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MPH and Industrial Health/ Occupational Health & Safety?

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mark87

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Hello. I am new to this forum, and am starting my MPH journey in a couple of weeks at the University of Kentucky, and I have a few questions.

I graduated in 2010 with a BA in Psychology. I decided I didn't want to do much with that. After taking a couple of years off, I was talked into pursuing an MPH. The type of career that I would like to have in the future would be in the area of Occupational Health & Safety, or possibly Industrial Hygiene. However, I am starting to fear that since I have a BA degree in Psychology, and not in a natural science, that I will not be able to obtain such a job. So, my questions that I am left with are:

a) Will a BA in Psychology and an MPH with a concentration in Environmental Health be enough for me to obtain such a position as an Occupational Health and Safety specialist, or an industrial hygienist? Potentially only one, or either, or neither? Or would it be likely to become an occupational health and safety specialist without an MPH?

b) I see that my school offers a concentration in Environmental Health, and not in Environmental Health Science. Would this make a difference in regards to my career goals?

c) When looking at the Occupational Outlook handbook, I see that the median income was ~64k a year. Is this realistic?

d) And lastly, is there anything lingering that you feel I should be aware of in the field? I am concerned with whether there will be much of a demand when I graduate for industrial health and safety. The OOH says it will only increase in demand by 9% (which is 'slower than the national average') in the next 10 years... I'm wondering how accurate that is.

Thank you so much to all who took the time to read this. I just want to make sure that I'm not wasting precious time, money, and commitment in the MPH in regards to my career aspirations...

Mark
 

Stories

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a.) Not sure. But the handful of occupational hygienists I know had some sort of biology, physiology, environmental science, or chemistry undergrad degree.

b.) Same degree as far as I know

c.) Sounds about right. But it depends on the setting, too. Industry workers get more (buddy of mine works at a semiconductor manufacturer and makes $90k)

d.) It's a fairly niche field, but it's not one that a lot of people enter into. You'll likely have to move around to find your job of choice.
 

psychQs

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Hello. I am new to this forum, and am starting my MPH journey in a couple of weeks at the University of Kentucky, and I have a few questions.

I graduated in 2010 with a BA in Psychology. I decided I didn't want to do much with that. After taking a couple of years off, I was talked into pursuing an MPH. The type of career that I would like to have in the future would be in the area of Occupational Health & Safety, or possibly Industrial Hygiene. However, I am starting to fear that since I have a BA degree in Psychology, and not in a natural science, that I will not be able to obtain such a job. So, my questions that I am left with are:

a) Will a BA in Psychology and an MPH with a concentration in Environmental Health be enough for me to obtain such a position as an Occupational Health and Safety specialist, or an industrial hygienist? Potentially only one, or either, or neither? Or would it be likely to become an occupational health and safety specialist without an MPH?

b) I see that my school offers a concentration in Environmental Health, and not in Environmental Health Science. Would this make a difference in regards to my career goals?

c) When looking at the Occupational Outlook handbook, I see that the median income was ~64k a year. Is this realistic?

d) And lastly, is there anything lingering that you feel I should be aware of in the field? I am concerned with whether there will be much of a demand when I graduate for industrial health and safety. The OOH says it will only increase in demand by 9% (which is 'slower than the national average') in the next 10 years... I'm wondering how accurate that is.

Thank you so much to all who took the time to read this. I just want to make sure that I'm not wasting precious time, money, and commitment in the MPH in regards to my career aspirations...

Mark

Hi Mark,

I unfortunately don't have any guidance for you, but it does sound like you have a good head on your shoulders. I'm a 2011 grad with a psych degree, and I'm planning to apply to MPH programs this cycle. When you applied, how did you address your jump from psychology to public health? Or did you feel the need to?

Thanks for reading and all the best to you!
 

virinyu

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Hi all,

I am yet another psych major who is hoping to apply to Industrial Hygiene programs. I doubled majored in chemistry for a few years, but graduated with a chemistry minor. I'm applying to USF's IH program, but I'm uneasy about applying to IH because I don't know how competitive it is, or if my minor will be sufficient background. I like USF's public health program, but I can only apply to one specialty (ie. Industrial Hygiene only, so no Environmental Health) so I would like to know how my chances are. I have decent GRE scores (157Q/159V) and an ok GPA (3.277).

Any advice would be much appreciated!
 

virinyu

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Hi all,

I am yet another psych major who is hoping to apply to Industrial Hygiene programs. I doubled majored in chemistry for a few years, but graduated with a chemistry minor. I'm applying to USF's IH program, but I'm uneasy about applying to IH because I don't know how competitive it is, or if my minor will be sufficient background. I like USF's public health program, but I can only apply to one specialty (ie. Industrial Hygiene only, so no Environmental Health) so I would like to know how my chances are. I have decent GRE scores (157Q/159V) and an ok GPA (3.277).

Any advice would be much appreciated!

FYI, I was accepted to the MSPH IH program at USF! I'll be going there in a few months. Although I graduated with a BS psychology degree, I had about 2/3 of a BS chemistry degree completed as well (hence the minor), a chemistry publication, and I had been working with Disaster Relief, FEMA etc. for 18 months between when I graduated college and now. Still, I thought I was a long shot, but they accepted me! :) I hope to do a post-bacc and finish up the chem degree in the next few years as well.
 
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