Online Master’s Degree in Occupational Health and Safety

Someone with a career in occupational health and safety is dedicated to keeping employees safe. They will visit and evaluate work environments, looking for any legal, code, or safety violations or potential hazards. They will also evaluate work procedures to ensure that duties are being carried out in a safe manner and that workers are adhering to the law, regulations, and company policies relating to the work being done. Many of these professionals develop and institute work procedures that promote a safe work environment and prevent injuries and diseases from occurring.

To be accepted into an online master’s degree program in occupational health and safety, you will most likely need to have already earned a bachelor’s degree in occupational health and safety, or a related area like engineering, from an accredited institution. You can check with your school to learn about the specific admission requirements, such as minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA and professional experience. Online master’s degree programs typically require between 30 and 40 credit hours and may be completed by full-time students in one to two years, depending on the institution, program, and student’s ability to successfully complete each course.

Classes for an Online Master’s Degree in Occupational Health and Safety

Master’s students seeking a degree in occupational health and safety will learn how to keep workers and work environments safe. Through their courses they will learn about the variety of elements that create hazardous work environments and how to evaluate a work environment and eliminate these hazards to prevent accidents, injuries, and illnesses. They will learn how to design safe work environments and develop and implement safe work procedures. They will also study the state and federal laws and regulations pertaining to different industries, materials being handled, and work being performed. Some of the specific course that will teach students all of these things include the following:

  • Safety and Health Administration
  • Risk Management and Accident Prevention
  • Industrial Hygiene and Occupational Health
  • Industrial Safety and Health Evaluation
  • Safety Engineering Methods

An online master’s degree program in occupational health and safety will require students complete written assignments, group projects, and exams, much like any other online master’s degree program. However, many students must complete and defend a thesis prior to graduating. Some online programs require students to gain a minimum amount of hands-on training through internships under the direct supervision and guidance of an occupational health and safety professional. This will give students the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned through their online courses to a real-world environment and get a feel for what a career in occupational health and safety is like.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Master’s Degree in Occupational Health and Safety

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that occupational health and safety specialists are typically required to have a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree is required for some positions. In addition to this, many employers require a significant amount of on-the-job training to familiarize them with the specific types of work environments found at that particular company. In most cases, promotions are granted to those who are able to effectively demonstrate their knowledge and ability on the job. Therefore, many graduates from online master’s in occupational health and safety degree programs use the extensive knowledge and skills gained from their education to pursue management positions where they supervise and direct health and safety technicians and specialists.


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