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Occupational Health Major

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Occupational Health

179 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
111 Master's Degrees Annually
#67 in Popularity
$74,940 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Occupational Health Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many occupational health and industrial hygiene graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 179
Master’s Degree 111
Graduate Certificate 23
Basic Certificate 13
Doctor’s Degree 5
Undergraduate Certificate 3

What Occupational Health Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, occupational health and industrial hygiene majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in occupational health and industrial hygiene should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

Skills for Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene Majors

occupational health and industrial hygiene majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Abilities for Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene Majors

Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

What Can You Do With a Occupational Health Major?

People with a occupational health and industrial hygiene degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Health Specialties Professors 25.9% $97,370
Occupational Health and Safety Specialists 8.1% $73,020
Occupational Health and Safety Technicians 9.9% $50,780

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Health?

179 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
23% Percent Women
26% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major tends to be male dominated. About 77% of recent graduates are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of occupational health and industrial hygiene majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 0
Black or African American 17
Hispanic or Latino 15
White 111
International Students 12
Other Races/Ethnicities 24

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene, too. About 6.7% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Occupational Health Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $55,270 to $122,320 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to occupational health and industrial hygiene. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for an Occupational Health Major  ( 55270 to 122320 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with occupational health and industrial hygiene require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to occupational health and industrial hygiene have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 2.6%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 6.4%
Bachelor’s Degree 49.8%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 4.9%
Master’s Degree 23.1%
Doctoral Degree 8.1%
Post-Doctoral Training 6.2%

Online Occupational Health Programs

In 2018-2019, 35 schools offered a occupational health and industrial hygiene program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 3 1
Certificate (1-2 years) 1 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 0 0
Bachelor’s Degree 7 1
Post-Baccalaureate 3 1
Master’s Degree 15 2
Post-Master’s 4 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 4 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Occupational Health Worth It?

The median salary for a occupational health and industrial hygiene grad is $74,940 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 88% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $700,800 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to occupational health and industrial hygiene.

Major Number of Grads
General Public Health 19,923
Public Health Education and Promotion 4,529
Other Public Health 2,994
Health Services Administration 2,882
Community Health and Preventive Medicine 2,322
International Public Health/International Health 1,444
Environmental Health 1,229
Behavioral Aspects of Health 529
Health/Medical Physics 211
Maternal and Child Health 172

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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