Written By - Derick de Souza

Edited By Darryl S.

Review & Contribution By Dr. Florence Beck

The Online Master’s in Occupational Health and Safety program provides knowledge of occupational health and safety and the magnitude of workers’ mental and physical well-being. The program helps students interact with other disciplines, such as occupational medicine, industrial hygiene, safety engineering, public health, environmental health, labor law, industrial sociology, and occupational health psychology. The online occupational health and safety master’s also helps students understand the promotion of the highest degree of physical, mental, and social well-being and the prevention of adverse effects on the health of workers and employees caused by their working conditions.

Online Masters in Occupational Health and Safety

Table Of Contents

Featured Online Programs

Southern New Hampshire University

PROGRAM: Online Masters Degrees

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.

SNHU has earned the GetEducated.com Best Buy and Best of Business – Best Online Degree awards and is consistently ranked as a top Military Friendly® School by G.I Jobs®.

Best Master’s in Occupational Health and Safety Online Programs

Finding the best master’s in occupational health and safety programs online is not an easy task. One must consider several aspects of the degree and the college providing the degree, such as the experience and quality of faculty, availability of student support services, accreditation, program structure, available courses, the college’s infrastructure, and more. Several teams at OMC have dived deep into these and other factors and found the best programs for students to choose from. Here are the best online master’s in occupational health and safety degree programs in the United States:

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College Name & AddressTuitionGraduation Rate
University of Nebraska Medical Center
42nd & Dewey Ave, Omaha, Nebraska 68198
Georgia Institute of Technology
225 North Ave, Atlanta, Georgia 30332
Texas A & M University
JKW Administration Building, Suite 200, College Station, Texas 77843
Indiana University
107 South Indiana Ave., Bloomington, Indiana 47405
Johns Hopkins University
3400 N Charles St, Baltimore, Maryland 21218
Tulane University of Louisiana
6823 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana 70118
University of South Florida
4202 East Fowler Ave, Tampa, Florida 33620
East Carolina University
East 5th Street, Greenville, North Carolina 27858
The University of Findlay
1000 North Main Street, Findlay, Ohio 45840
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
1 Aerospace Blvd., Daytona Beach, Florida 32114
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Administration Bldg Suite 1070, Birmingham, Alabama 35294
Keene State College
229 Main Street, Keene, New Hampshire 03435
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
1011 South Dr 201 Sutton Hall, Indiana, Pennsylvania 15705
Oakland University
2200 North Squirrel Road, Rochester Hills, Michigan 48309
University of Central Missouri
108 W South Street, Warrensburg, Missouri 64093
University of Houston
2700 Bay Area Blvd, Houston, Texas 77058
Indiana State University
210 N 7th St, Terre Haute, Indiana 47809
Columbia Southern University
21982 University Lane, Orange Beach, Alabama 36561
Southeastern Oklahoma State University
425 W University Blvd, Durant, Oklahoma 74701

Source – Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

Understanding Master’s in Occupational Health and Safety Online Programs

Online occupational health and safety degree programs offer students effective health and safety practices integral to the success of any organization with varying safety procedures. The programs generally explore the scientific, health, and psychosocial factors required by various organizations, including health and safety. This degree program offers an in-depth aspect related to the hazards of the workplace environment. Students interested in pursuing a career in industrial hygiene, safety engineering, public health, environmental health, industrial hygiene, and health and safety coordination are best suited for this degree. The course will equip them for governmental and private occupational health careers and many safety sectors.

The master’s in occupational health and safety online can take two to three years to complete, including practical experience like most professional degrees. Many online programs in this field require that students complete one to two years of education, with some requiring 50 to 60 credit hours for graduation. Some programs may require writing a thesis, although many schools also offer a non-thesis track. Many online programs also cover the latest developments in the health and safety of workers in their working environment, giving students an advantage with additional knowledge and skills required by any industry standards.

Curriculum and Skills Gained in Master’s in Occupational Health and Safety Online Programs

Master in Occupational Health and Safety online degree programs are designed to cover the wide range of occupational health, safety, and environmental management systems knowledge required for an organization’s success. These programs provide students with a strong foundation in health and safety by developing the skills necessary to effectively develop, implement, and evaluate health and safety systems in the workplace. The curriculum of an online master’s in occupational health and safety degree can vary by university and program but will primarily contain some of the following courses:

Environmental Health and Epidemiology

This course introduces the diverse and dynamic elements of nature and population and how they affect each other. The course describes how epidemiology is an important tool for assessing impacts related to environmental safety and health. It is designed for people of all backgrounds with limited biomedical sciences, statistics, or advanced math training. This course aims to provide the basis for public health research and the fundamental basis for setting toxicological standards. 

