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Master of Safety Management | Context - Context
Online Master of Safety Management
Master of Safety Management In Context

A master’s degree in safety and emergency management may be referred to by one of a number of names, including Master of Science in Safety, Security, and Emergency Management, Master of Safety Management, Master of Emergency Management, or Master of Disaster Management.

Regardless of its title, a Master of Safety Management can position students for roles within the growing safety and security industries. Health and safety professionals can pursue roles across many different businesses and industries, in varied fields like agriculture, mining, food production, and construction. They work to implement legislation, help build safe and healthy working environments, and minimize the risk of accidents to employees, customers, and others. [1]

In a master’s in safety management program, students learn how to create, assess, and implement workplace safety programs that promote a more secure environment. They can also learn how to prevent emergency situations and how to deal with them when they arise.

Typical programs cover topics that include safety management, accident investigation, worker compensation, personal protective equipment, fire response, industrial hygiene, planning, toxicology, and research methods. [3]

What can I gain from my degree?

At the end of your program, you should have the necessary theoretical knowledge to work in a health, safety, security, or emergency response role, to draw evidence-based conclusions, be a creative thinker, and an excellent communicator.

Who might pursue a master’s in safety management?

The master’s in safety, security, and emergency management is a popular choice for people from a variety of backgrounds. Here are some of the reasons for choosing this program.

Advancement: This program is often pursued by people wanting to progress in their current career. This is often the case for those who already have on-the-job experience which they want to bolster with a formal degree program. Advanced degrees help to position you for more senior roles and can improve your salary prospects. [2]

Changing careers: Health and safety is a growing field, and a master’s in safety, security, and emergency management can help career changers enter the field.

Improving skills: Those already working in the industry often wish to learn more and develop their credentials as part of their commitment to making working environments healthier, safer, and more environmentally friendly.

What are the daily functions in this role?

Health and safety professionals analyze a variety of working environments and assess their safety. They inspect work environments to ensure that rules and regulations that relate to health, safety, and the environment are being followed, implementing appropriate responses where there are omissions or quality issues.

This might involve:

  • Assessing and enforcing safety regulations in working environments, from food production lines to manufacturing environments and hospital biohazard treatment facilities
  • Inspecting standards of safety at public schools or nuclear power plants
  • Investigating the causes of workplace accidents and providing recommendations for preventive action [2]
Why earn a master’s in safety management?
There are several reasons to pursue a master’s in safety management, including the following:

Salary expectations:

According to the BLS, occupational health and safety specialists earned $70,920 per year in 2016. [2] Students can qualify for higher-paying roles after completing the master’s, particularly if they achieve specialty certifications.


Occupational health and safety specialists will usually be required to hold an occupational health and safety degree, or a degree in a related field. The master’s degree can give an edge in the marketplace. [4]

Ideal for diverse backgrounds:

Health and safety master’s degrees allow you to progress your career in a number of directions according to your interests, offering a more flexible career path

Exposure to new learning:

When you undertake a master’s program, you gain insight into the latest academic theory, regulations, thinking, and ideas in the field. In this way, it allows you to rapidly gain technical knowledge that would take far longer on the job. [6]

What should I look for in a master’s in safety management program?
  • Curriculum, Specializations, and Opportunities: Review the specialization options to see which will most closely align with your intended career direction. Examples of specialization might include hazard control, construction safety, regulatory standards, and ergonomics.
  • Accreditation: Programs that are accredited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration demonstrate quality and are likely to be valued by employers.
  • Faculty: Review the teaching faculty to understand more about their backgrounds. Are they theorists or do they have broad industry experience?
  • School or program reputation or rankings: School and program rankings can be a useful judge of quality. However, dig deep to find out which criteria are used for ranking and ensure that you use impartial ranking sources.
  • Program delivery method: Are you seeking an on-campus, online, or blended learning program? Do you prefer synchronous or asynchronous learning?
  • Program length: Different programs will vary in length and required credit hours. A full-time, on-campus program might require between 33 and 46 hours. [29] There is more flexibility with part-time programs, which will take longer.
  • Cost: Costs vary widely between programs. Factors include mode of study, the school’s reputation, required course materials, residency requirements, local living costs, and the program’s popularity and prestige.
  • Success of previous students: Read case studies and testimonials, find reviews, search for news stories, and attend any open days that would allow you to meet students and faculty.
  • Employer links: Some institutions are adept at building links with employers, offering potential opportunities for graduates.
What can I learn with a master’s in safety management?

