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Master of Science (MS): Safety Engineering Degree Overview

Master of Science (MS) programs in safety engineering focus on developing a sense of safety across a work environment, both for consumers and employees. These 2 year programs are primarily available to those already working in a relevant field.

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Essential Information

A Master of Science program in safety engineering also might go by the title of occupational safety; however, programs in occupational safety might deal more with safety management and risk assessment, while safety engineering programs tend to focus more on design and performance. Additionally, some safety engineering programs concentrate on specific subjects in engineering.

A bachelor's degree in a relevant major is required for admission into the program. At least one year experience working as an engineer might be preferred as well.


Master's Degree in Safety Engineering

A safety engineering master degree program can take about 36 semester hours, or about two years, to complete. Other than accident prevention and emergency management, coursework may include:

  • Ergonomics
  • Research methods
  • Industrial hygiene
  • Fire protection technology
  • Business ethics
  • System safety engineering

Popular Career Options

Graduates of degree programs in this field are typically qualified for career opportunities in health, safety and security. Some job titles could include:

  • Security design director
  • Occupational safety administrator
  • Systems security manager
  • Government regulatory specialist

Employment Outlook and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates that the employment of health and safety engineers will grow by 6% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). According to 2015 BLS estimates, these safety professionals received a median annual salary of $84,600.

Continuing Education and Certification Information

Upon completion of a degree program, interested individuals can undergo Certified Protection Professional certification, administered by the American Society for Industrialized Security (ASIS). They can also seek Certified Safety Professional certification, offered by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP). Graduates interested in pursuing advanced degrees can apply for admission into an engineering Ph.D. program.

Health and safety master's degree programs can focus on specific areas in either occupational safety or safety engineering. These programs will help students attain necessary certification for relevant career paths, as well as the qualification to pursue even more advanced research in engineering doctoral programs.

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