2017 Accredited Online Occupational Safety Degrees

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Quick Facts
Accreditation: ABET
Degree Levels: Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, and Certificate
Avg Tuition: $15,990
Avg Salary: $109,479

Students can study occupational safety online at the associate, bachelor's, and master's levels. Online undergraduate and graduate certificates in the field are also available. Graduates of an online occupational safety program may find work in a variety of different roles, from monitoring safety on a construction site to checking for potentially disease-causing toxins in a factory. Professionals in occupational safety may also be in charge of creating safety procedures or implementing a plan for a more environmentally friendly workplace.

Those interested in completing an online degree program in occupational safety should also be sure choose an accredited program to help ensure that they are receiving an education that meets national standards. We also provide rankings of the top online colleges offering occupational safety degrees to help students find affordable and academically rigorous programs.

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Comprehensive List of Accredited Online Schools - Occupational Safety Degrees (19)

Top Online Colleges Offering Occupational Safety Degrees

Occupational Safety-Top Online Colleges-2017-Badge

These 10 schools are the top online colleges that offer occupational safety degrees, determined by academic quality and affordability. The schools on this list offer occupational safety degrees at a variety of levels, from certifications to master's degrees, and in a wide range of specializations, including psychology, organizational leadership, and safety management for annual tuitions under $15,000 a year. Waldorf University, ranked fourth, offers the biggest variety of degrees, with eight options to choose from.

All schools considered for this list offer fully online occupational safety degrees at the certificate level or higher. View our methodology for more details, or learn more about SR Education Group.

Rank School Annual Tuition Academic Strength
#1 #1 Iowa State University Annual Tuition $5,920 Academic Strength 72%
#2 #2 Western Kentucky University Annual Tuition $7,440 Academic Strength 62%
#3 #3 University of Connecticut Annual Tuition $8,974 Academic Strength 77%
#4 #4 Waldorf University Annual Tuition $8,550 Academic Strength 58%
#5 #5 Indiana State University Annual Tuition $8,783 Academic Strength 56%
#6 #6 Murray State University Annual Tuition $9,600 Academic Strength 60%
#7 #7 Eastern Kentucky University Annual Tuition $12,000 Academic Strength 62%
#8 #8 Southeastern Oklahoma State University Annual Tuition $12,114 Academic Strength 59%
#9 #9 East Carolina University Annual Tuition $12,902 Academic Strength 64%
#10 #10 Oakland University Annual Tuition $14,980 Academic Strength 67%
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Which Occupational Safety Degree Level Is Best for Me?

Online occupational safety programs can be found at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and certificate level. Associate degrees prepare students for some entry-level work in the field, as well as for transfer to a bachelor's degree program. A bachelor's degree is necessary for most occupational safety specialist jobs. At the master's level, graduates will have more opportunities for advancement, as there are some positions which may require a master's degree. A certificate can add to an individual's resume and enhance their skill set, and may be enough to qualify them for certain entry-level jobs, depending on the certificate level and their other work experience.

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Online Associate Degrees in Occupational Safety

An online associate degree in occupational safety is meant to provide students with a solid foundation on which to begin building their careers. Graduates of an associate program will have gained the knowledge and skills to seek entry-level positions in the field. They will understand the basics of workplace health and safety risks and regulations and be able to apply them in a real-world setting. Other individuals who may benefit from an online occupational safety associate degree are those who are already working in fields such as manufacturing, fire science, or construction and want to add to their skill or and gain a better grasp on risk management in the workplace.

Program Requirements

Applicants to an online associate degree program will usually need to have a high school diploma or GED and may need to submit transcripts. An associate degree typically requires 60 semester credit hours of work and two years to complete.

Curriculum

Online associate degree programs generally include a combination of general education requirements and coursework related to occupational safety. Curricular requirements usually include classes in dealing with hazardous materials, fire prevention, industrial hygiene, and accident investigation, and project management.

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Online Bachelor's Degrees in Occupational Safety

An online bachelor's degree in occupational safety is what is most commonly required for occupational safety specialist jobs. A bachelor's program will provide students with more advanced knowledge and skills than the associate will, and individuals who do not have any experience in the field and want to find entry-level work should consider enrolling in a bachelor's degree program. Graduates may be qualified for jobs in fields such as construction, fire science, and manufacturing. Interested individuals can find these online occupational safety degrees at colleges and universities across the country.