Every program will have a unique syllabus, but topics can include:

  • Occupational Health and Well-being
  • Ergonomics
  • Health and Safety Practice
  • Sensible Risk Management
  • Quantitative Risk Analysis
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Emergency Situation Management
  • Research Methods in Health and Well-being
  • Professional Practice and Development
What can I do with my degree?

A master’s in safety management program prepares you for employment in a range of industries, including oil and gas, fire protection, manufacturing, law enforcement, construction, government, environment, education, and mining. [34] Some graduates will also work in training, consultancy, education, or research capacities. Due to the multidisciplinary nature of the field, students can customize their study by choosing specializations or electives that meet areas of interest and personal career goals. Below are some possible roles:
Occupational health and safety specialist

As an occupational health and safety specialist, you might find yourself working in a range of employment settings, including factories, offices, public organizations, and mines. Jobs often involve travel and fieldwork, and can have an element of risk. These roles are sometimes called industrial hygienists, ergonomists, environmental protection officers, and others. Many people in this role work for the government. [2]

Health and safety engineers

Health and safety engineers tend to work in offices, with some travel. The role involves creating systems and processes that protect customers, employees, and property by minimizing risks and creating a safety culture. The role is set to see a 6% growth from 2014 to 2024. [11]

Emergency management director

These professionals prepare procedures and plans to respond to emergencies such as natural disasters. If such events occur, they also help to guide the response, working with nonprofits, government agencies, and public safety officials. These roles tend to be within government organizations, although some are employed by hospitals, nonprofits, or private companies. [12]

School safety specialist

These roles focus on ensuring that students, teachers, and staff are safe within a school, working with law enforcement on preventive programs, and working with the community and parents to communicate safety measures, enforcing safety processes at school events, and ensuring all processes are followed. Emergency plan creation, visitor screening, and other security measures are also part of the role. [13]

Some states require each school system to employ a school safety specialist. The field is relatively new and specialized. Those considering this path may choose to take the Certified Safety Professionals qualification, assessed by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP). [14]

Industrial hygienist

These professionals monitor, evaluate, and resolve issues relating to health and safety at work. The role would include the evaluation of biological and chemical dangers, such as workplace ergonomics, noise levels, air quality, and even workplace productivity. It can cover in-house hazards or environmental hazards. Industrial hygienists tend to work for consultancies, private firms, or government agencies. [15]

Other roles include:

  • Occupational health and safety technicians, which are primarily concerned with collecting data that relates to health and safety. [16]
  • Careers within homeland security, which can include management of health threats, terrorism, and biological agents. [18]
Are there areas of specialization this degree can lead to?

Depending on your program of study and concentrations, you can specialize in areas as diverse as ergonomics, toxicology, indoor air quality, and occupational reproductive risks. [2]

Master of Safety Management Career Advancement
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be a 4% increase in jobs for occupational health and safety specialists between 2014 and 2024. Emergency management directors are expected to see 6% growth in career opportunities. [28] Construction and building inspectors will grow by 8%. [10]
What careers are available in this field?

Master’s in safety management graduates can work in roles including health and safety managers, construction and building inspectors, environmental health and safety specialists, or occupational health and safety specialists.

Emergency management careers are found in a range of organizations, including NASA, the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, the American Red Cross, and with universities and hospitals. Roles are also available in industries that are vulnerable to disaster and terrorism, such as utilities and energy.

What areas of practice does this degree lead to?

Occupational Health and Safety Specialist

A typical role after graduation is occupational health and safety specialist. These jobs are found in the public and private sector, particularly hospitals, engineering, and manufacturing. They are also called industrial hygienists.

Construction and Building Inspector

These professionals ensure that construction sites are meeting building ordinances and codes, contract specifications, and zoning regulations.

Environmental Scientist

In this role you apply your knowledge to protect both human health and the environment. Your work might involve working with industry leaders to lessen carbon emissions and waste, cleaning up polluted areas, or advising policymakers.

