University of South Florida
College of Public Health
Environmental and Occupational Health
12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33612
What is Industrial Hygiene?
According to the American Industrial Hygiene Association, the field of Industrial Hygiene (also known as Environmental Exposure Assessment and Control) is devoted to the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, control and prevention of environmental factors or stresses arising in or from the workplace which may cause sickness, impaired health and well being or significant discomfort among workers or citizens of the community.
If you pursue a career in Industrial Hygiene, you will be called upon to recognize, evaluate and control hazards – chemical, physical, biological or psychological. For example, you might have to manage the after-effects of a fire at a chemical plant. Or you could be hired to consult with a manufacturing company on how to prevent on-the-job violence. Another possible job may involve prevention and management of the spread of mold in the workplace.
What type of educational background should an Industrial Hygiene student have?
Students who are successful in the Industrial Hygiene program typically have undergraduate degrees in one of the sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics), or Engineering.
What will my academic program be like?
Students in Industrial Hygiene will take courses on topics such as air quality, risk assessment and environmental health law. To facilitate their classroom knowledge, students will participate in a field experience. Students have the option to travel nationally or internationally for their field experience. We prepare our students for a life of professional practice, and expect graduates to advance in their careers. We are accredited by the Applied Science Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org. Our expectations regarding student outcomes are shown here.
The USF Industrial Hygiene Program is dedicated to continuous improvement in accordance with the needs of your students and stakeholders, the profession, and the standards of ABET. Visit the Continuous Improvement Process page to learn more about this process.
What program do graduates accomplish?
Our graduates work in a variety of job sites such as nuclear power plants, petroleum companies and even orange juice manufacturers. Some of our graduates opt to go to work for a branch of the military or for government agencies such as OSHA or the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Some go into consulting work, while others pursue academic careers. In addition, we expect our graduates to continue to grow in the field of industrial hygiene and we measure graduate success according to these program objectives.
How many students are in the program and what is the graduation rate?
Information on student enrollment and graduation is presented here: http://health.usf.edu/publichealth/eoh/ih_students
How much money can I earn as an Industrial Hygienist?
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, median annual earnings of occupational health and safety specialists were $51,570 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $39,580 and $65,370. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $30,590, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $79,530. Median annual earnings of occupational health and safety specialists in May 2004 were $48,710 in local government and $44,400 in State government.
Median annual earnings of occupational health and safety technicians were $42,130 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $29,900 and $56,640. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $22,860, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $70,460.
How do I get started?
Follow this link to access application materials
For more information on the MSPH in Industrial Hygiene, visit:
Industrial Hygiene (MSPH)