An occupational health and safety degree can prepare you for a wide array of jobs that involve creating safe working sites, identifying hazardous conditions, protecting property, and saving lives. However, like many degrees, it can be challenging to obtain — particularly if you are working a full-time job. Fortunately, you can earn an occupational health and safety degree online.
|Athens State University – Bachelor of Science in Occupational Health and Safety Management
|Columbia Southern University – B.S. in Occupational Safety and Health
|Orange Beach, Alabama
|Grand Valley State University – Occupational Safety & Health Management B.S.
|Indiana State University – Online Safety Management B.S.
|Terre Haute, Indiana
Here Are 15 Online Occupational Health and Safety Degree Programs in 2022
Athens State University – Bachelor of Science in Occupational Health and Safety Management
Athens State University has an extensive array of online offerings. ASU’s class sizes are usually no bigger than 18 students, and 98% of its faculty has industry experience. Finally, about 80% of all graduates are employed within a year of graduation. This high employment rate speaks well of the school’s ability to help its online students get started in the real world. The cost per credit is $225, a relatively low number. Furthermore, this degree comes with a flexible tuition payment plan.
Columbia Southern University – B.S. in Occupational Safety and Health
This program had some very high levels of flexibility. Most noteworthy here is that individuals can enroll and start today. In addition, it comes with no required log-in times, no start dates, and no due dates. This program is highly flexible and may be ideal for individuals with a very busy schedule.
EKU Online is an exclusively online school that allows individuals to earn numerous safety degrees. Since the school only operates online, it offers a more concentrated and customized option for online learners than many traditional schools will have. It promotes its very flexible course offerings and notes that you can get your degree in as little as 2.5 years. The school also has many awards for its online offerings. One of the more unique aspects of this degree program is the online interactions. EKU Online offers an online forum for students to converse, ask questions, and trade tips. This is great for busy professionals taking an online course and looking for support.
Grand Valley State University – Occupational Safety & Health Management B.S.
Grand Valley State University notes that it can help individuals who graduate with this degree find employment in occupational safety and health management. This university specifically notes that it does more than just help educate its students; it helps them find employment upon graduation. According to its website, Grand Valley State University has a near 100% job placement rate for individuals upon graduation. This means that individuals who graduate from Grand Valley are highly likely to get a job afterward.
Indiana State University – Online Safety Management B.S.
Indiana State University offers many different courses and specialties for individuals interested in learning more about health and safety management. It is one of the only online schools to provide specific courses in “loss control,” giving individuals a chance to help protect a company’s valuable inventory while still working in the occupational safety and health degree. This is one of the many health and occupational safety specialties that a person who attends ISU can learn.
Montana Technological University – Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety and Health
Like many similar programs, this one offers help for individuals looking for jobs upon graduation. Interestingly, the program website notes that more than half of all graduates from Montana Technological University begin to work in one of three fields: construction, mining, and energy. If you are interested in working in one of these fields, you may find MTU aligns well with your desired career path.
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University – Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health & Safety
This program specializes in environmental health and safety, which makes it an attractive choice for individuals who are interested in learning more about environmental-related hazards. The program prepares students for roles related to health and safety guidelines (including those of the Environmental Protection Agency) in industry sectors such as manufacturing and transportation.
Oakland University – Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health and Safety
Oakland University’s environmental health and safety program offers classes in broader areas than just environmental safety. It includes concentrations in behavioral science, allowing individuals to learn more about how individuals interact with the environment — and how safety habits can be improved.
Ohio University – B.S. in Occupational Health & Safety
This program is 100% online. However, it does offer real-world integrations. Students in Ohio have the option of taking an internship, for credit, as part of their degree. The internship is in a related field of occupational health and safety. Taking such an internship is not a requirement, but it can help people find employment upon graduation.
