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The Online Masters in Occupational Health and Safety programs provide 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 masters 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.
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Best Online Masters in Occupational Health and Safety
Finding the best masters 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 masters in occupational health and safety degree programs in the United States:
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Understanding Masters in Occupational Health and Safety Programs
Online occupational health and safety degree programs offer students effective health and safety practices integral to the success of any organization that has varying levels of safety procedures. The programs generally explore the scientific, health, and psychosocial factors, including health and safety, required by various organizations. 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 careers in governmental and private occupational health and many safety sectors.
The masters in occupational health and safety online can take two to three years to complete, which also includes 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 50-60 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.
Masters in Occupational Health and Safety Degree Types
Online masters 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 lens of public health. This type of degree focuses on the equation between health and safety within the workplace and among people outside the workplace.
Specializations in Masters 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 masters 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, which include persistent issues of air and water quality, solid and hazardous wastes, worker safety, legal requirements, etc.
Applied Health Science (or MS in Applied Health Science) This specialization provides students with the knowledge of what makes us sick or keeps us healthy and uses this to potentially solve various health problems. The course’s principal focus is 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.
Curriculum and Skills Gained in Masters 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 masters 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 Principle 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 gasses and aerosols.
A few more examples of courses students can expect are:
Recognition of Occupational Diseases
Safety, Health, and Environment (SHE)
Fire Protection Technology
Human Factors Engineering
Advanced Industrial Hygiene
Control of Occupational and Environmental Hazards
Some of the skills individuals with an online masters 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 pertaining to 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.
Accreditation for Masters 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 masters in occupational health and safety online accredited degree programs are hard to come by, these degree programs may instead be pursued at accredited universities. The foremost accrediting agencies in the United States are:
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
Some colleges offer QAPs or Qualified Academic Programs certified by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) or the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management (IHMM), 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) or the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE).
Timeline for graduation from Online Masters in Occupational Health and Safety Programs
The length of an online masters in occupational health and safety program depends on the university and the structure of the program. 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 at the same time as their peers may require a while longer to complete the degree.
Typically, the online masters in occupational health and safety is a 50 to 60 credit hour degree program, and when taken up full-time, it requires about 2 years, sometimes stretching over to 3 years at some universities. Working professionals for want the flexibility of spending less time a week completing the program would usually require 2 to 4 years to graduate.
Online Masters 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 masters 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 masters in occupational health and safety requirements:
Some universities may ask students to take part in a video or phone interview as part of the application process.
TheGRE or GMAT score is usually not a requirement 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
Online Masters in Occupational Health and Safety No GRE Programs
Most master degree programs require a GRE or a GMAT score. However, online masters in occupational health and safety GRE score is not a requirement for many universities as an admission requirement or if the applicant has a high GPA. Here are a couple of online masters of occupational health and safety no GRE offerings:
Georgia Tech– offers Masters in Occupational Safety and Health no GRE.
Accelerated Online Occupational Health and Safety Programs
It is not uncommon 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 offers an accelerated online masters 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 are interested in finding a free masters in occupational health and safety degree online. Unfortunately, there are no free programs accessible online. However, there are numerous individual free online courses on various occupational health and safety topics. 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 resources to find online masters in occupational health and safety free courses:
Alison Alison is a free platform with a comprehensive range of topics in occupational health and safety, including sanitation practices for the hotel industry, occupational health and safety management systems, hazard recognition and risk assessments, and occupational hygiene.
Udemy Udemy is a platform that offers several free courses, with many also available at reasonable rates, on various topics connected to occupational health and safety.
Workhub 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 an Online Masters in Occupational Health and Safety Program
The online masters 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 do have an advantage of not visiting the campus, so they save on travel, boarding, and school facilities, yet the tuition fees are pretty high. Fortunately, there are various sources of funding 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’, in that the money students receive does not need to be paid back.
Grants are a form of assistance given to students 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 offer students the opportunity 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 or education loans are sums of 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 will have to be paid back with interest, usually in equated monthly installments.
