Overview of Laser Safety Certificate Courses
For certain careers in industry, medicine, defense, and scientific research, knowledge of laser operation and hazards is central to performing well on the job. Organizations like the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), International Standards Organization (ISO), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) have established standards to which workers involved with lasers must adhere. There are many online training courses on laser safety that users can avail of. Typically, these courses aim to teach users to uphold the aforementioned standards in their workspace.
Laser safety training providers do not specify professional or educational requirements for users to be able to enroll in their courses. To obtain the certificate of completion, users must finish the course and, in some cases, pass the exam. Continuing education credits (CECs) may also be granted in addition to the certificate.
Laser Safety Certificate Requirements
Laser safety training instills in users the importance of understanding the science behind laser systems and its role in preparing for the hazards of working with lasers. These courses are available fully online.
Information and Requirements
Laser safety courses are short and are usually a few hours' length. Due to the modular design of most courses, users can study at their own pace and take a break whenever. However, the course materials can be accessed only for a limited amount of time. Successful completion of the training warrants a certificate and wallet card.
A laptop or desktop PC and high-speed Internet connection are required to access the course materials. There is large variation in the cost of laser safety courses, with fees as low as $25 or as high as $900. Site membership or group purchase may entitle the users to a discount.
Information on Online Laser Safety Training
Much of our current technology makes use of lasers. The ANSI Z136 series was designed around key safety concepts related to most, if not all, types of lasers, such as those in healthcare, manufacturing, educational institutions, and optical fiber communication systems.
The curricula for online laser safety training have been designed to properly address the provisions in these standards. The first few modules generally focus on introducing the user to the standards and to the responsibilities of employees working with lasers and laser systems. The fundamental science behind laser technology is then discussed, leading the user toward the more technical aspect of the course. Laser classifications, accidents and hazards, and control measures comprise the bulk of the training.
Like many online courses, online laser safety training maximizes the availability of various multimedia formats. Course notes are given as text documents (PDF), with accompanying graphics to better convey concepts and instructions. Audiovisual materials and self-check quizzes supplement the learning experience. Some courses may include a final exam, which users need to pass as part of the requirements.
After completing the training, users can instantly download and print their certificates of completion. Most courses award CECs from the American Academy of Health Physics and certification maintenance (CM) points from the Board of Laser Safety and/or American Board of Industrial Hygiene.
Career Outlook for Laser Safety Certificate Holders
Among the number of occupations that can benefit from a certificate in laser safety are skincare specialists, physicists, and electro-mechanical technicians.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that, in 2019, the annual median salary of physicists was $122,850. Electro-mechanical technicians and skincare specialists, on the other hand, earned $58,350 and $34,090, respectively. From 2018 to 2028, employment for physicists and skincare specialists is expected to grow, while employment for electro-mechanical technicians will likely experience little to no change.
Online laser safety training consists of short courses that can be completed within a few hours. After completing the courses, users receive a certificate of completion and, often, CECs or CMs.