Law and Regulations

This course deals with the Industrial Safety and Health Act and related legal and constitutional issues. Case studies improve the critical thinking and research skills needed to resolve problems, resolve conflicts, and express and communicate ideas in the subject area. Students will also learn to relate Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) concerns to actual environmental, safety, and health decisions.

Safety Management

This course mainly focuses on behavior-based safety management practices in the work environment. Safety and health management includes studying the structure of the company and the collective support of employees. Management topics include employee motivation, organizational culture, risk identification, assessment and prevention, regulatory compliance, benchmarking performance, auditing, and records management.

Industrial Hygiene Principles

This course introduces students to the basic principles of occupational hygiene assessment and management. Using case studies and calculations, students are familiarized with the basics of toxicology and the behavior of various gases and aerosols.

A few more examples of courses students can expect are:

  • Advanced Ergonomics
  • OSHA Regulations
  • Recognition of Occupational Diseases
  • Safety, Health, and Environment (SHE)
  • Radiation Protection
  • Fire Protection Technology
  • Human Factors Engineering
  • Toxicology
  • Advanced Industrial Hygiene
  • Air Pollution
  • Control of Occupational and Environmental Hazards

Some of the skills individuals with an online master’s in occupational health and safety would have gained upon graduating include the ability to:

  • develop team-based implementation strategies for workplace safety and health initiatives;
  • explain basic toxicological mechanisms and dose-response relationships in the context of workplace toxicants;
  • create testable models that prove the link between occupational exposures and negative health effects;
  • create and implement regulatory-compliant plans to address specific workplace safety and emergency response concerns;
  • apply federal and state regulations on worker (occupational) safety and health protection;
  • formulate expert advice for dealing with safety and health issues;
  • recommend sound management solutions for challenges in occupational safety and health;
  • list current quantitative risk assessment methods and approaches for various occupational safety and other health risks;
  • identify risks, deploy action plans, and measure and improve performance when managing complex safety and health programs;
  • develop effective workplace analysis, as well as hazard prevention and control systems; and
  • protect workers’ health and safety by anticipating, evaluating, and controlling hazards in the workplace.

Master’s in Occupational Health and Safety Degree Types

Online master’s in occupational health and safety offer programs usually as a Master of Science or MS degree, with the Master of Arts or MA being extremely rare. Some universities offer a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree too.

Master of Science in Occupational Health and Safety

The Master of Science or MS Occupational Health and Safety program trains students for supervisory, management, and training roles in business, industry, government, and education. This type of degree gives students professional recognition, which is a plus in the job market. The program approaches occupational health and safety from a technical and scientific point of view with a fair amount of research and practice.

Master of Public Health in Occupational Health and Safety

The Master of Public Health or MPH in Occupational Health and Safety is typically a 45-credit program that approaches the subject through the public health lens. This type of degree focuses on the equation between health and safety within the workplace and among people outside the workplace.

Specializations in Master’s in Occupational Health and Safety Programs

Specializations are an excellent choice for those who want to focus on an area within occupational health and safety. Moreover, they usually lead to niche jobs and better career prospects. Some specializations and concentration areas for online master’s in occupational health and safety students to consider are:

Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences

This specialization is for students passionate about using their scientific skills to address human health issues associated with the natural environment. From water quality to workplace safety, students are trained to solve problems to keep communities safe and healthy.

Health, Safety, and Environment (or MPH in Health, Safety, and Environment)

This specialization provides students with a strong foundation to advance in their careers by providing them with the best knowledge and skills they need to address the health, safety, and environmental challenges of evolving regions, countries, and the world. The course also covers the fundamentals of exposure assessment and analytical methods, including persistent air and water quality issues, solid and hazardous wastes, worker safety, legal requirements, etc. 

Applied Health Science (or MS in Applied Health Science)

This specialization teaches students what makes us sick or keeps us healthy and uses this to solve various health problems. The course focuses on organizing and deriving interventions that meet our health needs.

Safety Engineering (or MS in Safety Engineering)

This Specialization provides students with the knowledge and principles of safety engineering and the proper application of engineering methods for a safe work environment.

