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Industrial Hygiene and OSHA Careers
By Sam MacArthur

OSHA stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It is part of the United States Department of Labor, created by Congress in 1970. The purpose of OSHA is to provide better safety standards and healthful working conditions, as well as resources for all working men and women in all fifty states, including territories that are owned and operated under the USA.

The Importance of OSHA and Occupational Health

OSHA enforces occupational health and safety standards by offering training, assistance, and education to workers, supervisors, and managers. According to the OSHA website, OSHA is led by the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health (OHS). The job of OHS is to ensure each worker has access to health programs and understands safety standards. OHS also addresses any welfare issues of their workers, including to family members, coworkers, and stakeholders within the workplace.

Remember, the objective of OSHA employers are to keep people safe and provide appropriate training to workers. OSHA jobs address these concerns by having safety hazards listed while preventing accidents from occurring. OSHA provides many resources for both the worker and the employers that hire them. You can also find information on health statistics and training requirements for certain OSHA positions on the website.

Who Works for OSHA?

There are so many job opportunities for OSHA seeking candidates. The types of positions available through OSHA include evaluation specialists, environmental health inspectors, safety representatives, safety inspectors, and maintenance technicians. Other job careers paths associated by OSHA are excavator operators, service managers, and project administrators. Employment can be at government agencies, like the CDC, or construction sites, factories, and some healthcare facilities. Sometimes OSHA workers are self-employed contractors, or work in private or public sector positions as well.

Most job description for OSHA employees are responsible for recording health and safety concerns within the workplace, ensure safety standards and regulations are up to date, and enforce licensure of health and safety issues, and workman compensation are accurate. Those who work in the food industry may need to examine food quality and provide periodic inspections. According to the OHS website, some OHS jobs require their employees to be familiar with workplace hazards like Chemicals, Physical hazards, Biological agents, Psychological fallout, Ergonomic issues, and Accidents.

How to Get a Job with OSHA

Most Job positions available through OSHA requires at least a bachelor’s degree in Public Health, Occupational Health and Safety or Environmental Science. On occasion, an Associates of Applied Science (AAS) in concentrations similar to occupational health and environmental health are accepted for some positions. Courses for these programs include health sciences, fire safety, and ergonomics. Fundamentals of OSHA standards and practices, practical and theoretical studies of occupational health, and identifying and analyzing safety hazards can also be a great benefit for the student.

For graduates who strive to earn a managerial position in OSHA, then working toward a Master’s degree in industrial hygiene would be a better choice. A Master’s in Public Health (MPH) or health administration (MHA) are two of the best options for OSHA workers. Sometimes an occupational health worker can receive tuition for free or at a discount by their employer for higher learning possibilities.

Several websites offer job positions as an OSHA employee. Going on Indeed.com, Job golem, or careertrend.com are great places to start looking for employment. However, the OSHA website itself has a search bar to help assist prospective candidates find specific career opportunities within their company. The only requirement to get started on your search is to register your email with the site. Besides OSHA, some private companies and hospitals may offer positions; for instance, occupational safety and health specialists.

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