Online Training Programs in Safety Engineering
Safety engineers investigate the causes of accidents or illnesses and work to reduce or eliminate them. They also design fail-safe back-up systems to prevent catastrophic results from system failure in infrastructure. Read on to explore online programs preparing students for this career.
Overview of Safety Engineering Programs
Online programs in safety engineering are available at the master's and doctoral degree levels at four-year universities or colleges. In some cases, schools offer safety engineering as an emphasis option within a systems engineering program. Like on-campus coursework in this discipline, the online curriculum typically covers engineering technology, design, physics and chemistry. Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of fields, including aerospace, commercial airlines, air traffic control, public transportation systems and weapon systems.
To be eligible for admission, master's degree programs require students to have a bachelor's degree, while prospective doctoral students should have a master's degree. Graduate-level programs may or may not require that the undergraduate degree be in engineering. Work experience in the field is also a common admissions factor, as are GRE scores and recommendation letters. Applicants should have mathematical ability, be detail-oriented and possess both analytical skills and stress tolerance.
Online Learning & Coursework
Many programs in this field are offered totally online, but it's also common for there to be some on-campus training or residencies -- especially at the doctoral level. Online coursework is delivered through a school's course management system, which creates a virtual classroom setting. Distance learners view lectures, participate in discussions and work on assignments within these environments. Web conferencing, message boards and chat rooms may be used for class interaction.
Master of Science Programs
This degree focuses on the senior-level duties of a safety engineer. Courses covering accident investigation and reconstruction, OSHA compliance and industrial hygiene are all common. Intensive engineering mathematics and industry specific software programs, like those used for nuclear reactors and the space program may be emphasized.
Doctor of Philosophy Programs
Online programs for doctorate degrees in safety engineering typically concentrate on research into a particular area of focus. Courses of study may include health and safety law, emergency disaster preparedness or human factors in engineering. A major component of programs at this level is the completion of a dissertation, which requires extensive research and study. These comprehensive projects typically must be defended in person before a faculty committee.
Membership in the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) or the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) may be the next step in a safety engineering career. These professional associations could be a source of continuing education and professional development.
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