A degree in Environmental and Occupational Health (EOH) will prepare students to create healthier communities and workplaces, create and promote sustainable development, develop emergency response and disaster planning and much more. Organizations such as the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are key resources for individuals with Environmental and Occupational Health degrees.
Where Can You Get a Environmental and Occupational Health Degree?
A degree in EOH can be received from almost any school that has a school of public health or public health program. Because of the changes in climate, and public opinion on the environment, careers in environmental sciences are on the rise, leading to most schools offering degrees in the field. Schools such as Johns Hopkins and the Bloomberg School of public health offer bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees in EOH. The University of Pittsburgh also offers all options of degrees. However, some universities will not offer undergraduate degrees specifically in Environmental and Occupational Health, but a similar degree that will work nicely with a MPH or MS in Environmental and Occupational Health.
Online Degrees in Environmental and Occupational Health
Online degrees are becoming more popular at the masters and doctoral leaves, however many schools are not offering EOH bachelor's degrees entirely online. This may be because at the bachelor's level specific EOH degrees are not as available as more generic degrees, such as biology and environmental sciences. Additionally, much of any Environmental and Occupational degree requires hands on data collection, research, and experiences, making it a difficult program to translate online.
Featured Online Master's in Public Health Programs
The following sponsored schools offer MPH degrees online, and are currently accepting applicants for their programs.
Simmons' online Master of Public Health program, [email protected], is designed to give you the real-world skills you need to address health inequity on a local, national, and global scale. You'll learn core public health methodology, leadership, and advocacy skills needed to improve population health equity. No GRE required.
Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Health
Most often received as a Bachelor of Science, a EOH degree is a good fit for those who are passionate about human and environmental health and desire to use science to keep them healthy and safe. Many programs are within a school of public health, so there may be GPA and prerequisite course requirements before acceptance into the school. Personal statements and interviews might also be included in the admission process. Once admitted course work will consist of basic sciences, research methods, and environmental health courses. Electives may include zoonotic diseases, waste management, occupational health, and many other topics.
Internships are an important, although not often required, part of an undergraduate degree in EOH. Because the field is, growing, there is a high number of students seeking employment in EOH. Receiving an internship and hands on experience is an important factor many employers look for in potential new hires. Having this experience ensures that what was learned in the class room can be put into practices and provides a new learning environment. A bachelors degree will be adequate for most entry level career positions.
Master's Degree in Environmental Health
A Master's of Public Health is a great way to get a degree in Environmental and Occupational Health. Acceptance into most programs requires a minimum GPA, successful completion of a bachelors in a related field, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement or interview. The course work will include public health courses that will ensure students have an understanding of how environmental and occupational health are influenced (and influence) all other aspects of public health. Once the EOH track or concentration is chosen course work will include toxicology, epidemiology, policy, risk assessment and others.
A MPH in Environmental and Occupational Health will prepare a student for a leadership position in EOH with both private companies and governmental agencies. Research, community education, and policy analysis are some of the skills learned through the EOH MPH. These skills will be assessed through a practicum or internship experience along with a capstone or thesis. Each of these will provide the hands on experience and research needed to work in EOH.
Doctorate Degree in Environmental Health
A Doctoral degree in EOH is for the individual who has an MPH and is aspiring to a higher leadership position or academia. The focus of the coursework will be on epidemiological methods, statistical reasoning, and data analysis. In addition to these, courses in ethics, law, research methods, public health policy and public health regulations will be taken. These will provide the student with the skills needed to develop policies and regulations at regional, national and international levels.
Why Work in Environmental and Occupational Health?
An individual may consider a degree in EOH because of the high demand for workers. Public opinion and concern is growing for the environment and occupational health making this career desirable. Additionally, a career in EOH will provide many opportunities to create policies and regulations that will keep whole populations safe and healthy.
Who Should Work in Environmental Health?
EOH careers are best suited for those who are investigative, realistic and enjoy following procedure and routine. Those with an interest in the sciences and the environment and how each will affect public health will enjoy this degree. Not only will a career in EOH require the ability to conduct and analyze research, it also requires a fair amount of policy understanding, development and analyzing. Because of this, attention to detail, dependability, and analytical thinking are needed.
What Can You Do With an Environmental and Occupational Health Degree?
There are many options available to an individual with a degree in EOH. Some examples include:
- Consumer Safety Officer
- Environmental Protection Officer
- Food and Safety Specialist
- Industrial Hygienist
- Occupational Health and Safety Specialist
- Sanitary Engineer
- Health and Safety Manager
- Worksite Wellness Coordinator
Occupation Spotlight: Environmental Scientist
An Environmental Scientist will clean up pollution, work with policy makers and industry to reduce waste and pollution. For many entry-level positions, a bachelor's degree in EOH is the standard. Many employers also look for students with data analysis and geographic information class work. Internships are also important for those seeking entry-level positions. Some careers require masters level degrees, however work experience is weighted heavily among employers. The median pay for an Environmental Scientist is about $66,000 per year and the job market is expected to grow significantly, making this a great opportunity for bachelor's degree students and those seeking their MPH (source).