Role Models

Name:

Joan

Title:

Industrial Hygiene Consultant. I'm hired by employers who want to make sure that their employees are safe and healthy at work. The hazard might be anything from hazardous chemicals to infectious diseases to radiation. I observe the work site, monitor the hazards, and make recommendations to the employers about how to correct any problems I may have uncovered.

Path:

I was always interested in science, even though it wasn't my best subject. I earned a bachelor's degree in biology. After graduation from college, I joined the Army. There I was trained in preventive medicine, the medical specialty wherein efforts are made to prevent illnesses and injuries. When I left the Army, I went to work for a consulting firm where I gained more training in industrial hygiene. Since then I've gone on to work as a staff industrial hygienist for a research development facility, as a regional manager for a consulting firm, and as the owner of my own consulting business.

Comments:

If you wish to enter this career, the best way to do so would be to earn any of the sciences or engineering degrees. Sometimes a college will offer a bachelor's degree in industrial hygiene, but more often this is offered in the master's program. College training is becoming more important, since the field is becoming more competitive. You'll also want to earn a certification in the field through the American Board of Industrial Hygiene. Be sure not to neglect developing yourself once you've gained your degree. This means joining and becoming an active participant in a professional organization. There are several to choose from, but it is important that other professionals know you. This will open up many unforseen opportunities.
Back to women's professions