Scholarships under the 3M PSD Occupational Health and Safety Scholarship Program are given out to deserving students attending universities in the United States to complete their graduate degrees in occupational health and safety or industrial hygiene.
Award Amount: $5,000 x 3 Nos. | Application Deadline: Closed for 2023; TBA for 2023-23
The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) Foundation Academic Scholarship Program is awarded to students whose education is either directly relevant to the subject of occupational safety and health or who promote the field of occupational safety and health.
Award Amount: Varies | Application Deadline: January 31, 2023
FAQs about Occupational Health and Safety Programs
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a masters in occupational health and safety degree?
The masters 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 masters in occupational health and safety degree?
Many schools offer masters in occupational health and safety programs. The foremost requirement to enroll in one is to have an undergraduate degree either in the same field or in a related one. Additional requirements would be official academic transcripts, a GPA of 3.0 or more, and other submissions. A complete list of admission requirements is available on this page.
How long does a masters in occupational health and safety take?
Usually, it takes around 2 years to graduate with an online masters in occupational health. However, the exact duration depends on program structure, coursework, concentrations, learning mode (online, offline, hybrid), and more. Fast-track or accelerated programs allow students to graduate in less than 2 years, while part-time students would usually require 2 to 4 years at least.
Is an occupational health and safety master’s degree worth it?
The master’s degree in occupational health and safety program is an excellent degree in terms of job prospects and salaries they lead to. The benefits of earning this degree generally outweigh the costs involved in acquiring it. Ultimately, an occupational health and safety masters degree is worth it for those interested in working in this area.
What can you expect on completing a masters in health and safety degree?
By completing an occupational health and safety program, students can build a fulfilling career in almost every industry. Safety is the basic foundation of public and private workplaces. This requires occupational safety professionals to analyze different risks and implement varying but appropriate solutions. For those preparing to graduate, this is an excellent opportunity to set career goals and develop a career plan in the occupational health and safety domain.
Careers and Salary Outlook for Masters 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 $74,870, with a job outlook of 7% between 2020 and 2030. Here are a few examples of career titles and brief job descriptions with average yearly remuneration for occupational health and safety online masters graduates:
Safety Coordinator – $67,388 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.
Construction inspector – $ 54,000 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 a wide range of 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.
Environment Artist – $ 55,337 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.
Safety Technician – $ 45,875 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 a high level of 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:
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)
Institute of Hazardous Materials Management (IHMM) The Institute of Hazardous Materials Management (IHMM) sets the highest professional standards for credentials and 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
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
National Association of Safety Professionals (NASP) The National Association of Safety Professionals (NASP) offers safety professionals cutting-edge training that goes beyond basic OSHA compliance as well as 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 need to update their knowledge regularly. 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:
National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is a research organization dedicated to studying worker safety and health and empowering 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.
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.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a division of the U.S. Department of Labor. OSHA’s goal is to guarantee that workers are safe and healthy at work by establishing and enforcing standards as well as providing training, outreach, information, and assistance. The site provides help and resources in safety and health, data and statistics, and suicide prevention and has publications, training material, and videos.
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, opioids at work toolkit, safe driving kit, free posters, etc.
The rankings, average tuition (based on the degree type for in-state students), and average graduation rates are based on information from several sources, including Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and may vary. All rankings and figures mentioned are subject to change. Based on our proprietary methodology, the rankings are purely Online Masters Colleges's (OMC's) opinions. They do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the institutions or organizations mentioned, nor any official government census or survey. Additionally, any views or opinions expressed on this page are those of OMC's researchers and teams. Unless specifically indicated, they do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the people, institutions, or organizations mentioned. This page's provided content is solely for informational purposes, with information drawn from several sources, including IPEDS. OMC or its employees make no guarantees of the accuracy or completeness of any information on this page or found by following any link. OMC will not be held liable for any mistakes or omissions in this material, nor will it be held liable for any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the exposure or use of this information. Although the material on this page is/was correct at the time of publication, reader discretion is always advised because part or all the provided information may have changed over time, potentially leading to inaccuracies. Please read our Terms of Service for more information. Logos and trademarks are properties of their registered owners
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