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Environmental and Occupational Health Emphasis

The environmental and occupational health emphasis prepares public health students to reduce the burden of human illness or injury that results from physical, chemical and biological determinants of health that are external to a person. From air pollution and hazardous waste to risk assessment and injury prevention, students are trained to understand diverse environmental and occupational health tools to keep communities and workers safe and healthy.

With additional experience, including the option of specialized graduate school/training, students may become eligible for one or more national certifications relating to environmental or occupational health. The career outlook for this field is promising.

Environmental Health Specialist

  • Identify (i.e., inspect, monitor), abate, or eliminate sources of pollutants or hazards that affect the environment or human health
  • Work in government (local, state, federal) and private industry (e.g., hazardous materials)
  • Median Salary (BLS 2018): $71,130
  • Job Outlook (2018 – 2028): 8% (above average)

Occupational Health & Safety Specialists

  • Collect data on and analyze work environments and procedures to prevent harm to workers, property, the environment, and the public
  • Work in many sectors, including public agencies (cities, states, federal), private companies in mfg. and construction, insurance (as consultants), consulting companies (e.g., Terracon, Golder)
  • Median Salary (BLS 2018): $69,370
  • Job Outlook (2018 – 2028): 6% (average)

Industrial Hygienist

  • Industrial hygienists are public health professionals whose primary job is to anticipate, recognize, evaluate, and control hazardous exposures in the workplace (e.g., toxic inhalation exposures & noise)
  • Same sectors as OHS Specialists
  • Average Base Salary (AIHA 2019 Salary Survey): $113,641
  • Job Outlook (2018 – 2028): 6% (average)

The book 101 Careers in Public Health and the Explore Health Careers website are also helpful resources for looking for information on specific careers within Public Health. If you would like to check out a copy of 101 Careers in Public Health please speak with the student secretaries in 4103 LSB.

Environmental and Occupational Health Emphasis