Health and Safety Engineer

These professionals develop procedures and design systems to prevent injuries and sickness, and to protect property. [48]

Salary expectations

Safety & Health Magazine, the industry publication, found in its annual salary survey for 2016 that the average health and safety manager earned between $100,000 and $126,000. Respondents were split between employment in manufacturing (35%), construction (17%), public administration (10%), services and education (9%), and utilities (8%). [31]

Payscale finds that specialists in the field with an Associate Safety Professional (ASP) Certification can earn the following:

  • Safety managers: $46,359 – $92,082
  • Environmental health and safety managers: $62,213 – $106,631
  • Environmental health and safety specialists: $50,515 – $89,955
  • Safety coordinators: $39,641 – $79,825 [32]

Additionally, the BLS reports the following median salaries:

  • Construction and building inspectors: $58,480
  • Environmental scientists and specialists: $68,910
  • Fire inspectors: $56,130
  • Health and safety engineers: $86,720
  • Emergency management directors: $70,500
  • School safety specialist: $70,210
Master of Safety Management Curriculum
Curriculums for the master’s in safety management will vary, but will typically include subjects such as:
  • Industrial hygiene
  • Disaster preparedness and communication
  • Epidemiology and disease theory
  • Health and safety program design and integration
  • Disease management
  • Safety laws and litigation
What should I look for in a curriculum?

Check that the program matches your areas of interest and intended professional direction. For example, if you are interested in environmental safety, you will want concentrations and electives in that subject. You might also look for a program with the option of an internship in an environmental organization. An institution with employer links that match with your professional ambitions could also be very attractive, along with faculty with expertise in your chosen specialization.

Are there any programs with unique core courses?

Master’s programs that focus on emergency response and terrorism/homeland security will have a heavier emphasis on the topics that specifically support this focus, such as natural and technological disasters, international humanitarian disasters, and terrorism.

Additional online graduate certificates

Many programs offer the chance to take additional graduate certificates in health, safety, and security topics. These can demonstrate your broad technical knowledge and appeal to employers.

Are there typically prerequisite courses for entering this degree program?

Because the degree is focused toward professional practice, most students will have a bachelor’s degree in a science, math, engineering, or health and safety field, and already be employed in the field.

Most universities will have other prerequisites, which will include coursework completion in math, science, and engineering. A requirement for experience in an occupational health and safety or related field is also typical.

Online vs. on-campus

Online programs typically include the same curriculum as campus-based programs. Where there are any face-to-face study or assessment elements required, an online program may include a residency element.


Most programs will require completion of a capstone project. The capstone is designed to demonstrate the level of theoretical knowledge that you have gained and how you can apply it to a real-world problem.

Does this program require an on-campus residency?

Some distance programs will require one or more residencies to support learning. These are often held over a weekend to offer flexibility for working students. Residencies add the value of face-to-face learning to the curriculum, allowing students to network, meet faculty, and engage in group work.

These residencies can add value to the program and bring the learning to life, allowing you to build vital contacts in the process.

Concentrations and specializations

When choosing a specialization or concentration, you must consider your overall career goals. For example, if you wanted to work in chemical engineering, you might choose hazard control as a specialization, and if you wanted to work in construction you might choose construction safety.

A specialization can enhance your employment prospects and salary. You can choose specializations by function or career path if you know what type of role you are working toward, or one that aligns to an industry you are interested in, such as public health or nuclear energy.

Each institution will offer a different range of concentrations depending on the program and its focus.

Common specializations include:

  • Advanced project management
  • Hazard control
  • Regulatory standards
  • Ergonomics
  • Construction safety
  • Noise control engineering
  • Transportation safety
  • Health physics and advanced industrial hygiene

You may be required to select elective courses from a number of available classes or a concentration. These classes will focus on individual topics, allowing you to focus on specific issues relating to the management of health, safety, environment, or emergencies.

Typical electives might include

  • Emergency management
  • School safety management
  • Fire and emergency services
  • Homeland security
  • Occupational safety
  • Industrial hygiene and safety
  • Disaster response
  • Toxicology
  • Health risk assessment
  • Advanced safety principles
  • Industrial ventilation and air control
  • Radiological health
  • Ergonomics
  • Air sampling and analysis
  • Workplace wellness
How should I choose my electives?

Consider your broader career goals, experience, and personal interest. You may want to build on existing knowledge or learn about a new area that could be valuable for your career. The more you specialize in a certain area, the more closely you position yourself for employment in that field.

Conversely, you may prefer to generalize and have broader technical knowledge to maximize your chances of gaining employment across different fields or roles.

Other approaches to take include: [20]

  • Choosing an elective that addresses a weaker area of your knowledge
  • Pairing your electives with general education requirements [20]

The right concentration will depend on your career path and ambitions. For example, if you want to work in workplace safety, you might concentrate on ergonomics, indoor air quality, and noise control engineering.