Southeastern Oklahoma State University – B.S. in Occupational Health & Safety
One of the main benefits of this 100% online program is that it enables you to transfer up to 90 credit hours. It is taught by the same faculty that teaches its courses on campus and also has hybrid options for individuals who may want to take some classes in person. This gives an individual who wants to earn a degree in occupational health and safety more options.
University of Alaska Anchorage – Occupational Safety and Health B.S.
This program offers numerous focus areas, including concentrations in “construction safety management, process safety, incident investigation and analysis, legal aspects of occupational safety and health, and the economic value of safety.” This diverse array of potential focus areas means that individuals who earn a degree from the University of Alaska may be able to have a broader choice of employment options than they would find elsewhere.
University of Central Missouri – B.S. in Occupational Safety Management
University of Central Missouri’s program, which is 100% online, offers numerous options. It includes specialties in environmental management, safety management, and occupational health management. There is also an accelerated program that can help you earn your degree faster than usual. Finally, this program also offers a master’s degree.
University of Maryland – B.S. in Occupational Safety and Health
This is the online school of the University of Maryland that allows individuals to earn their degree in 120 course hours and offers various programs, including environmental principles and occupational safety. It notes that its curriculum was designed with input from professionals in the field. It is also one of the only online programs to explicitly mention climate change as part of its occupational safety and health programming. This will likely be a growing section within the occupational safety and health field.
The University of Wisconsin Whitewater – Bachelor’s in Occupational Safety and Health
This program is accredited by the Applied and Natural Science Accreditation Commission. It is 100% online and allows individuals to get their degree on a schedule that works for them. The cost is $389 per credit. The degree is billed as a “learn at your own pace” program, so individuals can obtain their degrees while still working.
Waldorf University – B.S. in Occupational Health and Safety
Waldorf University’s occupational health and safety program prepares students to enter many fields. Prospective students interested in health and safety programs will appreciate the diversity of Waldorf’s degree options. The program offers a Bachelor of Science, as well as Associate and Bachelor of Arts degrees in related fields.
Online Occupational Health and Safety Degree Programs Overview
Studying for an online occupational health and safety degree will allow you to earn a degree in an area in high demand. In addition, this degree enables you to accomplish many things, including:
- Work on active work and construction sites, identifying potential dangers and hazards, and helping to find remedies to potentially serious issues.
- Create guidelines, warnings, and other preventative measures that can protect the safety of individuals on a worksite.
- Help design training for employees or workers in a broad sense, ensuring that their workplace institutes a safety culture.
- Learn the latest in safety and monitoring technology, ensuring that you can apply broad principles and equipment to specific worksites.
Why Get an Occupational Health and Safety Degree?
Earning an occupational health and safety degree has many benefits. These include:
- Working in a field that is in demand, pays well, and currently experiencing some degree of workforce shortage. These factors will likely push wages upward and help enhance your possibilities for job prospects.
- Individuals who work in this area can engage in a truly rewarding job: They will protect others. This can be a fantastic job for people with certain personality attributes — such as compassion, methodical working habits, and an eye for safety.
- This field allows individuals to work in diverse industries, including construction, laboratory work, public safety, etc. At the same time, people interested in doing so can specialize in specific fields, giving them a better opportunity to find an area they enjoy.
Occupational Health and Safety Degree Curriculum
The Occupational Health and Safety Degree Curriculum will contain many classes that deal with worksites, safety, technology, etc. In addition, specific courses will likely include:
- Information about technology, including specific advances in technological safety and what equipment can be deployed to increase workplace safety.
- Specific hazards include falls, fires, electrical, and more.
- Broad overviews of workplace safety, including general principles and how the field has evolved. Individuals looking to specialize in particular areas may take more specific courses. This may include information on ensuring that the appropriate preventative measures are taken, how to handle the immediate aftermath of an accident, and how to complete a post-accident incident report.
- Appropriate courses on relevant industrial or occupational law.
- Risk management or accident investigation courses.
