Online Master's Degree Programs in Occupational Health and Safety
An online master's degree program in occupational health and safety can prepare bachelor's degree-holders and current professionals looking to expand their knowledge of occupational health and safety procedures for careers as city, state, federal or private occupational health supervisors. Read on for more about programs, classes and online course delivery.
What Do Online Master's Degree Programs in Occupational Health and Safety Entail?
As a student in an online occupational health and safety master's degree program, you'll learn how to screen for health, safety or environmental hazards in businesses of varying types. In addition to identifying safety risks, you'll also learn how to enforce and correct them to conform with local, state or federal occupational health codes. Because most master's degree programs are designed to prepare students for careers as occupational health and safety supervisors, you'll also become educated in managing employees and overseeing safety checks.
Most online master's degrees in occupational health and safety are conferred in a Master of Science (M.S.) format. Some online learning institutions offer occupational health and safety management as its own degree program, while others offer it as a specialization within general health and safety master's degree programs. Due to the advanced level of these degree programs, you must already have some knowledge of occupational health and safety in order to be admitted. Most schools require your bachelor's degree to be in a related area, although some will also accept occupational health and safety work experience, certification or some combination thereof.
|Skills Learned||How to manage employees, conduct safety checks, enforce health codes and assess risks|
|Common Courses||Curricula is multidisciplinary in nature, covering health sciences, business, government, technology-related subject matter|
|Studying Online||Online and on-campus programs lead to same qualification, but online programs give you more flexibility|
|Median Salary (2018)||$73,020 (for all occupational health and safety specialists)*|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||8% growth (for all occupational health and safety specialists)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Kinds of Classes Will I Take?
Required course curricula for occupational health and safety master's degree students are frequently multidisciplinary in nature, often covering concepts related to the health sciences, business, government and technology. Some of your courses will address unique health and safety codes for specific industries, such as transportation or manufacturing. Others will focus on particular threats to health and safety that may be common in the workplace, such as fire, personal hygiene, environmental waste and ergonomics of machinery.
In addition to learning about the concepts described above, online master's degrees in occupational health and safety will also teach you relevant enforcement and managerial skills. Topics covered in courses in occupational techniques and methods include inspecting businesses, analyzing potential risks, preparing violation reports, initiating changes and checking for improvements. You'll also learn about relevant legal issues, including business ethics, safety legislation, code compliance and lawsuit procedures. Last, but not least, you'll learn about operations supervision and employee management skills as they relate to the occupational health and safety discipline.
As with any advanced degree, completing an online M.S. program in occupational health and safety will require you to become proficient in research. Most course curricula include at least one course in health, safety or environmental research methods. Many programs mandate completion of a research thesis in a relevant area of occupational health and safety; however, some schools will allow you to substitute a fieldwork practicum for the thesis requirement. Other institutions may require applied projects in occupational health and safety in lieu of a thesis.
How Do Online Programs Work?
Completing an online master's degree program in occupational health and safety will result in the same education and degree you'd receive from an on-campus program. The only difference is that you can fulfill all your graduation requirements from the comfort of your home, office, or any other location with an Internet-connected computer. Course materials are transmitted online via teaching and learning systems that allow you to access lecture notes, submit assignments, take exams and communicate with teachers and fellow students. Most online courses are asynchronous, which means you can log in to complete your coursework whenever it is convenient for you.