Safety programs are not standardized, and curriculums and specialization options will vary according to institution. This makes it important to carry out in-depth research to find the right program for you, and to map the content to your career goals.

Experiential learning, internships, and field placements

An internship can give you real-world insight into the work involved in health, safety, and security. It demonstrates that you are ready for work if you have minimal experience. If you have broader experience already, it allows you to work in a new industry or field and to build your network. It can even lead to a job offer. [22]

Will I need to do an internship?

In order to help you succeed in the workplace, many programs will require or recommend that you participate in an internship. This requirement can sometimes be waived if you have relevant work experience in the field.

How can I organize an internship?

Most firms will advertise their programs and availability, although students can apply speculatively. If an institution requires an internship or field project, it will usually have a coordinator or placement team that can help you secure a place.

Can I do an internship at my current workplace?

Your school may allow this, but in some cases, there might be more value in getting an internship at a different employer. It will broaden your industry experience and contextual understanding while allowing you to develop your professional network and giving you additional value for your resume.

Master of Safety Management Program Length

The length of an online master’s degree program can depend on a number of variables, perhaps the most prominent of which is the pace at which you choose to study. You can finish a typical master’s degree program in about two to three years if you choose to study full-time, although some accelerated programs may be able to help you finish more quickly.

Online master’s degree programs tend to offer flexibility suitable for students who choose to study part-time. This option will likely extend your time to completion, but it can allow you to study while fulfilling your familial, social, and professional obligations.

You can find more information on this topic at our program length overview page.

Master of Safety Management Admissions Requirements

While each program will set its admission requirements based on its own criteria, many requirements are universal across all programs. No matter where you apply, you can expect to provide items like transcripts from previous degrees or coursework; standardized test scores; a personal statement or essay; letters of recommendation; and an overview of relevant work experience.

In certain cases, some of these requirements may be waived.

For more information about admissions, please visit our admissions requirements page.

Master of Safety Management Alternative Degrees/Fields of Study

There are master’s-level programs in a range of aligned subjects, including:

  • Master’s in Occupational Health & Safety
  • Master’s in Emergency Management
  • Master’s in Occupational Safety Management
  • Master’s in Homeland Security
  • Master’s in Public Health
  • Master’s in Occupational Risk Prevention
  • Master of Fire and Emergency Sciences
Master of Safety Management Accreditation
Regional accreditation is the most prestigious type of accreditation that an online or traditional college or university can receive. It is granted only after careful consideration by private, not-for-profit organizations tasked with evaluating educational quality. Regional accreditation is particularly important if you anticipate that you might want to transfer credits from one online degree program to another or use those credits to pursue another degree. Most regionally accredited schools will only accept credits from other regionally accredited institutions of higher learning. You can learn more on this topic at our regional accreditation page.
Programmatic accreditation

The Institute for Safety and Health Management is the major accrediting body for safety programs in the U.S. [40]

ISHM accredits institutions that offer health, safety, and security programs and also offers opportunities for students to pursue additional certificates, such as the Associate Safety and Health Manager Certificate (ASHM) and the Certified Safety and Health Manager (CSHM). The latter exam can be taken once you have three years of experience in the field.

There are also a small number of graduate degrees accredited by the Environmental Health, Science and Protection Accreditation Council (EHAC). Fewer than 10 programs have this accreditation. [38]

Some organizations will only hire graduates from accredited programs.

How can choosing a non-accredited program prevent me from furthering my career?

Non-accredited programs may not have the quality you want from a master’s degree in terms of curriculum, teaching, program delivery, and achievement of the educational standards, knowledge, and skills. Also, if you hope to pursue further education, most institutions won’t accept transfer credits or degrees conferred from non-accredited colleges or universities.

What is state authorization?

State authorization is managed by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, or SARA. The council sets and manages national standards for all distance and online learning programs to ensure that minimum standards of quality are achieved and that the integrity of the program is maintained. Institutions sign up to SARA’s standards on a voluntary basis. [42]

Master of Safety Management Relevant organizations and professional associations

Prominent organizations in the health and safety industry include:

  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • American Society of Safety Engineers
  • National Safety Council
  • American Industrial Hygiene Association
  • The National Association of Safety Professionals
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

What is the value of connecting with these associations/organizations?

