Bachelor of Science (BS): Safety Engineering Degree Overview

Explore alternatives to a Bachelor of Science in Safety Engineering program. Discover course topics related to this field, and review employment outlook projections for health and safety engineers.

Essential Information

While Bachelor of Science in Safety Engineering programs aren't available, high school graduates can apply to a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety and Health program, which highlights science, fire prevention and construction safety topics. Another option is a Bachelor of Science in Fire Protection and Safety Engineering program, which imparts knowledge of health and safety engineering through the study of safety analysis and arson investigation procedures. Laboratory experiences may be included.


Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety and Health

Occupational safety and health programs emphasize principles of math, health, physics, psychology, speech and engineering technology. Within this type of degree program, students explore the fundamentals necessary to improve the safety and health of both workers and the general population, protecting them from injury and illness.

Students have the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art equipment and perform hygiene and safety duties, leaving the program with a thorough understanding of safety management, fire protection, industrial hygiene and occupational safety. In general, a student seeking admission into this degree program has earned a high school diploma or its GED equivalent.

Course Topics

Students complete courses that relay knowledge of the basic sciences, while professional courses provide an in-depth look into fire prevention, systems safety, toxicology, environmental law and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance standards. These courses emphasize experiential learning and often include laboratory activities. Additional classes students may encounter include:

  • Industrial hygiene
  • Ergonomics
  • Technical reporting
  • Construction safety
  • Loss control

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of health and safety engineers, including fire protection engineers, is expected to grow 11% from 2012 to 2022, which is about as fast as the average (www.bls.gov). In May 2012, the BLS reported that the average annual salary of health and safety engineers was $79,760. In general, health and safety engineers can seek employment in occupational hazard inspection and control, industrial hygiene and accident prevention.

Continuing Education Information

Upon successful program completion, graduates can go on to earn advanced degrees and/or certificates. They can earn graduate certificates in security and safety engineering, safety engineering and system safety, in addition to a Master of Science in Occupational Safety and Health Engineering.


Bachelor of Science in Fire Protection and Safety Engineering

Providing students with the ability to recognize and provide solutions to fire protection challenges, a fire protection and safety engineering bachelor's degree program gives students the knowledge and skills needed to excel in the field of fire protection. Within the program, undergraduates learn to identify industrial processes, communicate effectively in teams, recognize and anticipate hazards, manage risks, interpret codes and investigate incidents. Ultimately, students are able to reduce loss caused by fire and toxic chemicals, manage risk and comply with federal laws.

Education Prerequisites

In general, a student seeking admission into this degree program has earned a high school diploma or its GED equivalent. Additionally, some academic institutions require students to complete a pre-professional program prior to entering into a professional fire protection and safety technology program.

Course Topics

The coursework is designed to prepare students for management and leadership roles, while imbuing knowledge of active and passive fire protection services, research investigation and fire behavior. Fire protection and safety engineering students explore topics such as:

  • Safety analysis
  • Fire arson investigation
  • Fire scene reconstruction
  • Fire research applications
  • Human responses to fire

Popular Career Options

Program graduates can seek employment through major industries and businesses, as well as seek leadership positions within fire protection. Specifically, graduates can work in:

  • Fire protection engineering
  • Industrial safety
  • Fire insurance

Continuing Education Information

Upon successful program completion, graduates can go on to earn advanced degrees in fire protection and safety technology. Specifically, graduates can earn a Master of Fire Protection and Administration. Master's degree programs include in-depth exploration into fire dynamics and fire modeling.

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