What is an Online Occupational Safety Degree?

View all blog posts under Articles

Up close image of a graduates holding diplomasProfessionals working in the occupational safety field are some of the unsung heroes of today. They labor relentlessly behind the scenes of everyday life to protect against dangers seen and unseen, prevent accidents, injuries, and damages to life or property, and promote the well-being of our community. Working as a critical line of safety and health defense requires patience, teamwork, physical and mental stamina, critical thinking, and a keen eye; basically the same traits as a superhero. But before this fulfilling and rewarding career path can be tread, a degree must be earned.

Occupational Safety Degree

A bachelor’s degree in occupational safety is the first step towards becoming an authority in the protection of others. It is a comprehensive degree that nurtures growth within the industry through practical, theoretical, and expansive courses. Studies cover topics from employee safety education to regulatory compliance, as well as understanding policies and enforcement. The degree also encompasses occupational safety concepts and their implementation. Crucial aspects of the job such as identifying and analyzing workplace hazards, actual and potential, or design and utilization of safety measures are included in the coursework as well.

Furthermore, it looks at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and what its role in the U.S is, its history, rules, regulations, and the desirable careers it offers. With an occupational safety degree, graduates can look forward to benefits such as: competitive salaries, multiple job opportunities, government or private employment, fulfilling work, meaningful responsibilities, and the potential to affect change to safety and health protocol nationwide.

Topics of Study

As previously mentioned, the degree is expansive and comprehensive, ranging from scientific research and systems to management and workplace environments. Students in this field of study are required to be knowledgeable in multiple aspects, not just research or management. These requirements stem from actual profession responsibilities, where professionals are engaged in more than one facet of health and safety.

In the degree, topics of study include:

  • Construction Safety: Analysis of federal, state, and OSHA construction safety requirements
  • Applied Fire and Safety Analysis: Study of concepts and procedure for fire and safety related treatment, including quantitative and qualitative skills and statistics.
  • Hazardous Materials: Learn the 8-step action plan for dealing with hazardous materials, and discover how to utilize it appropriately. Partake in actual and theoretical demonstration of the Incident Management System.
  • Safety and Health Program Management: Focus on personnel, communication, and management of safety and health programs. Create safety programs correctly and implement constructive safety training.

Along with the core studies, supporting courses centralize around specialty areas for people with specific desires such as:

  • General Chemistry: Basic principles of matter, chemical classification and reactions. Understanding chemistry’s role in daily life activities, partaking in laboratory practices, and studying types of chemical reactions
  • Industrial Hygiene: Study and analyze the workplace and its potential effect on safety and health.  Evaluate and control of the work environment for workers’ health protection.

Benefits of an Online Degree

Applying, learning, studying, testing, succeeding, and graduating online is the simplest, most flexible method of obtaining a degree in the field of your interest. Online programs create opportunities for people with responsibilities and other factors that prevent them from partaking in on-site colleges. Due to modern technology and communication ability, people can reach and work with expert teachers and professors along with the most current information and research at their fingertips.

Online degrees offer benefits such as:

  • Real-world knowledge and skills necessary to a career
  • Focus on individual growth and potential
  • Flexible learning schedules. Class, homework, study sessions, and tests offered at your comfort, and convenience
  • Graduation goals in as little as 2 ½ years
  • Learning through accredited programs with pedigree and authority
  • Coursework promoted by internship agreements, affiliations, and career development assistance
  • Potential credit towards a degree from prior training with other organizations.

OSHA is a primary affiliate of most occupational health degrees, working closely in the program to maintain quality education, current adjustments, and vetting students for future careers in their administration. In 1970, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act, creating OSHA. According to their mission, they, “assure safe and healthful working conditions for people by setting and enforcing standards, as well as provide training, outreach, education, and assistance”.

Career Paths

An occupational safety degree produces professionals with a future. Federal, state, and local governments are some of the leading employers, followed closely by hospitals, and universities. Private companies and manufacturers also employ graduates with this degree to prevent accident or injury before government action needs to be taken. Positions such as an Occupational Safety and Health Specialist, Ergonomist, Environmental Protection Officer, Toxicologist, Industrial Hygienist, or Food Safety Inspector are available, and in need of passionate, inspired workers who want to defend against disaster.

Learn More

Learn to identify and analyze potential workplace hazards, infractions and risks through a bachelor of science in occupational safety online. At Eastern Kentucky University, you will gain a graduate-level education by industry-experienced educators and fire and safety professionals who are committed to teaching and preparing you for continued success.


“Keep the Nation’s Workforce Safe.” Bachelors Degree in Safety. N.p., n.d. Web. https://safetymanagement.eku.edu/safety-degrees/bachelors-occupational-safety/

“UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.” Occupational Safety and Health Administration. N.p., n.d. Web. https://www.osha.gov/

“Occupational Safety & Health Majors Guide.” Worldwidelearn.com. N.p., n.d. Web. http://www.worldwidelearn.com/online-education-guide/health-medical/occupational-safety-health-major.htm

“CSU – OSH Online Degree.” CSU – OSH Online Degree. N.p., n.d. Web. http://learn.columbiasouthern.edu/osh/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=ppc&utm_campaign=osh&utm_content=search&keyword=bachelors+degree+in+safety&gclid=CjwKEAjwltC9BRDRvMfD2N66nlISJACq8591fEGLBRSRRUbKU3jb33IAzH4iwiByz9iCZ5Lrl1aJ5xoCbAvw_wcB