Protect the health and safety of servicemembers Industrial Hygiene

Whether stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, in a submarine 100 feet below the surface of the Pacific, or aboard a 1,000-bed hospital ship in the Caribbean, Sailors and Marines have unique living and working arrangements.

The challenge? Helping Sailors adapt to close and sometimes hazardous conditions. Navy Industrial Hygiene Officers (IHOs) meet that challenge by not only recognizing, evaluating and anticipating hazards, but also by controlling and correcting those hazards.

As a Navy Health Care Specialist, you will develop environmental and operational policies and procedures to protect the health and safety of servicemembers and property, wherever jobs are done.

Job Description

Navy IHOs focus on shielding people, installations and equipment by managing risk within working, living and operating environments worldwide. This specialty practices “Defensive Medicine” outside the Naval hospital or clinic.

As a part of the Navy Health Care Team, you might gather and analyze data that helps doctors determine if a substance or condition is a threat. Or, you might measure workplace contaminants, recommend controls and help servicemembers use appropriate protective equipment.

You could also:

  • Provide direction worldwide to the Department of the Navy (DON) Environmental and Occupational Health, Industrial Hygiene and Safety programs
  • Serve as an advisor to headquarters and operating force Commanders for environmental and occupational health issues, reducing injury and disease risks among Navy and Marine Corps personnel
  • Lead large multidisciplinary departments and directorates (e.g., Occupational Health and Preventive Medicine), directorate-level staff positions and in-command positions (Naval Safety School, Navy Environmental Preventive Medicine Units [NEPMUs], Navy Environmental Health Center [NEHC], etc.)
  • Conduct inspections and training functions in industrial or operational settings aboard ships, at shore-based workplaces, or in the field with Marines and Navy Seabees

Specific Responsibilities

As an IHO in the Navy Medical Service Corps, you will accept responsibility for a broad and rapidly expanding array of environmental and occupational control programs:

  • Hazardous material assessment and disposal
  • Biohazards
  • Safety
  • Respiratory and personal protection equipment
  • Ergonomic hazards
  • Detection, assessment and monitoring of chemical and biological agents in wartime and natural disaster contingencies

Work Environment

With more than 250 Navy and medical facilities around the globe, you could serve anywhere, from an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean, to the world-renowned National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, or even the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii.

Education Opportunities

Wherever you are in your professional career, the Navy can help ease your financial burdens and advance your career with generous scholarships, financial assistance and continuing education programs.

Graduate Students

Navy Health Services Collegiate Program (HSCP) – Graduate students may receive up to $134,600 while finishing your degree. This amount includes a generous monthly salary and housing allowance ranging from $3,280 to $5,610 for up to 24 months.*

Offers have many variables. To get details and find out which offer would benefit you most, request that a Navy Officer Recruiter contact you.

*Navy HSCP housing allowance based on graduate school location. Increased offer amounts available in areas with a higher cost of living.

Practicing Professionals

There's an alternative to spending years paying down the cost of your graduate education. If you're currently a practicing professional, you could potentially be eligible to receive financial assistance through the Navy Health Professions Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP). Talk to a Navy Officer Recruiter for more information.

Offers have many variables. To get information and find out which offer would benefit you most, request that a Navy Officer Recruiter contact you.


To qualify for Active Duty employment consideration as an IHO in the Navy Medical Service Corps, you must meet these basic requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen currently practicing in the U.S. (contact a
    Navy Medical Recruiter for details)
  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree with a major in industrial hygiene. Bachelor’s or master’s degree in public health, environmental sciences, chemistry, industrial engineering or industrial safety is also acceptable
  • Be willing to serve a minimum of three years of Active Duty
  • Be between the ages of 18 and 41
  • Be in good physical condition and pass a full medical examination

You may also be expected to meet certain preferred requirements:

  • Master’s degree in industrial hygiene, preferably from a program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • Master of Science or doctoral degree
  • Certification in comprehensive practice by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH)
  • Successful completion of calculus, biology, two academic years of chemistry (including inorganic and organic chemistry with labs), and a total of at least 40 semester hours of pure science
  • Field experience as an industrial hygienist or industrial hygiene technologist


After the Navy

There are Industrial Hygiene opportunities in the civilian world, but nothing rivals the training and educational opportunities, benefits and experience, plus amazing pride and purpose you’ll discover in America’s Navy. Here, you’ll enjoy superior career advancement opportunities that will pay off long after you return to the civilian world.

Consider Your Service Options.

There are different ways that you can commit to serve in America's Navy. Besides full-time opportunities in Active Duty, part-time Reserve positions are also available in this career area.