Bachelor's degree programs in occupational safety and health train students to evaluate workplaces with regards to safety violations, air quality and other potential hazards. Students become experts in recognizing dangers, determining risk and making recommendations to employers. A significant aspect of the job includes understanding safety and health laws and regulations. A bachelor's degree program is offered in both campus-based and distance learning (online) formats, in order to accommodate full-and part-time students. Graduates can pursue voluntary certification in the occupational safety and health field.
- Program Levels: Bachelor of Science Occupational Safety and Health
- Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED, with an emphasis on math and science
- Online Availability: Programs are available in distance learning (online) formats
Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety and Health Overview
These degrees involve an understanding of math and science. Applicants to bachelor's degree programs in occupational safety and health must possess a high school diploma with strong grades in these subject areas. An understanding of health and safety laws and regulations is an essential part of the job. These programs are offered in both on campus and distance learning, or online, formats and prepare students for a variety of careers involving potential hazards and hazardous situations. Common courses include but are not limited to the following:
- Hazardous materials management
- Fundamentals of ergonomics
- Principles of industrial hygiene
- Fire prevention practices
- Health and safety laws, environmental regulations
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 65,130 occupational safety and health specialists were employed in 2014 (www.bls.gov). Job growth between 2012 and 2022 was expected to be slower than average, with a 7% increase. As of May 2014, occupational safety and health specialists earned a mean annual salary of $70,470.
Continuing Education Information
Some employers require a master's degree in a field related to occupational health and safety, such as industrial hygiene, though most only require a bachelor's degree. Though credentialing in this field is optional, it is widely preferred by employers. Credentialing organizations include the American Board of Industrial Hygiene, the American Board of Health Physicists and the Board of Certified Safety Professionals.