2020 ASCA Career Development Series:
Careers Your Students Should Know About: Law/Public Safety/Corrections/Security, Health Sciences

Nov. 5, 2020, 12–1 p.m. EST
Join us for a robust set of Careers Your Students Should Know About sessions, which will help you learn about different industries and fields that may be right for your students to consider.

Learn More

Have you talked with your students about the growing field of occupational and environmental health and safety (OEHS)? Traditionally known as Industrial Hygienists, these experts are in high-demand by companies across the globe.

Companies across all industries are recruiting directly from universities before graduation, to ensure they hire the professionals they need. And because demand continues for this talent pool, the scholarship opportunities for college students choosing OEHS are robust.

Talk with your students about the benefits of an OEHS career:

  • Little to no tuition debt, due to abundance of scholarships offered for IH students
  • High demand upon graduation
  • Higher-than-average starting salary, compared to other science or health-based careers
  • Strong career path
  • On-the-job flexibility and spontaneity
  • Altruistic career, helping others stay healthy and safe

A future in OEHS is for students interested in:

  • Pre-med
  • Pre-pharma
  • Biomedical/biochemistry engineering
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Nursing
  • Epidemiology
  • Toxicology
“It’s problem solving. It’s critical thinking. It’s spontaneous, every day.”

What can you do with an OEHS degree?

Learn why Subena Colligan of Gulfstream Aerospace Corp loves being an OEHS professional.

OEHS careers promise high job placement, with internships in natural resource, pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, oil and gas companies, mining, federal and state government departments, national energy labs and chemical manufacturing, among many others.

According to the 2019 AIHA Salary Survey, the average starting salary among young professionals was $58,300; after 10 years with their certificate, the reported average annual base salary in the US was $113,641.

Each day is different, and the “office” could be a manufacturing plant, a lab, an oil rig, a construction site, a railway or a potential natural disaster site. While the possibilities are endless, the commonalities are the knowledge and expertise to prevent health and safety risks:

  • Protect workers (and the environment) from oil spills at refineries
  • Prevent injuries at construction sites
  • Work with software developers in specialized health information technology
  • Help first responders and safety professionals better prepare for natural disasters
  • Consult with chemical manufacturers to ensure proper storage and compliance
  • Transform mining sites into more ‘green’ platforms, ensuring sustainability
  • Lead a scientific research firm in safely developing pharmaceuticals

Learn more about the career path.

Resources for you and your students:

Membership has helped him establish himself amongst his peers.

Benefits of Belonging

Jacob Shedd, PhD candidate at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and AIHA member since 2017 speaks about the importance of getting involved with AIHA from the beginning as a student and the benefits of membership.
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A Professor’s View:

I was a pre-med student, biochemistry major in college. After job shadowing, I realized while I wanted to help people, medicine might not be for me. My junior year, I took an environmental health class which included OH&S, focusing on public health and prevention. I learned I would get to use the science, math and chemistry I love, and help people without being in a hospital.

Now that I’m a professor, I strongly encourage my students to look into Occupational Health and Safety as a career. With a career in OH&S, there’s a career path, job placement, and no high debt after graduation.

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Dan Autenrieth, Ph.D., CIH, CSP
Assistant Professor, Science & Engineering Montana Tech​