Careers in Occupational and Environmental Health

The Department of Occupational & Environmental Health has an excellent record of career placement. We prepare our students for important, well-compensated careers on the front lines of public health.

Our graduates are protecting and improving the lives of workers and communities around the world every day. They work in local, state, national, and international agencies; industry; consulting firms; private organizations; and academic institutions.

Here are just a few of the positions we’re proud to report our graduates currently hold:

Employer Job Title
3M Company Environmental Health Science Engineer
BP America Occupational Health & Safety Team Leader
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer
Clemson University Assistant Professor
CUNY School of Public Health Assistant Professor
DuPont Research Planning Analyst
ERM (Environmental Resources Management) Consultant/Project Engineer
IBM Staff Wellbeing Professional
Iowa OSHA Senior Industrial Hygienist
John Deere Industrial Hygienist
Linn County Department of Public Health Environmental Supervisor
Lockheed Martin Environmental Health & Safety Engineer
Mayo Clinic Health System Occupational Medicine Physician
Michelin North America Industrial Hygienist
New York State Department of Health Injury Prevention Specialist
NIOSH Associate Service Fellow
OSHA Industrial Hygienist – Compliance Officer
Ruraq Maki (Nonprofit) Global Health worker
University of Nebraska Medical Center Associate Professor
University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics Director of Workers Health Clinic, Professor
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Assistant Professor
US Navy, Naval Hospital Rota Spain Department Head, Industrial Hygiene & Safety
Western Kentucky University Associate Professor

The skills that the Department of Occupational & Environmental Health teaches are in high demand. The ASPPH projects that the United States will face a shortfall of about 250,000 public health workers in 2020. An OEH degree from the University of Iowa can lead to employment in a wide variety of exciting and rewarding positions.

With an MPH in Occupational & Environmental Health, you could:

  • Develop, manage, and coordinate preparedness plans to respond to threats of bioterrorism and other public health emergencies
  • Develop, direct, or coordinate programs that regulate or control environmental pollution
  • Conduct inspections, perform investigations and evaluate environmental health conditions for a public health agency
  • Collect and assess community population–based health data involving public health protection, prevention, and improvement for a public health agency

You could earn an MS degree in Occupational & Environmental Health while pursuing specialized training in Industrial Hygiene, Toxicology, Ergonomics, or Agricultural Health. Training in these areas can prepare you to:

  • Analyze a work environment and design a program to control, eliminate, and prevent disease or injury (Industrial Hygiene)
  • Plan and implement laboratory and field studies that isolate and identify toxic substances that have harmful effects on animals, plants or ecosystems (Toxicology)
  • Develop workstations in an industrial setting to minimize musculoskeletal injuries (Ergonomics)
  • Implement a program to educate farmers on the hazards of working with large equipment (Agricultural Health)

With a Ph.D. degree in Occupational & Environmental Health, you could:

  • Perform research that leads to the publication of scientific papers
  • Present findings, and in the case of forensic work, give evidence in court
  • Oversee government agencies related to the environmental and health sciences
  • Direct an environmental health and safety program

Master’s Level Sample Positions

Estimated starting salary range $40,000–$55,000

  • Environmental Health Specialist
  • Research Program Manager
  • Environmental Health & Safety Manager
  • Industrial Hygienist
  • Research Assistant
  • Environmental Health Manager
  • Pollution Prevention Specialist
  • Program Coordinator II
  • Program Manager

Doctoral Level Sample Positions

Estimated salary starting range $50,000–$80,000

  • Postdoctoral Research Scientist
  • Tenure-track Assistant Professor
  • Director of Environmental Health
  • Environmental Health Scientist
  • Senior Industrial Hygienist

Questions or comments? Contact Dave Asa. This page was last reviewed on August 11, 2015.