Industrial Hygiene

This specialization helps students learn how to evaluate and manage workplace hazards that threaten the physical safety of workers from chemical and biological agents such as toxic vapors, mold, and dust that affect their health in their working environment.

Risk Control and Safety Management

The function of risk assessment and safety management in occupational health and safety is to identify potential dangers and the impact they may have on people and processes. The objective is to identify hazards before analyzing and evaluating the risks they pose and ensure safety against them.

Accreditation for Master’s in Occupational Health and Safety Online Programs

Accreditation is a term that includes both initial and ongoing accreditation of schools, post-secondary education institutions, or programs that propose to meet the standard requirements of nationally recognized accreditation bodies. Accreditation endorses the academic and administrative quality of schools, educational institutions, and programs. While programmatic accreditation, whereby universities offer master’s in occupational health and safety online accredited degree programs, is hard to come by, these degree programs may be pursued at accredited universities instead. The foremost accrediting agencies in the United States are:

Some colleges offer QAPs or Qualified Academic Programs certified by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP)[1] or the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management (IHMM)[2], through which students automatically qualify for certification and licensure. Occupational Health and Safety master’s programs can also be accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology (ABET)[3] or the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE)[4].

Learn why accreditation is essential from the Accreditation Guide.

Timeline for graduation from Online Master’s in Occupational Health and Safety Programs

The length of an online master’s in occupational health and safety program depends on the university and the program’s structure. If students can learn at their own pace, it can lead to early graduation or late graduate, depending on their pace and chosen courses. Those who learn in a cohort and complete the curriculum simultaneously as their peers may require a while longer to complete the degree. 

Typically, the online master’s in occupational health and safety is a 50 to 60-credit-hour degree program. Taking up full-time requires about two years, sometimes stretching over three years at some universities. Working professionals who want the flexibility of spending less time a week completing the program would usually require 2 to 4 years to graduate.

Online Master’s in Occupational Health and Safety Programs Admission Requirements

A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or school is typically required to pursue an online master’s in occupational health and safety. Naturally, colleges would prefer applicants with a background in occupational health and safety, but those from a related background can also easily apply. Apart from an undergraduate degree, here are some common master’s in occupational health and safety requirements:

Some universities may ask students to participate in a video or phone interview as part of the application process.

The GRE or GMAT score is usually not required to apply to a master’s in occupational health and safety online program. However, it is advisable to check the university requirements for exact information.

No GRE Master’s in Occupational Health and Safety Online Programs

Most master’s degree programs require a GRE or a GMAT score. However, an online master’s in occupational health and safety GRE score is not a requirement for many universities, especially if the applicant has a high GPA. Here are a couple of online master’s of occupational health and safety no GRE offerings:

  1. Murray State University – offers a Master’s in Occupational Safety and Health no GRE.
  2. Georgia Tech – offers a Master’s in Occupational Safety and Health no GRE.

Accelerated Master’s in Occupational Health and Safety Online Programs

It is common for universities to offer an online master of occupational health and safety that can be completed in less than two years. Students can reduce the completion time by choosing a fast-track program or credit transfers. Some universities offer an online accelerated master’s degree in occupational health and safety to help applicants complete the program faster than the usual two-year schedule. An example of an accelerated online occupational health and safety is:

Murray State University

Murray State University offers an accelerated online master’s in occupational health and safety and has a wide range of courses that provide students with practical experience for positions in the occupational safety, health, and environmental professions. The course is expected to finish in under two years.

Free Occupational Health and Safety Courses Online

Many students want a free master’s in occupational health and safety degree online. Unfortunately, there are no free programs accessible online. However, numerous individual free online courses on various occupational health and safety topics exist. Although these free courses do not confer a degree or qualification, they help students understand what they can expect when enrolling in a master’s in occupational health and safety online. They can also help in exam preparation or with assignments. Here are some free online master’s in occupational health and safety courses:

  1. Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults[5]
    This free online course on caregiving teaches learners how to identify and address concerns about the safety and well-being of vulnerable individuals. It describes “Disclosure and Barring Service” checks for protecting children and adults and discusses the various channels for reporting abuse and neglect to the appropriate authorities.
  2. Mental Health Advocacy in Occupational Therapy[6]
    This course aims to inform participants about the significance and influence of advocacy effects in relation to occupational therapy’s special function in mental health settings. Because occupational therapy plays a special role in mental health, more research on this topic is needed to influence decision-makers and community-based program providers. 
  3. Occupational Health & Safety[7]
    Workhub offers free courses to health and safety professionals, which provide required information and training for occupational health and safety at workplaces.

