WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Companies forced to comply with a growing number of regulations on pollution and job hazards are actively seeking students who major in both health physics and industrial hygiene, says David Tate, director of student services in Purdue's School of Health Sciences.
''Companies have to comply with these laws but often can't afford both a health physicist and an industrial hygienist,'' he says. ''So they're eager to hire one person knowledgeable in both areas.''
Industrial hygienists deal with such issues as hazardous waste, indoor air quality, and air and noise pollution. Health physicists design and direct programs to protect people from the harmful effects of X-rays, lasers and other radiation.
Purdue's School of Health Sciences offers the dual degree. Students typically take four years to graduate, but may take longer if they add other courses or have switched to the program from a different degree, Tate says.
Internships are available for students in this dual major at major oil refineries, chemical manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies, nuclear power plants, medical facilities, and automotive and steel plants, as well as public and private environmental consulting firms.
Bachelor's graduates of this dual-degree program can command starting salaries of approximately $37,000, Tate says. Graduates who have been working four or five years in the field can make as much as $50,000 to $60,000.
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