Program Requirements

Applicants to an online bachelor's program need to have a high school diploma or equivalent and will need to submit high school transcripts and any college transcripts they may have. Other application requirements may include a personal statement or essay and/or SAT or ACT scores. A bachelor's degree usually takes four years and 120 credit hours to complete.

Curriculum

Coursework in an online occupational safety bachelor's degree program will include general education requirements in math, science, humanities, and social sciences. Core classes for the major will cover topics like industrial hygiene, fire safety, industrial ergonomics, toxicology, legal aspects of health and safety, construction safety, workers' compensation, fire prevention, and handling hazardous materials. Some schools will require a senior capstone project or an internship which must be completed prior to graduation.

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Online Master's in Occupational Safety

Individuals who are interested in advanced study of the occupational safety field may be interested in an online master's degree. A master's program can help professionals advance their careers and take on greater leadership and management roles.

Program Requirements

Online master's degree programs in occupational safety are designed for those who either already have a bachelor's degree in occupational safety or a related field, or for those who have another type of bachelor's degree and work experience related to occupational safety. In addition to a bachelor's and/or work experience, depending on the program, an applicant may also need letters of recommendation and to take a graduate entrance exam such as the GRE in order to be admitted. Master's programs can be found at colleges and universities around the country, take one to two years to complete, and generally consist of 30 to 36 semester credit hours.

Curriculum

While studying for their online degree, students can expect to take classes covering topics such as management techniques, workplace risk factors, regulatory requirements for health and safety, ergonomics, safety engineering, and management of hazardous materials. Students will also be expected to complete a thesis or final project. Graduates may seek out careers as Occupational Safety and Health Specialists, Environmental Health and Safety Coordinators, and Occupational Claims and Safety Managers.

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Online Certificates in Occupational Safety

Online occupational safety certificate programs are available for students who are either not yet ready to commit to a full degree, or who want to earn an additional credential to add to their skill sets and enhance their resumes. Certificates can be found at the undergraduate and graduate level. Those who complete one of these programs may be able to enter the field of occupational safety or advance in their current careers. Undergraduate certificates will cover the basic fundamentals of the field, while graduate certificates cover more advanced topics. A high school diploma or equivalent is necessary to enroll in an undergraduate certificate.

Admission to a graduate-level online certificate program will require a bachelor's degree. The number of credits and amount of time for completion will vary depending on the program, but a certificate can generally be earned in a year or less. Undergraduate certificate students will take classes such as the fundamentals of occupational safety, construction safety, and OSHA standards. Graduate certificates may include coursework in safety and accident prevention, advanced toxicology, and advanced industrial hygiene. Online certificates in occupational safety can be found in colleges and universities around the country.

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The Importance of an Accredited Online Occupational Safety Degree

When deciding which online degree program to apply to, it is important to keep both programmatic and regional accreditation in mind.

If a college or university has been regionally accredited that means that an independent agency has evaluated that school on several factors, such as strength of curriculum and quality of faculty, and decided that the school meets certain standards of academic excellence. Students want to make sure they choose a regionally accredited school for many reasons, including the ease of which credits transfer between accredited institutions, and because federal financial aid can only be used at accredited schools.

There are also agencies that accredit programs covering specific subjects. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) is the predominant accrediting agency for programs in engineering and engineering technology, computers, and applied science. Occupational safety programs fall under ABET's accreditation jurisdiction. Students should try to choose an online occupational safety program that is accredited by ABET, as this will help to ensure that they are receiving an education that meets a rigorous set of standards and that they will learn the skills relevant to the profession.

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Careers in Occupational Safety

Professionals who earn an online occupational safety degree will be equipped with the knowledge necessary to work in various industries. Much of their work will center around making sure businesses and individuals are acting in a safe and responsible manner and that they are following different safety codes and regulations. They may help with the design and implementation of programs and procedures to stop injuries and diseases from occurring in the workplace. Occupational safety specialists might also be involved in coming up with environmentally friendly business practices. Possible job titles include Plant Safety Manager, OSHA Trainer, Construction Site Safety Manager, and Corporate Safety Director.

Depending on the particular job desired, advanced training and education may be needed. For example, some positions require a master's degree in health physics, industrial hygiene, or similar. Professional certification is also available. It is not usually required to find a job, but it can make an applicant more competitive, and some employers prefer to hire someone who is certified.

References

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