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DOE Jobs Online logo Industrial Hygienist, GS-690

Basic Requirements for All Grades, GS-5 and above

Degree: Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree that included a major field of study in industrial hygiene or a branch of engineering, physical science, or life science that included 12 semester hours in chemistry, including organic chemistry, and 18 additional semester hours of courses in any combination of chemistry, physics, engineering, health physics, environmental health, biostatistics, biology, physiology, toxicology, epidemiology, or industrial hygiene. Courses in the history or teaching of chemistry are not acceptable.


Combination of education and experience: At least 12 semester hours of course work in chemistry, including organic chemistry, and 18 additional semester hours as specified in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

The quality of the combination of education and experience must be sufficient to demonstrate that the applicant possesses the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform work in the occupation, and is comparable to that normally acquired through the successful completion of a full 4-year course of study with a major in the appropriate field. In addition to courses in the major and related fields, a typical college degree would have included courses that involved analysis, writing, critical thinking, research, etc. These courses would have provided an applicant with skills and abilities sufficient to perform progressively more responsible work in the occupation. Therefore, creditable experience should have demonstrated similarly appropriate skills or abilities needed to perform the work of the occupation.

Additional Experience and Education Requirements for GS-7 and Above

In addition to meeting the basic entry qualification requirements, applicants must have specialized experience and/or directly related education in the amounts shown in the table below.




OR Specialized Experience


1 year of graduate-level education or superior academic achievement

1 year equivalent to at least GS-5


2 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master’s degree or master’s or equivalent graduate degree

1 year equivalent to at least GS-7


3 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree or Ph.S. or equivalent doctoral degree

1 year equivalent to at least GS-9

GS-12 and above


1 year equivalent to at least the next lower grade level

NOTE: Education and experience may be combined for all grade levels for which both education and experience are acceptable.




Graduate Education: Completion of graduate level education in the amounts shown in the table, in addition to meeting the basic requirements, is qualifying for positions at grades GS-7 through GS-11, if it provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work. One year of full-time graduate education is considered to be the number of credit hours that the school attended has determined to represent 1 year of full-time study. If that number cannot be obtained from the school, 18 semester hours should be considered an academic year of graduate study. Part-time graduate education is creditable in accordance with its relationship to a year of full-time study at the school attended.

Specialized Experience: Experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled. To be creditable, specialized experience must have been equivalent to at least the next lower grade level in the normal line of progression for the occupation in the organization.

Examples of Specialized Experience: The following types of experience may qualify as specialized experience:

For GS-7: As a trainee industrial hygienist, performs a variety of duties that provide the opportunity to apply industrial hygiene knowledge and skills previously acquired through the academic study and an orientation to agency policies and procedures. Some assignments are similar to those assigned to nonprofessional employees but are performed primarily for training purposes and in some instances, to relieve higher grade scientists of routine work. Receiving formal and on-the-job instruction and training designed to provide familiarization with work site environments, industrial hygiene control procedures, plant operations, safety requirements, and the administrative requirements for operational programs.

For GS-9: Performs developmental assignments and duties relating to the identification and evaluation of conditions in the workplace which may adversely affect the health of employees of private business concerns. Most assignments cover investigation, analysis, and solution of a problem by applying methods outlined by the supervisor. Assignments consist of a variety of duties related to industrial hygiene inspections and are designed to provide diversified experience as a foundation for future responsibility for conducting inspections. Assignments are typically screened to eliminate difficult or unusual problems. Work requires familiarity with and use of a number of standard industrial hygiene principles, methods, and practices in order to solve relatively limited professional problems.

For GS-11: Conducts industrial hygiene inspections of private businesses or plant facilities to assess work practices and environmental conditions for hazards to the health and safety of workers, and to detect violations of published health standards. Generally performs a segment of an inspection under higher grade industrial hygienists conducting complex and difficult inspections; or, independently performs inspection of establishments where work processes are of limited size and complexity. Performs a variety of additional industrial hygiene functions, such as providing technical assistance to employers, following up on abatement actions to be taken by businesses, conducting literature searches related to a specific hazard. Assignments involve varied interrelated tasks where problems encountered are generally of a conventional nature and pose few unusual problems. However, work does require the employee to identify and analyze a variety of health hazards.

For GS-12: Plans and conducts complete evaluations of work operations involving potentially hazardous environmental conditions, analyzes findings, and recommends corrective measures and controls. Evaluations are conducted in agency facilities located within the region. Evaluations may include chemical health hazards resulting from inhalation of vapors, fumes, mists, gases, and dusts, or from skin contact; and from physicial hazards, such as noise, heat or pressure above and below normal atmospheric, and ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. Evaluations and surveys cover a wide range of agency operations at facilities located in various parts of the region. The work activities and work environment involve a substantial amount and variety of exposure to physical, chemical and/or radiological health hazards. The employee is confronted with industrial processes which are frequently changing, and with new materials for which composition and/or toxicological information may be sketchy. The employee may be called on to adapt and modify established methods of control to meet the requirements of the particular situation. For example, exposure to an irritant chemical may pose a skin absorption problem in one situation and an inhalation problem in another.

For GS-13: Plans, coordinates, and conducts assigned detailed surveys and investigations related to recognition, evaluation and formulation of controls for occupational, health hazards. Conducts or serves as team leader, directing surveys of worksites throughout a region or a large, complex facility to identify and evaluate the potential for excessive exposure to toxic materials and harmful physical agents found in the workplace. For some of the materials evaluated, there is little information available on the nature and extent of hazard. Assignments include conducting evaluations of a variety of industrial environments, including heavy industry or highly complex research and development work, and involve the identification and evaluation of hazards about which little may be known. Surveys measuring airborne contaminants often involve combinations of exposures for which acceptable concentrations must be determined. Other complicating factors include new or unusual processes and difficult control problems. The employee must exercise resourcefulness in planning and developing individualized methods and approaches to obtain a valid and complete evaluation.

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Page Last Updated: 7/13/2015 9:29 PM