The technical knowledge path involves education and training in IH technical skills, such as exposure assessment, environmental and occupational risk assessment, and exposure control program management.
At this beginning stage, the student/intern recognizes the fundamentals of industrial hygiene and forms a perspective on the scope of the profession, including toxicology, industrial processes, exposure assessment, and control strategies. During this stage, the student also begins to identify specific areas of interest that appeal to them. They also develop knowledge in adjacent professions such as occupational safety and environmental. Student/interns should be active members in an AIHA Student Local Section and look to hone their communications skills. Time management, project management, and other professional skills are introduced and built upon so they can easily translate to a future workplace.
Early Career Professional
The early career professional (ECP), also categorized as a young professional, continues to master the core competencies learned from the previous stage, often applying their new knowledge and skills in the workplace. They begin to develop an ability to work independently on IH projects, under the guidance of an IH professional. It is expected that the ECP will do most of the detail-oriented and routine field work. These new professionals are active, contributing members of a technical committee and an AIHA Local Section. They will continue to gain proficiency in workforce communications, including presentations, public speaking, and technical writing. Young professionals are considered emerging subject matter experts as they experience rapid growth in professional knowledge and experience.
IH professionals have attained a CIH certificate or the equivalent in skills and experience. They also continue developing, implementing, and evaluating comprehensive IH programs. In addition, they also contribute educational tools that develop other professionals. Developing, implementing, and evaluating new innovative methods that bring efficiency to operations is not uncommon. At this stage, professionals hold leadership roles in AIHA committees and engage in committee projects, often while remaining active or possibly leading their AIHA Local Section. They are comfortable interpreting and applying regulatory policy on a regional level.
They should be comfortable managing other professionals and staff, leading teams, demonstrating strategic influence, and providing leadership on technical and policy issues. They often participate in developing regulations, standards, and guidelines in their areas of expertise.
The penultimate stage of an IH career within the knowledge path, the senior professional is capable of assessing large-scale impact and often drives national and global strategy. They are often called to participate in and influence the development of regulations, standards, and guidelines. They hold significant volunteer leadership roles and identify key emerging issues. Managing a large number of varied professionals--whether directly or through subordinates--is vital to continued success. These senior professionals also advise multiple facilities, management teams, and cross-functional teams. Significant experience in organizational leadership, business management, and adjacent fields makes them in high demand for positions of national and global importance within their field.
The Emeritus Professional may (or may not) be retired and is wholly focused on passing the torch with regards to their accumulated knowledge and experience. They spend extra time volunteering and mentoring new and early career professionals.