Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety and Health: Program Info
Read about the common prerequisites for Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety and Health degree programs. Explore classes, job predictions and continuing education options.
Occupational safety and health workers ensure that workplaces are safe. A Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety and Health is considered the standard degree for employment as an occupational safety and health specialist.
Bachelor's degree programs in occupational safety and health train students to evaluate workplaces with regards to safety violations, air quality and other potential hazards. Students become experts in recognizing dangers, determining risk and making recommendations to employers.
A significant aspect of the job includes understanding safety and health laws and regulations. A bachelor's degree program is offered in both campus-based and distance learning formats, in order to accommodate full- and part-time students. Graduate can pursue voluntary certification in the occupational safety and health field.
Applicants to bachelor's degree programs in occupational safety and health must possess a high school diploma. These degrees involve a strong understanding of math and science and most programs prefer applicants with strong high school grades in these subject areas.
Courses in occupational safety and health bachelor's degree programs help students prepare for a variety of potential situations and hazards. Common courses include the following:
- Hazardous materials management
- Fundamentals of ergonomics
- Principles of industrial hygiene
- Fire prevention practices
- Health and safety laws
- Environmental regulations
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 59,610 occupational safety and health specialists were employed in 2012 (www.bls.gov). Job growth between 2010 and 2020 was expected to be slower than average, with a 9% increase. As of May 2012, occupational safety and health specialists earned a median annual salary of $66,790.
Continuing Education Information
Some employers require a master's degree in a field related to occupational health and safety, such as industrial hygiene, though most only require a bachelor's degree. Though credentialing in this field is optional, it is widely preferred by employers. Credentialing organizations include the American Board of Industrial Hygiene, the American Board of Health Physicists and the Board of Certified Safety Professionals.
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