- General education commitments may be necessary for an occupational health and safety degree. This may include certain writing, mathematics, or science courses.
What Can You Do With an Occupational Health and Safety Degree?
Individuals who get a degree in occupational health and safety often work as occupational health technicians or specialists. These allow people to write safety plans, evaluate worksites for safety hazards, and ensure that the general public and nearby workers are safe. People can also generally get more involved in the safety industry and work for engineering firms that create construction or renovation plans.
Finally, people can get involved in the public sector. This may involve multiple routes. For example, a person could work for government agencies investigating the aftermath of accidents, helping determine what went wrong at an accident site. They could also work for state or federal inspection agencies, helping protect others and ensure that businesses stick to the necessary safety plans.
Online Occupational Health and Safety Degree Program Costs
Estimates vary; however, most online schools cost around $16,000 annually. The range is typically between $8,000 and $24,000, depending on the quality of the school.
There is good news with taking a degree online in that it may save money: There are no travel costs, food costs, or boarding costs. It is important to note that cost savings cannot be guaranteed, but online programs may have reduced education prices compared to in-person programs. Other expenses — such as tuition and books — remain the same.
Financial Aid Options for Occupational Health and Safety Degree Programs
Virtually every college offers some scholarship or loan program. While these programs are often highly competitive, they may reduce the cost of your college tuition and ensure that you can afford to go to school. When applying to schools, you should always inquire about any loan and scholarship options.
There are also some specific financial aid options within the occupational health and safety field. For example, multiple resources provide information about where you can find field-specific scholarships:
These websites are worth looking at if you are interested in applying for a scholarship. You should also consult with experts in the field to see if they have any additional sources for scholarships.
Finally, it is worth noting that many businesses and engineering companies are now offering tuition assistance programs. This is due, in no small part, to the shortage of safety workers mentioned before. As a result of this challenge, many companies have offered tuition assistance to recruit workers. Many of these programs come with certain stipulations, and you will probably have to work for the company for a certain amount of time, or you may find yourself forced to pay the company back.
If you are interested in upskilling opportunities, you can speak with your employer about assistance programs. At a bare minimum, they may be able to help you rearrange your schedule to make it easier to take classes. They may also be willing to write letters of recommendation or help you find a program that suits your needs.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Occupational Health and Safety Degree?
Keep in mind that there are many potential answers to this question. In fact, one of the many benefits of earning an occupational health and safety degree online is that it gives you the chance to pursue your degree according to your schedule.
In most cases, you can earn a degree in four years. This is the standard time it takes to earn an undergraduate degree, particularly when one factor is the need to take other courses, such as general education requirements. However, keep in mind that it can take more or less time and that four years is only a rough guide. You can earn a degree faster if you take more than the standard course load. In some cases, you can earn the degree in as little as two years.
If you work for a living, you may not be able to earn your degree as quickly as you would like to. In this case, it may take you more time.
The above times apply only to a bachelor’s degree. A master’s degree in Occupational Health and Safety is also an option, and there are also online courses that will allow you to earn such a degree. Earning a Masters in Occupational Health and Safety will likely take two years.
Salary and Job Outlook for Occupational Health and Safety Degree Program Graduates
An important clarification is needed before explaining potential salary outcomes for anyone who earns an occupational health and safety degree: It all depends on the field you go into. As noted above, there are many things that you can do with such a degree, and your career choices will ultimately impact your salary more than your educational choices.
According to the latest information from the Bureau of Labor & Statistics, individuals who are occupational health and safety technicians — one of the primary jobs held with a degree in Occupational Health and Safety — make a median average wage of $53,340. For specialists in this field, the salary rises to $76,340. Other surveys reported similar salaries for specialists, ranging from $72,376 to $82,074.
Even better is that this field is growing, increasing at a year-over-year average of 7%. This means there will be a near-constant need for more individuals in this field. As such, it follows that earning a degree is likely to place you in a field that is in demand.