How to Pay for a Master’s in Occupational Health and Safety Online Program

The online master’s in occupational health and safety program is a much-sought degree. The tuition fees for this program run into thousands of dollars and increase with each passing year. Online students have the advantage of not visiting the campus, so they save on travel, boarding, and school facilities, yet the tuition fees are pretty high. Fortunately, various funding sources are available that can significantly reduce the overall educational costs. Some such sources of funding are:


Scholarships are usually awarded based on merit, so students who are good in academics, sports, or other skills are automatically eligible. Religious groups, communities, individuals, for-profit organizations, and universities offer scholarships to deserving students. The best thing about scholarships is that they are “free money” because the money students receive does not need to be paid back.


Grants are a form of student assistance based on their financial needs and are designed to support tuition fees. Like scholarships, grants do not need to be repaid as well. Grants can be used to cover any educational cost in addition to tuition fees.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships allow students to take up part-time teaching or any other job at the university where they are studying in exchange for a rebate in college fees or a stipend.

Student Loans

Student loans or education loans are money borrowed from banks or financial institutions to fund education-related expenses, which may cover the cost of tuition, books and supplies, and living expenses while the borrower is pursuing a degree. Loans must be paid back with interest, usually in equated monthly installments.


Students can apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to check if they qualify for federal financial aid for grad school.

Find out everything you need to know about the Cost of a Master’s, Scholarship Scams, and Financial Aid to navigate college funding better.

Scholarships for Master’s in Occupational Health and Safety Online Programs

Students with good grades and an excellent academic track record stand a chance for scholarships awarded by various institutions, individuals, and groups. Here is an example of an excellent scholarship:

The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) Foundation Academic Scholarship Program

The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) Foundation Academic Scholarship Program is awarded to students whose education is directly relevant to occupational safety and health or who promote the field of occupational safety and health.
Award Amount: Varies
Application Deadline: February, annually

Careers and Salary Outlook for Master’s in Occupational Health and Safety Graduates

Occupational health and safety professionals are often needed in on-site work and inspection industries such as manufacturing, construction, government, and hospitals. Employers prefer potential employees who care about the details of health and safety at the workplace, as a thorough inspection requires a keen eye.

On completing an online master’s in occupational health and safety degree, students can expect excellent placement opportunities. There is always a demand for health and safety in every industry, as it is a necessity. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual wage of an occupational health and safety specialist is $75,240[8], with a job outlook of 13% between 2022 and 2032. Here are a few examples of career titles and brief job descriptions with average yearly remuneration for occupational health and safety online master’s graduates:

  1. Safety Coordinator – $69,231
    A safety coordinator develops and oversees the company’s internal health and safety standards. They also ensure that employees follow local or federal guidelines regarding health and safety practices in their industry. Other duties of the safety coordinator include regularly inspecting worksites and ensuring equipment is in safe and always working condition.
  2. Construction Inspector – $56,417
    A construction inspector ensures that current or upcoming construction projects meet local and federal building codes, zoning regulations, contract specifications, and other legal guidelines. They can inspect various construction projects, including buildings, streets, drainage or water systems, and bridges. Building inspectors may perform a general or specialized inspection of a particular aspect of the building, such as heating or ventilation, exterior paintwork, and transportation equipment, such as elevators or structures. And even the structure of the plumbing system.
  3. Environment Artist – $64,094
    An environmental artist assesses and monitors areas that may be contributing to climate change or pollution. Environmental artists, also known as environmentalists, work for local or federal government agencies responsible for monitoring private and public spaces, such as offices and manufacturing plants. They then help professionals in charge of these spaces develop more sustainable plans and operations.
  4. Safety Technician – $48,334
    Security technicians provide support services to security professionals. These support services may include collecting or analyzing data and performing tests to determine how to improve security practices within the organization. Safety technicians often assess potential occupational and environmental hazards, such as pollution, lighting, ventilation, or machinery.

