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Occupational Safety

This is a program that will give students a broad background in occupational safety and health and prepare them for a career that will help keep people safe in the work environment. In this program students complete basic science courses and study multiple safety topics such as fire prevention, toxicology, environmental standards and OSHA standards. Much of this program involves hands on activities and lab work.

University Degree Offerings

  • Eastern Kentucky University Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety

    The EKU Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety program provides a skill set and knowledge foundation enabling students to identify safety and health hazards, and recommend solutions to protect employees from injury and illness. Our program prepares students for careers as occupational safety and health professionals who provide workplace protection for employees in the private and public sectors.

Occupational Safety

The Bachelors in Occupational Safety degree is generally awarded after successful completion of a four year program with an emphasis on occupational safety. The Master of Science in Occupational Safety and Health is a graduate degree focusing on toxicology and environmental and occupational safety.

Why an Occupational Safety Degree

This degree will prepare you to work both in industry or business. During your studies, you will develop both technical and safety expertise required in safety management. You will also learn to identify workplace stress and dangerous situations that may lead to accidents. Students who graduate from this program have high placement levels. Many government organizations as well as manufacturing and industrial companies hire graduates with this degree. When you work in this field you have the responsibility of protecting the lives of many people. According to OSHA, in 2010, 4,690 workers died on the job. As an occupational safety professional, you will be working to reduce this number and you will be able to protect many workers from harm. OSHA studies have proven that safety oversight reduces occupational accidents and injuries.

Occupational Safety Courses & Areas of study

To be a successful candidate for this program, you will need to have strong science, computer and math skills. The Bachelors’ program is a four year, 120 credit program.

  • Required General Studies 36 credits
  • Humanities and Fine Arts 3 courses
  • Technical Writing
  • Student Learning Success
  • English Composition I
  • English Composition II
  • Natural Science 2 courses
  • Finite Math or Higher
  • History 2 courses
  • Behavioral and Social Sciences 2 courses
  • Major Requirements Group A
    • Fundamentals of OSH
    • Legal Aspects of Safety and Health
    • Construction Safety
    • Industrial Ergonomics
    • Interactions of Hazardous Materials
    • Toxicology
    • Introduction to Fire Prevention
    • OSHA Standards
    • Industrial Hygiene
    • Total Environmental Health and Safety Management
  • Major Requirements Group B
  • Hazardous Materials Management
  • Fleet Safety
  • Training and Development
  • Accident Investigation
  • Risk Management
  • Safety Supervisor
  • Professional Electives – Any courses in Fire Science or not already taken can fulfill this requirement

Occupational Safety Career Opportunities

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupational safety and health jobs are concentrated in TX, CA, WA, FL, VA, OH and NY. One of the largest employers is the Federal Government. State and local governments are close seconds. In 2011, 57,950 people were employed as health and safety specialists throughout the US. Those with similar jobs but different job titles are not counted in this figure. The following list contains some actual occupational safety jobs in the federal job bank, usajobs.gov.

  • Occupational Health and Safety Specialists have an average salary of $67,340.
  • Occupational Health and Safety Technicians have an average salary of $48,240.
  • Safety representatives have an average salary of about $80,000.
  • Safety and Occupational Health Manager with the Federal US Department of Energy has a starting salary of $74,872.
  • Safety an Occupational Health Specialist with the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service has a starting salary of $57,408.00.
  • Safety and Occupational Health Specialist with the US Army (civilian) has salary of $53,500 with Masters Degree or 2 years’ experience.

Online Occupational Safety Degrees

This type of program is available at both public and private universities. For those who are working full time, studying online is very convenient and saves so much time because there is no commuting involved.

Occupational Safety Education & Admissions Requirements

  • Official SAT scores
  • Official transcripts documenting a High School Diploma

Occupational Safety Accreditation

It is important that the Bachelors in Occupational Safety is accredited because many employers and most universities will not recognize your degree without this. The National Association of Industrial Technology accredits undergraduate Occupational Safety programs nationwide.

Top Ranked Occupational Safety Degrees

A Bachelors in Occupational Safety from a top ranked institution will garner more respect for your academic accomplishments. The US News and World Report has a list of the most highly ranked academic programs. There are national rankings for prominent professors as well. It will benefit your career to graduate from a highly ranked university or from an institution with exceptional faculty members.

Occupational Safety Professional Organizations

There are a number of professional organizations for Occupational Safety:

  • American Society of Safety Engineers http://www.asse.org/ – Offers many services including safety publications, webinars and professional development events
  • National Association of Safety Professionals http://www.naspweb.com/ – provides certifications and training courses for safety professionals
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health www.cdc.gov/niosh/ – offers safety publications, CDC and other Federal job opportunities, workplace safety information
  • National Safety Council www.nsc.org – safety education, news and publications