Safety Coordinator Schools and Training Programs: How to Choose
Safety coordinators, also referred to as safety technicians or managers, work to ensure environmental safety for people on the road, at work or at home. Some jobs are available with minimal college-level training, but management positions require at least a bachelor's degree.
How to Choose a Safety Coordinator School or Training Program
Depending on the industry, the tasks of safety coordinators can vary greatly. Students should determine a career goal before selecting a program, taking into account their individual skills and strengths, as well as vocational interest. For example, many industrial hygiene programs include engineering or technology influences, while occupational health and safety programs tend to incorporate studies in health sciences.
Courses instruct students on the safety practices that cover all industries, specifically research and development of safety standards, as well as methods for enforcing legal compliance. Since many occupational safety industries have state and federal regulations, applicants should ensure sufficient coverage of regulatory guidelines of major agencies, such as those required by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). Some programs also include specific training for safety certifications, such as an OSHA-approved safety or health credential.
Some schools offer degree programs fully or partially online, as well as evening or weekend coursework. Students with conflicting schedules or those located remotely might benefit from the flexibility of distance learning options. Additionally, some schools might offer the chance to gain practical experience through an internship at an affiliated company or government agency. These opportunities generally require some on-site attendance.
Students might want to search for relevant school-sponsored student organizations or faculty members with backgrounds in their desired career. Student organizations bring guest speakers to campus and offer networking opportunities. Faculty members might provide the opportunity to participate in conducting research and could supply industry contacts for postgraduate employment.
Safety Coordinator Degree Program Overviews
Those who already work in an industry and need safety education could consider developing their skills in a certificate program. Some schools offer certificates in different aspects of safety management, such as inspection of construction or disaster sites. Courses typically cover basic information in industrial hygiene and identifying hazards.
Associate's Degree Programs
Associate's degree programs prepare individuals for entry-level positions as safety technicians. These 2-year programs require a few general education courses and include broad topics in safety. Some offer specialized electives that allow students to focus on a particular area of interest.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Bachelor's degree options relevant to prospective safety coordinators include occupational health and safety or environmental safety majors. These programs develop students' abilities to identify a hazardous situation and resolve it. Core courses cover general principles in legal regulations and safety standards. Students can often concentrate on a specific discipline, such as industrial hygiene or fire safety. Some schools encourage students to complete internships.
Master's Degree Programs
Master's programs in either public or occupational health consist of advanced courses in risk management, infectious diseases and applied safety procedures. Programs focus primarily on researching health and safety methods in the workforce, though some coursework teaches administrative skills. Graduate programs could include practicum experiences that offer observational learning opportunities.
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