Industrial Hygienist Certification

Become an Industrial Hygienist

Industrial Hygienist Resources…

Industrial hygienists are not required to have state licensing. Employers, though, set standards high. Desirable positions often entail certification through the American Board of Industrial Hygiene. In order to be certified by the ABIH, you will need a bachelor’s degree. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in industrial hygiene; a number of other fields are acceptable: chemical engineering, sanitary engineering, mechanical engineering, biology, chemistry, or physics. Other majors may be acceptable, provided you have had enough creditable courses; these can include a mixture of math, science, technology, and engineering classes. Whatever course of study you pursued as an undergraduate, you will need to provide evidence of sufficient training in industrial hygiene. Your training may be part of a degree program or it may be pursued through the continuing education department.

In order to sit for exams, you must also have four years of professional experience, and you must provide references who can attest to your competency performing duties at the professional level. Generally, you are also expected to provide a reference from a Certified Industrial Hygienist (or CIH). If there are none who are familiar with your work, substitutions are allowable. The exam is given twice a year. You can find the full set of rules and exceptions spelled out in the candidate handbook – it can be downloaded from the ABIH site.

It’s an honor to be a CIH, and it’s one that must be maintained. You will need to earn at least 10 Certification Maintenance points every five years. You will find opportunities through organizations like the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists. You can network through professional organizations as well. Continuing education serves multiple goals.