Occupational hygienists work for:
- industrial plants
- consulting firms
- public utilities
- insurance companies
- labour unions
- educational and research institutions.
Experienced occupational hygienists may be promoted to management positions or set up their own consulting firms. Advancement for those who have doctoral degrees generally takes the form of salary increases, more demanding research responsibilities or senior management positions.
Industry and government often work co-operatively on health and safety issues. Opportunities exist for occupational hygienists to work on industry-wide and even international projects through industry groups.
Occupational hygienists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 4161: Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers. In Alberta, 78% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:
The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:
- trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
- location in Alberta
- employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
- occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
- size of the occupation.
Over 3,900 Albertans are employed in the Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.5% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 59 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As occupational hygienists form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for occupational hygienists.
Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.