Safety engineers design systems and measures to prevent people from becoming injured or sick. A 4-year bachelor's degree is generally required, but graduate degrees are also available. Majors may include safety technology, industrial hygiene or industrial engineering. Some programs offer concentrations in occupational, industrial and mining safety. A bachelor's degree in a related field is typically required, along with prerequisite coursework in advanced math and science. Read below about the 3 safety engineering schools in West Virginia.
Fairmont State University
Fairmont State University is located in northern West Virginia's Fairmont, and offers a bachelor's degree program in occupational safety that's approved by ABET, Inc. (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). This Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program is interdisciplinary, taking its material from a diverse array of subjects that include engineering, health, psychology and technology. In the first 2 years, students take courses directly related to occupational safety, such as construction safety, safety law, hygiene, toxicology, and hazardous waste control. During the junior and senior years, students engage in advanced safety coursework, including air and water pollution, industrial hygiene applications, ergonomics and safety engineering design. A safety internship is also available, usually taken during the senior year.
Marshall University, in Huntington, is roughly 50 miles west of Charleston and has undergrad and graduate programs in safety through Marshall's College of Information Technology and Engineering. The ABET-accredited B.S. degree program in safety technology includes safety engineering as an aspect of the curriculum. Some of the required professional safety core includes safety and industrial technology, industrial environmental protection and process safety management, as well as an internship in safety.
The school's 36-credit Master of Science (M.S.) program in safety includes required classes in occupational safety and health research, occupational safety program development and the psychology of safety. Students can concentrate in mine safety or occupational safety and health. The mine safety option is designed for those planning to work in underground and surface mining, while the occupational safety and health option has some coursework in safety engineering and equipment design, industrial hygiene, ergonomics and environmental law.
West Virginia University
West Virginia University (WVU) is located in Morgantown, about 8 miles from the Pennsylvania border, and has bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in safety engineering through the Industrial and Management Systems Engineering department. The ABET-accredited B.S. degree program in industrial engineering has several concentration options, including an option in ergonomics and system safety, which prepares students for a career developing systems in the workplace to increase employee safety. The 129 credits earned in this program may include coursework in human factors engineering, system safety engineering, industrial quality control and design of productivity systems.
WVU also has ABET-approved Master of Science (M.S.) degree programs that could be helpful for those planning a safety engineering career. For students interested in occupational and environmental health and safety, the 48-52 credit industrial hygiene M.S. degree program includes some classes in design of industrial experiments, industrial ergonomics and industrial hygiene engineering. The M.S. program in safety management is designed for those interested in working in safety, environmental and health management, and includes up to 39-42 credits of coursework. Some of the curriculum could include controlling environmental hazards, safety legislation, managing fire safety and economic aspects of safety. The university's 42-credit Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program in occupational safety and health prepares those students planning to go into research or academia, and may include some electives in materials and processing systems design, disaster preparedness and occupational injury prevention.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Safety Engineering Degree Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Fairmont State University||4-year, public; distant town||Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety||$7,514, in-state; $16,324, out-of-state (undergraduate)*|
|Marshall University||4-year, public; small city|| Bachelor of Science in Safety Technology,
Master of Science in Safety (Occupational Safety and Health, Mine Safety)
| $8,128 in-state; $18,614 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$8,432 in-state; 20,350 out-of-state (graduate)*
|West Virginia University||4-year, public; small city|| Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering (Ergonomics and System Safety),
Master of Science in Industrial Hygiene,
Master of Science in Safety Management,
Doctor of Philosophy in Occupational Safety and Health
| $8,856 in-state; $24,950 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$9,990 in-state; $25,776 out-of-state (graduate)*
Source: *NCES College Navigator.