In master's degree programs in occupational health and safety engineering, students learn about the safety technologies, environmental concerns, hazardous materials and ergonomics that affect various work environments. These programs generally incorporate field experience, which gives graduate students hands-on practice in monitoring and implementing industrial safety measures. Prior to graduation, students must submit a thesis. Graduates of these programs are prepared for careers in environmental health, fire protection, industrial hygiene and occupational safety. In order to enroll, applicants must hold a bachelor's degree, preferably in engineering or occupational health and safety.
Master's in Occupational Health and Safety engineering
Master's-level courses may be designed in accordance with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Students must complete 30-36 credit hours of coursework prior to graduation. Typical course topics include:
- System safety
- Occupational safety
- Safety engineering
- Environmental risk assessment
- Biomechanical engineering
Salary Information and Employment Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), the mean annual wage for health and safety engineers was $87,810 as of May 2015. Employment was expected to increase by 6% between 2014 and 2024, about as fast as the national average for all occupations.
Certification, Licensing and Continuing Education
Safety engineers can earn certification through professional organizations such as the Board of Certified Safety Professionals. Continuing education courses are necessary for recertification and may be required by some employers. Safety engineers often find additional opportunities for continuing education through organizations such as the American Society of Safety Engineers.
In summary, a master's degree in occupational health and safety engineering provides students with the advanced theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary for careers in workplace inspection.