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.

How to Choose a Safety Coordinator School or Training Program

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

  • Students should determine a career goal before selecting a program, taking into account their individual skills and strengths, as well as their vocational interests.
  • Since many occupational safety industries have state and federal regulations, applicants should ensure sufficient coverage of 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.
  • 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.

Safety Coordinator Degree Program Overviews

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. Courses typically cover basic information in:

  • Industrial hygiene
  • Hazard identification
  • Safety and health management

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. Courses might include:

  • Physical hazards
  • OSHA regulations
  • Industrial hygiene

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, as well as topics such as:

  • Fire prevention
  • Construction safety
  • Toxicology
  • Accident investigation

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
  • 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.

10 Schools with Safety Coordinator Training Programs

College/UniversityInstitution Type
Indiana University - Bloomington4-year, Public
University of Southern California4-year, Private
St. Petersburg College4-year, Public
University of Connecticut4-year, Public
Grand Valley State University4-year, Public
University of Alaska Anchorage4-year, Public
University of Central Oklahoma4-year, Public
Southeastern Louisiana University4-year, Public
Rochester Institute of Technology4-year, Private
Indiana University of Pennsylvania4-year, Public

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