A new eGuide from the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) offers recommendations to industrial hygienists and occupational hygienists on ways to manage and advance their careers – no matter what stage of their career they’re at.

The  IH Professional Pathway eGuide (PDF) offers practical suggestions to IH/OH professionals, with advice aligned with three different "tracks": technical, management and leadership. AIHA says the eGuide can be used by college students pursuing a technical course of study – even if they have not yet decided on a specific vocation - or more established professionals, perhaps contemplating a career change.

A road map to an IH/OH career

"As a university professor, I know how important it is for students to be able to envision a career path before they commit to a degree program,” said sDr. Steven Lacey, CIH, AIHA member and part of the team that authored the eGuide. Lacy said the eGuide “will serve as a central piece of this road map."

The eGuide highlights the five stages of an IH career: student/intern, early career professional, professional, senior professional and emeritus professional. IH/OH professionals will find recommendations on the required skills development for career advancement — from student through early to senior career professional to emeritus — along with suggested AIHA education courses that can help with such skills development.

The eGuide highlights educational resources appropriate by career stage, offers a summary of allied professionals with whom the IH/OH professional may work and encourages and supports the attainment of credentials such as certifications and registrations.

Management and leadership

"What I appreciate most about this document is the equal emphasis on management and leadership. IHs who have only technical skills are really only doing half the job — without communication, planning and mentoring skills, their impact will likely be limited," said Lacey.

The eGuide is the product of AIHA member volunteers, including the Women in IH Committee, who built on the initial inspiration of the original Career Stages Task Force.  It is a new addition to the list of IH Professional Pathways Program resources, which include the following:

  • Career Advantage: a reliable online job board that connects IH and occupational and environmental health and safety job seekers with employers across all industries
  • AIHA Education: cutting-edge information and training for current and aspiring IH/OH professionals
  • Core Competencies for the Practice of Industrial/Occupational Hygiene: a document that identifies the 17 core competencies necessary in the IH profession
  • AIHA Mentoring Program: a way to provide AIHA student members and early- to mid-career professionals with mentors to assist them in their career development and to provide them with professional guidance. 

For more information regarding this program, visit the IH Professional Pathways page. To download a free copy of the AIHA IH Professional Pathway eGuide, visit AIHA's website.