Masters Degree in Occupational Health: Program Overview

Through a Master of Science in Occupational Health and Safety degree program, students are trained to manage safety concerns in the workplace and research ways to prevent and respond to hazardous conditions. Most universities offering a master's degree program in occupational health and safety require that incoming students hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.

Essential Information

Students in a master's program in occupational health learn basic safety management techniques and procedures that apply to a variety of industrial and healthcare-related jobs. Students may gain real world experience through a practicum or internship.

  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree in a related field OR bachelor's degree in an unrelated field with two years of professional experience; previous coursework in chemistry, trigonometry, and algebra.
  • Program Length: 2-3 years
  • Other Requirements: Final research paper, project, or a comprehensive exam (varies)

Master of Science Degree in Occupational Health

A Master of Science in Occupational Health is designed to develop professionals with the training and skills necessary to prevent and assess safety risks in the workplace. Studies are likely to include communications in organizational safety, safety inspection, assessment and control, and health safety supervision and management. Some additional examples are listed below:

  • Research methodology in health and safety
  • Health and human performance
  • Occupational systems analysis
  • Human factors in safety management
  • Transportation management safety
  • Safety legislation and compliance

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Graduates of a master's degree program in occupational health can work as occupational health and safety specialists. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), these professionals held 62,900 jobs in the United States in 2012. The expected job growth rate for occupational health and safety specialists was 7% from 2012-2022. The mean annual salary of these workers was $70,470 in May 2014.

Continuing Education

Although many employers request that occupational health and safety specialists gain certification, not all employers require it. Credentialing in the field is voluntary, and is available through a variety of organizations, such as the American Board of Health Physicists, American Board of Industrial Hygiene or Board of Certified Safety Professionals. Requirements for gaining certification from each organization vary, although most require the completion of a written examination.

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