Doctoral Degree Program in Safety Engineering

A doctoral degree in safety engineering is the ultimate in pursuing higher education in the field. This article explains how to begin a doctoral program, along with the career options and classes included in a typical program. Schools offering Engineering & Technology Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Safety Engineering Doctoral Degree Program?

According to the American Society of Safety Engineers, a safety engineer works in the fields of environmental or occupational safety you could further specialize in healthcare, industrial hygiene, manufacturing, risk management or similar fields. A safety engineering doctoral degree program offers advanced training that can teach you how to implement initiatives that eliminate or reduce the incidence of workplace injuries or illnesses. This training may also include addressing non-workplace related public safety concerns.

Finding a doctoral degree program specifically titled 'safety engineering' may be a challenge. However, related degree programs include those in occupational safety and ergonomics, industrial engineering, environmental and occupational health, ergonomic and human factors, occupational ergonomics and safety, ergonomics and environmental health. These disciplines are primarily offered through on-campus curricula. A small number of online programs may be available.

Degree LevelsDoctoral
Degree SpecialtiesEnvironmental and occupational health, ergonomics, industrial engineering
Curriculum TopicsQuality control, biomechanics, system safety, experimental design
Career PathsGovernment, management consulting, hospitals, science consulting

What Will I Learn?

Your curriculum will depend on what aspect of safety is emphasized in your program. For example, if your program primarily focuses on engineering, topics may include experimental design and taguchi methods, usability engineering, quality design and control, system safety engineering and management, biomechanics and engineering logistics.

If your program emphasizes environmental health, your coursework may include other subjects, such as engineering hydrology, risk assessment of environmental hazards, microbial ecology, wastewater treatment engineering, environmental chemistry and environmental health. If ergonomics is the primary focus of your program, topics may include man-machine systems, human factors and management of technology, epidemiologic methods, regression analysis, ergonomics and occupational biomechanics, industrial hygiene and accident prevention systems.

What Can I Do with My Degree?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the employment rate of safety professionals is projected to grow 4% during the period of 2014 through 2024 . You could work for many different types of employers, such as federal, state and local government agencies, management consulting firms, hospitals and scientific consulting organizations. Your potential job titles may include occupational health and safety specialist, occupational health and safety inspector, safety and health professional or safety engineer. Also, according the BLS, the annual median salary for safety professionals, as of May 2014, is $69,210.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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