Online Construction Safety Degrees: Program Overviews

Get info about online programs in construction safety. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, and check out career and continuing education options.

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Essential Information

Construction safety programs are not typically available as degree options, but some schools do offer online certificate programs in construction safety, and others offer Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) classes online. If you are looking for a completely online program that offers a degree, there are also associate's and bachelor's programs in occupational safety and health which provides coursework in construction safety.

Programs may vary in the focus of the material, with some programs focusing strictly on safety and others incorporating business topics. These programs do not themselves offer certification, though they can prepare students to obtain certification through independent organizations such as the National Association of Safety Professionals or Board of Certified Safety Professionals. Students must have Plugin software to view PDF files and certain types of media.

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Construction Safety Certificate

Construction safety education is commonly offered at the certificate level. Some colleges offer OSHA classes online while others offer their own comprehensive distance-learning construction safety certificate programs. Coursework for both types of program is appropriate for those working in construction that have some safety responsibilities. A college that offers construction safety courses through OSHA is more likely to focus only on safety-related subjects, while a school with its own program might incorporate construction or business classes, such as ergonomics or security.

Classroom Formats and Technical Requirements

Certificate candidates are typically required to take 8-9 courses. Online construction safety certificate programs may be comprised of lectures, assignments and group discussions. Schools usually make online courses accessible from their websites using course management software. Students log in to participate in lectures, group projects and discussions.

Online, open-enrollment programs allow students take classes at their own pace. In this scenario, participants study independently and take online quizzes to demonstrate their mastery of the material. Open-enrollment programs may require participants to download class modules from the school's website and save it on their computer. An up-to-date computer with access to e-mail and the Internet are the basic requirements to take classes online. Students may also need to install plug-in software to open PDF documents and view media files.

List of Typical Construction Safety Courses

Construction safety certificate programs typically don't include general education courses. Besides classes on accident prevention, safety planning and safety management, programs might offer specific safety classes for scaffolding and excavation.

Introduction to Safety Management

Students learn about the role of a safety expert. They learn how to collect and evaluate safety data as well as how to design and manage a safety program. The course introduces OSHA regulations and methods for applying them in the workplace.

Accident Investigation Methodology

This course provides techniques for smooth and streamlined accident investigation. It covers documentation and record-keeping while discussing how to detect oversights, deficiencies, omissions and errors.

Safety Training Methods

Covering the latest training techniques, this class teaches a variety of learning styles and explores available training media. Strategies tend to emphasize visual aids, such as handouts and presentations. Lessons also include cost management tips.


Career Information

Construction safety education is useful for construction site leads and construction managers. Those interested in becoming a construction safety specialist may need the broader general construction education afforded by an associate's or bachelor's degree program.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 75% of occupational health and safety specialists worked for local, state and federal government organizations in 2015. For this job title, the BLS reports an average job growth of 4% from 2014-2024, which is slower than average rate. As of May 2015, construction managers earned a median wage of $87,400 (www.bls.gov).

Continuing Education Information

Graduates can pursue professional certification through organizations such as the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, National Association of Safety Professionals or Council on Certification of Health, Environmental and Safety Technologists. Certification is available at various levels depending on an individual's goals, experience and education. Related educational options include associate's or bachelor's degree programs in construction management or construction technology. These programs may be partially or wholly available online. Some credits from a certificate program may be transferable.

Construction safety courses can be taken online through a certificate program or an occupational safety and health associate's or bachelor's degree program. Students learn about safety management, accident investigation and safety training methods, and graduates can pursue certification through one of the many professional organizations in the field.

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