Masters Degrees in Safety Engineering
Learn about courses in master's degree programs in occupational health and safety engineering. Find out about certification and licensing requirements.
Master's degree programs in occupational health and safety engineering prepare students for careers in environmental health, fire protection, industrial hygiene and occupational safety. Programs cover inspection procedures, testing methods and principles of safety engineering. Students also learn about the safety technologies, environmental concerns, product safety, hazardous materials and ergonomics that affect various work environments.
Many universities offering master's degree programs in the field of safety engineering offer courses designed in accordance with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Such programs also tend to incorporate field experience into their curriculum, allowing graduate students to gain hands-on experience in monitoring and implementing industrial safety measures.
Students may be required to have bachelor's degrees in engineering or in occupational health and safety to be admitted into master's programs in this field. Some schools admit students with other undergraduate majors based on standardized test scores. Previous coursework in biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics might also be required.
These programs typically require 30-36 credit hours of coursework. Most master's degree programs in occupational health and safety engineering also require students to complete a thesis. Course topics include:
- Industrial hygiene
- System safety
- Occupational safety
- Safety engineering
- Product liability control
- Environmental risk assessment
- Biomechanical engineering
Salary Information and Employment Outlook
Health and safety engineers should experience average job growth in the period from 2010-2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Due to increasing emphasis on and concern over workplace health and safety, engineers in this area should face good job prospects. The BLS also states that mean annual wages for this field were $79,760 as of May 2012.
Certification, Licensing and Continuing Education
Safety engineers can earn certification through professional organizations such as the Board of Certified Safety Professionals. Continuing education is necessary to maintain certification and may be required by some employers. Safety engineers often find additional opportunities for continuing education offered by organizations such as the American Society of Safety Engineers.
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