses that help prevent disease and injury to workers and damage to the environment.
Occupational Health and Hygiene Health Graduate Curriculum
Occupational health and hygiene graduate programs require students to complete core classes, electives, and a thesis, dissertation, or another final project, some programs may require students to pass a comprehensive exam at the conclusion of their studies.
Common Courses in Occupational Health and Hygiene Graduate Programs:
Graduate students in occupational health and hygiene programs are usually required to complete both core and elective coursework. Some examples of common core subjects include:
- Medical biometry
- Applied biostatistics
- Epidemiology (introductory and methodology)
- Healthcare and public health services and policy
- Society and health
- Toxicology and human exposure science
- Human and environment risk assessment
These course subjects and others may offer students a well-rounded exploration of the field of occupational health and hygiene.
In addition, many students may elect to study the above subjects and others in greater depth through particular departments. This allows students to concentrate their graduate work on areas of study that they find the most interesting. In many graduate programs, students may also learn about best practices in industry management and top research methodology strategies.
Practicum or Internship Requirements for Occupational Health and Hygiene Graduate Students:
Whether or not occupational health and hygiene graduate students need to complete a practicum or internship depends on the program and desired occupation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, some employers may prefer to hire students who have participated in internships. Students might want to consider utilizing campus and department resources to secure internships during their academic programs.
In addition, graduate students who hope to pursue careers as professors or researchers in occupational health and hygiene may want to explore opportunities to participate in assistantships, fellowships, and teaching positions while enrolled in their programs.
Licensure Requirements and Certifications for Occupational Health and Hygiene Professionals
Certification is optional in the field of occupational health and hygiene but it may be valued by certain employers. Typically, to take any of the exams for certification in the industry, students must have completed an accredited academic program and acquired experience in the industry in which they want to be certified. Certification can be earned through a variety of organizations depending on the industry in which the professional works.
Professional Organizations for Occupational Health and Hygiene Specialists
There are numerous professional organizations and industry resources throughout the United States and world that occupational health and hygiene specialists and students may join or consult for industry information:
- The American Public Health Association (APHA)
- The National Institution for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
In addition, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) lists a more exhaustive list of professional organizations by specialization here.
Areas of Specialization in the Field of Occupational Health and Hygiene
Occupational Health and Hygiene professionals may specialize in a variety of areas of expertise. Some include:
- Hazardous materials and waste management
- Industrial hygiene
- Public health
- Disease control and prevention
- Safety engineering
These and numerous other specializations exist above even more sub-categories of increasingly defined specializations.
Potential Career Opportunities for Occupational Health and Hygiene Graduate Students
Occupational health and hygiene specialists with graduate degrees might pursue careers as researchers, educators, managers, analysts, inspectors, engineers, and investigators. They work in a wide variety of industries and settings in public and private sectors for small, medium and large for-profit and non-profit organizations, institutions, and businesses. They often work fulltime in offices but spend the majority of their time traveling locally, nationally, or globally depending on their specializations, responsibilities, and industries.
Median Annual Salary Information for Occupational Health and Hygiene Professionals
The following chart shows the annual median wage for professionals in the field of occupational health and hygiene.
|2012 Median Annual Salary Information for Select Occupations for Environmental and Occupational Health Professionals|
|Industry||Median Annual Salary|
|Occupational Health & Safety Specialists||$66,790|
|Environmental Scientists & Specialists||$66,530|
|Health & Safety Engineerss||$76,830|
|Occupational Health & Safety Technicians||$47,440|
|Construction & Building Inspectors||$53,450|
|Fire Inspectors & Investigators||$53,990|
|Sources: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/fire-inspectors-and-investigators.htm; http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/occupational-health-and-safety-technicians.htm; http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical- and-social-science/environmental-scientists-and-specialists.htm; http://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and- extraction/construction-and-building-inspectors.htm; http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/health-and- safety-engineers.htm; http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/occupational-health-and-safety-specialists.htm|
- Pittsburgh, PAPittsburgh, PA
University of Pittsburgh
The Master of Science in Occupational Safety and Health Management program is for experienced safety specialists with advanced knowledge in fields of...
- Los Angeles, CALos Angeles, CA
University of California - Los Angeles
This occupational hygiene program trains industrial hygiene practitioners and researchers to recognize, evaluate and control environmental hazards in...
- Murfreesboro, TNMurfreesboro, TN
Middle Tennessee State University
This is a occupational safety and hygiene Master of Science program that can be completed by attending evening classes. A limited number of 20 hr/wk G...
- Loma Linda, CALoma Linda, CA
Loma Linda University
At Loma Linda University's School of Public Health, you get a top-notch Christian education where the school's mission is to further the healing/teach...
- Toledo, OHToledo, OH
Medical College Of Ohio
The Master of Science in Occupational Health degree program at the Medical College of Ohio has been accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineer...
- Butte, MTButte, MT
Montana Tech’s Industrial Hygiene Master’s degree program is accredited by The Applied Science Accreditation Commission of the Accreditations Board of...
- New Orleans, LANew Orleans, LA
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
In the ENHS program, we study the influences of the natural or man-made environment on human health.
- Nottingham, United KingdomNottingham, United Kingdom
Nottingham Trent University
- Auburn, ALAuburn, AL
Engineering approach to accident and work stress prevention.
- Galway, IrelandGalway, Ireland
National University of Ireland, Galway
This programme comprises of course work and a thesis. Admission to the programme is at the discretion of the potential supervisor and the Head of Discipline and is based on a proposal from the applicant.
- Morgantown, WVMorgantown, WV
West Virginia University
- Rochester, MIRochester, MI
It is designed to offer advanced graduate courses to prepare practitioners for the demands of careers in wellness.
- Rochester, MI
- Uxbridge, United KingdomUxbridge, United Kingdom
Brunel's overseas students make an important contribution to the academic and social life of the University.
- London, United KingdomLondon, United Kingdom
University of Greenwich
Covers health and safety issues in industry. Students can elect when they take individual courses and fit them round work commitments.
- Ann Arbor, MIAnn Arbor, MI
University of Michigan
Industrial Hygiene professionals protect workers from chemical, biological, physical and psychosocial agents of disease.
- Little Rock, ARLittle Rock, AR
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
- Riverside, CARiverside, CA
University of California - Riverside
An understanding of workplace health and safety issues is a valuable asset in both the public and private sector. This program offers a comprehensive...
- Stony Brook, NYStony Brook, NY
Stony Brook University (S.U.N.Y.)
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
City University of New York (CUNY) Hunter College