Doctor of Engineering: Safety Engineering Degree Overview

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in systems or industrial engineering contain course paths devoted to safely implementing and maintaining equipment, enabling graduates to pursue occupations as safety engineers.

Essential Information

A doctoral program in industrial engineering is designed to build on students' extensive engineering knowledge with advanced studies and research options. Individuals interested in safety engineering begin by refreshing their understanding of economic and technical engineering concepts, and then further explore elements of human-equipment interaction. Candidates learn to prepare for both technical and operator failure, understanding the ways in which to effectively simulate potentially hazardous outcomes in order to fully develop as proficient safety engineers.

To begin the doctoral program, students are generally expected to have a master's degree in systems engineering, industrial engineering or a similar field. GRE scores, letters of recommendation and a written statement of students' research, career and program goals could be required in order to be considered for acceptance into a program.


Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial Engineering

The doctoral program culminates with the development, presentation and defense of a dissertation, for which students conduct their research independently with faculty monitoring. They'll also participate in projects with peers to prepare themselves for real-world systems engineering outcomes and complete student teaching.

Ph.D. candidates in this program can select a course of study in safety engineering, in which they learn to evaluate industrial equipment to prepare for and prevent malfunction. They'll also participate in projects with peers to prepare themselves for real-world systems engineering outcomes and complete student teaching. The program culminates with the development, presentation and defense of a dissertation, for which students conduct their research independently with faculty monitoring. Within the classroom, students explore subjects such as:

  • Engineering safety analysis
  • Human factors in engineering
  • Systems engineering theory
  • Engineering team management
  • Technology implementation
  • Inventory control

Popular Career Options

Upon graduation, students can seek out high-level positions within the field of systems engineering or consider careers in academia or extended research.

  • Systems safety engineer
  • Quality control engineer
  • Engineering ergonomics analyst

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for health and safety engineers are projected to increase by 6% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). Industrial engineers should see a 1% increase during the same time period. In May of 2015, the BLS estimated that health and safety engineers earned a median yearly salary of $84,600 while industrial engineers earned a median wage of $83,470.

Safety engineering is an important field in different aspects of industry, manufacturing, health, etc. A Ph.D. program in this field is the best way for prospective students to achieve careers as industrial or safety engineers.


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