Certifications and Licensing for Occupational Health and Safety Graduates

Because occupational health and safety can enhance a company’s reputation, which can lead to a positive brand image and high employee satisfaction, most employers will insist on a license and certification in addition to a degree in occupational health and safety when hiring a candidate. While certifications lead to better and specific jobs, licensure is required and is mostly mandatory in most work settings and states. Some certifications lead to automatic licensure. Here are a few for students and graduates to consider:

  1. Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) Certifications
    The Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) is a not-for-profit corporation that sets and certifies the technical competency criteria for safety, health, and environmental (SH&E) practitioners. Some of the certifications the organization offers are:
    • Certified Safety Professional (CSP) 
    • Safety Management Specialist (SMS) 
    • Associate Safety Professional (ASP) 
    • Occupational Hygiene and Safety Technician (OHST) 
    • Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST) 
    • Safety Trained Supervisor (STS) 
    • Safety Trained Supervisor Construction (STSC) 
    • Certified Instructional Trainer (CIT) 
  2. Institute of Hazardous Materials Management (IHMM)
    The Institute of Hazardous Materials Management (IHMM) sets the highest professional standards for credentials. It administers and promotes approved credential programs for professionals working in hazardous materials, health, safety, and dangerous goods fields. Certifications they offer include:
    • Certified Hazardous Materials Manager 
    • Certified Hazardous Materials Practitioner 
    • Certified Dangerous Goods Professional 
    • Certified Dangerous Goods Trainer 
    • Certified Safety and Health Manager 
    • Student Certified Hazardous Materials Manager 
    • Certified Safety Management Practitioner 
    • Associate Safety and Health Manager 
    • Student Associate Safety and Health Manager 
  3. Board of Global EHS Credentialing (BGC)
    The Board of Global EHS Credentialing (BGC) is the world’s leading certifying organization for professionals who work to safeguard and improve people’s health, safety, and environment at work and in their communities. Professionals working in the disciplines of environment, health, and safety (EHS) may demonstrate their commitment and competence to operate at the highest level, thanks to BGC’s rigorous, dependable, and legitimate certification procedure. Certifications the BGC offers are:
    • Certified Industrial Hygienist 
    • Certified Professional Environmental Auditor 
    • Certified Professional Product Steward 
    • Certified Associate Industrial Hygienist 
    • Certified Process Safety Auditor 
    • Environmental Professional In-Training 
    • Qualified Environmental Professional 
  4. National Association of Safety Professionals (NASP)
    The National Association of Safety Professionals (NASP) offers safety professionals cutting-edge training beyond basic OSHA compliance and professional certifications to help them carry out their safety-related responsibilities with confidence and competence. To this end, the organization offers professional, certificate, and specialist courses. Students can choose from two credentials:
    • Master Safety Professional (MSP) 
    • Certified Safety Director (CSD) 

Additional Resources for Occupational Health and Safety Professionals

Occupational health and safety is an extensive study, and students who have completed their master’s in this discipline must regularly update their knowledge. With each industry having its specific requirements, professionals need to tap into resources that can help them understand those requirements and the industry hazards and find the right solution to problems. Here are a few resources that master in occupational health and safety online students and graduates can tap into:

  1. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
    The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is a research organization that studies worker safety and health and empowers businesses and employees to promote safe and healthy work environments. It is part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The NIOSH site has various resources on hazards and exposures, chemicals, industries and occupations, safety and prevention, etc.
  2. American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP)
    The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) provides advocacy, education, professional network, and standards development to help its members grow their careers and support the occupational health and safety profession. ASSP provides publications, certifications, journals, and more to its members.
  3. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
    Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a division of the U.S. Department of Labor. OSHA aims to guarantee that workers are safe and healthy at work by establishing and enforcing standards and providing training, outreach, information, and assistance. The site offers help and resources in safety and health, data and statistics, and suicide prevention and has publications, training material, and videos.
  4. National Safety Council (NSC)
    The National Safety Council (NSC) is America’s top nonprofit safety advocate, working to eliminate the primary causes of preventable death so that people can live their best lives. NSC provides resources to workers to deal with risks they are actually facing or will be facing. These resources include a fatigue kit, an opioids at work toolkit, a safe driving kit, free posters, etc.

FAQs About Master’s in Occupational Health and Safety Online Programs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a master’s in occupational health and safety degree?

The master’s in occupational health and safety degree program offers students a flexible, relevant, and up-to-date curriculum that includes opportunities for students to demonstrate the depth and breadth of knowledge in safety and health theory and technology required to lead and oversee a medium to large organization’s occupational safety and health efforts.

How to get a master’s in occupational health and safety degree?

How long does a master’s in occupational health and safety take?

Is an occupational health and safety master’s degree worth it? 

What can you expect on completing a master’s in health and safety degree?

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