Safety Coordinator Schools and Training Programs: How to Choose

Programs in occupational safety and health can prepare students for safety coordinator roles. Some jobs are available with minimal college-level training, but management positions require at least a bachelor's degree.

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Safety coordinators, also referred to as safety technicians or managers, work to ensure environmental safety for people on the road, at work or at home. Programs that prepare students to work in these positions can be found at community colleges, technical schools and 4-year colleges and universities.

Schools with Safety Coordinator Training Programs

Relevant programs for aspiring safety coordinators are offered by these institutions.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition
(2015-2016)*
Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN 4-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $10,388 In-state Undergraduate; $33,741 Out-of-state Undergraduate
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Private Master's $39,984 Graduate
University of Connecticut Storrs, CT 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate $13,026 In-state Graduate; $33,812 Out-of-state Graduate
Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's $11,363 In-state Undergraduate; $14,612 In-state Graduate
University of Alaska Anchorage Anchorage, AK 4-year, Public Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's $5,545 In-state Undergraduate; $9,306 In-state Graduate
University of Central Oklahoma Edmond, OK 4-year, Public Master's $5,431 In-state Graduate; $13,591 Out-of-state Graduate
Southeastern Louisiana University Hammond, LA 4-year, Public Bachelor's $7,280 In-state Undergraduate; $19,758 Out-of-state Undergraduate
Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY 4-year, Private Certificate $37,124 Undergraduate
Indiana University of Pennsylvania Indiana, PA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Graduate Certificate $8,460 In-state Graduate; $12,690 Out-of-state Graduate

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

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School Selection Criteria

Students should consider the following key factors when choosing a safety coordinator school or training program that best suits their academic needs.

  • Since many occupational safety industries have state and federal regulations, applicants should ensure sufficient instruction in the regulatory guidelines of major agencies, such as those required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
  • Some programs also include specific training for safety certifications, such as an OSHA-approved safety or health credential.
  • Some schools offer degree programs fully or partially online, as well as evening or weekend coursework, for students who have conflicting schedules or live outside the area.
  • Some schools might offer the chance to gain practical experience through an internship at an affiliated company or government agency, and students might want to search for relevant school-sponsored student organizations or faculty members with backgrounds in their desired career; these could provide networking and research opportunities.

Certificate Programs

Those who already work in an industry and need safety education could consider developing their skills in a certificate program. Some schools offer certificates in different aspects of safety management, such as inspection of construction or disaster sites.

Associate's Degree Programs

Associate's degree programs prepare individuals for entry-level positions as safety technicians. These 2-year programs require a few general education courses and include broad topics in safety. Some offer specialized electives that allow students to focus on a particular area of interest.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Bachelor's degree options relevant to prospective safety coordinators include occupational health and safety or environmental safety majors. These programs develop students' abilities to identify a hazardous situation and resolve it. Core courses cover general principles in legal regulations and safety standards. Students can often concentrate on a specific discipline, such as industrial hygiene or fire safety. Some schools encourage students to participate in research or complete internships.

Master's Degree Programs

Master's programs in either public or occupational health consist of advanced courses in risk management, infectious diseases and applied safety procedures.

Programs focus primarily on researching health and safety methods in the workforce, though some coursework teaches administrative skills. Graduate programs could include practicum experiences that offer observational learning opportunities. Research is also required, and students have the option to complete a thesis. In some cases, students may choose between a practicum or a thesis.

Aspiring safety coordinators can choose between studies in public health, environmental safety or occupational health. The program focus may be an important factor in the choice of school, and students should consider their career goals and review program course options to make sure they choose a program that's ideally suited to their career plans.

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