In addition to providing valuable networking opportunities, professional organizations can help keep you informed about trends and developments in the health, safety, and security fields, or provide access to roles and new opportunities, information about further training, professional events, and more.


It is also possible to study for a certificate in the field rather than undertaking a full degree. These include: [43]

  • Certificate in Safety Management
  • Certificate in the Executive Program in Safety Management
  • Global Safety Management Certificate Program
  • ISO 45001 Certificate Program
  • Risk Assessment Certificate Program

OSHA also offers specialist accredited certificates in personal protective equipment, confined space entry, hazardous materials, respiratory protection, industrial hygiene, and fire protection. These are often available from degree-granting institutions accredited by OSHA. They are called ‘cards’ and take between 10-30 hours to earn. [7]

Master of Safety Management Licensure and Certification

Although most fields in health, safety, and security management don’t require formal certification, there are accredited industry certificates that you can seek. These include:

  • The Associate Safety and Health Manager (ASHM) certification from the Institute for Safety and Health Management [25]
  • Certified Safety and Health Manager (CSHM) — after 2-3 years of additional experience in a health and safety management field — from the Institute for Safety and Health Management [25]
  • Certified Emergency Manager and Associate Emergency Manager Program, via the International Association of Emergency Managers
  • Certified Safety Professionals certification, assessed by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) [26]
The value of certification

Certification is particularly valuable for some roles, including environmental health specialists. There are credentials from the National Environmental Health Association that cover specialist areas such as hazardous materials, food services, or wastewater treatment. Some require graduation from an appropriate program for eligibility, along with experience in the field and an examination. [27]

Similarly, if you want to become an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety specialist, there are additional OSHA certificates available. These each take 10-30 hours to complete and cover specialist topics such as workers’ compensation, fire protection, confined space entry, ergonomics and nerve disorders, respiratory protection, and personal protective equipment. [39]

Master of Safety Management Tuition and Fees

There are a number of factors that can greatly affect how much your education will cost. These include whether you attend a public or private institution; whether you attend as an in-state or out-of-state student; and whether you qualify for financial aid like grants or scholarships.

For a more detailed breakdown of tuition, fees, and other financial issues, please visit our tuition and fees page.

How can I finance my program?

There are different ways to finance your master’s. Financial sources include student loans, employer reimbursement, savings, grants, and scholarships. Each institution may offer options for grants, scholarships, fee reductions, and loan forgiveness. You could consider:

  • Student loans — your institution of choice can direct you to student loan providers.
  • Scholarships — there are a range of scholarships available from institutions, private scholarships, as well as state, public, and private funds. Begin with an online search and speak to the admissions office for more information. [35]
  • Delayed financial burden — some institutions allow students to delay loan repayments until after graduation. Remember that interest may continue to accrue in the interim, however.
  • Loan forgiveness can be a possibility if you plan to work in the public sector. [36]
  • If you are an active service member or a military veteran, you may qualify for tuition assistance and a variety of other helpful services via the GI Bill. Check the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website for more information. [19]
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A master’s in safety management is a degree designed to expand a student’s knowledge of safety principles. It prepares graduates to take on a leadership or managerial roles within their organizations. Many universities offer specialized concentrations, such as emergency management, occupational safety and homeland security, to help students focus on their area of interest.

Student pursuing a master’s in safety management seek advancement. They view safety as crucial in the workplace and seek to advance their knowledge and credentials to improve quality standards. They are also motivated to make their industry safer and reduce accidents.

The core mission of safety professionals is to prevent injury to workers or harm to property and the environment. These professionals can be found in a broad array of fields, such as, construction, fire protection, law enforcement, manufacturing, environmental agencies and government. They help develop, educate and enforce techniques that help prevent accidents, illnesses, fires, and explosions.

To pursue a Master of Safety Management, prospective students need a bachelor’s degree. Depending on the university requirements, it may not have to be in a related subject. Typically, students who pursue this degree have relevant industry experience. Each university has its own requirements, so it is important to check to see if you qualify for each program you are considering.

Students looking to take on a leadership role in their current field can often qualify for more roles by completing a master’s program.

Yes, there isn’t a standard naming convention with master’s degrees in safety. Many universities offer specialized degrees to meet the needs of numerous different fields that a safety professional can work in. Interested students should pay close attention to the concentrations and curriculum offered by universities to find the safety master’s program that best aligns with their career goals.

A minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) is determined by each university. Generally a 3.0 based on a 4.0 scale is the minimum at many universities but exceptions for work experience or the GRE/GMAT may be considered if your GPA is lower than 3.0.

Whether you will need to complete the GRE or GMAT prior to applying for a program will largely depend on what school you have chosen. There are many programs that do not require a GRE or GMAT. Check the admissions requirements for your school before applying.

Some universities will allow students to receive degree credit for work experience or training.

Generally speaking, no. Some universities may require an undergraduate degree related to safety or allow students to use professional work or safety-related certifications in place of a degree.

Some master’s programs require prerequisites in math, chemistry, and physics.

When looking for a master’s program in safety, it’s important that the program has been accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). It’s also important to choose a regionally accredited program if you want to transfer credits or pursue further education. [44]

Core courses within a safety management master’s program usually focus on the evaluation, design and implementation of safety protocols. Below are common core course subjects:

  • Safety management
  • Occupational safety management
  • Fire safety
  • Safety legislation
  • Health administration
  • Environmental protection
  • Disaster response

Pre-requisite courses are typically specific to the university, so it is important to check each program’s requirements. Some universities require prerequisites in college level math, chemistry and physics.

Look for a program with a specialization that meets your career goals and interests. There is a variety of options and concentrations for master’s in safety degree programs. Also be sure that your program is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC).

A master’s in safety management typically takes approximately two years to complete. Many online programs offer part-time study options, which can extend the period of study.

Yes. Many institutions offer this degree online.

Most institutions do not indicate on the degree that it was earned

Yes, typically schools follow the same curriculum for their online programs as they do for their campus-based programs.

There are different types of master’s degrees that you can earn in the safety field, each with their own specialization. Students looking to pursue a master’s degree in safety management should consider their career goals and interests when researching master’s programs.

There are many professional organizations dedicated to the safety field that can provide guidance on specializations within the field, including:

  • The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) [45]
  • National Safety Council (NSC) [46]
  • Institute of Safety and Health Management (ISHM) [47]

Some universities offer specialized graduate-level certificate programs. These certificate programs are a good option for students looking for credentials in a specific topic of study or to springboard into a master’s degree at a future time.

In addition, there are numerous industry-recognized, third-party certifications for safety professionals. These can certifications require at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field, a passing grade on the certification exam and on-going education credits for yearly renewal. Below are details on a few of the main certifying organizations:
OSHA 10 and 30 hour Outreach Training Program [48]

  • A voluntary program that OSHA recommends to onboard occupational safety and health workers.
  • Some states, employers and unions require OSHA Outreach training.

Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) [49]
Below are a few of the general certifications available at the BCSP. They also have industry-specific certification.

  • Associate Safety Professionals (ASP)
  • Certified Safety Professionals (CSP)
  • Graduate Safety Practitioner (GSP)
  • Safety Management Specialists (SMS)

Institute for Safety and Health Management (ISHM) [47]
Below are a few of the general certifications available at the ISHM. They also have industry specific certification.

  • Certified Safety and Health Manager (CSHM)
  • Certified Safety Management Practitioner (CSMP)
  • Associate Safety and Health Manager (ASHM)

Certifications can help boost your marketability, give you a competitive advantage in hiring, and demonstrates the high standard of your education. Some states, organizations, unions and employers may require certain certificates, which would be listed within the job posting. [49]

From construction and manufacturing to government and schools, safety professional have an impact in virtually every workplace. With a higher level of education and experience, safety professionals can move into management position.

Below find popular careers and salary ranges for master’s in safety, security, and emergency management graduates:

  • Health and Safety Manager: $79,100 median salary; top earners reported salaries up to $110,678 [50]
  • Safety Director: $73,321 median salary; top earners reported salaries up to $118,126 [51]
  • Safety Manager: $65,162 median salary; top earners reported salaries up to $97,360 [52]
  • Safety Specialist: $58,395 median salary; top earners reported salaries up to $78,750 [53]
  • Safety Supervisor: $56,376 median salary; top earners reported salaries up to $82,607 [12]

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports slow growth in the occupational health and safety field, there is a good variety of lucrative roles that you can pursue as a safety management professional. Your master’s degree can help you become more competitive for these roles. [48]

A recent survey of safety professional say their job is very or relatively stable. Nearly 25% of respondents said their employers plan to add staff to their departments within the next year.
The current pool of safety professionals is getting closer to retirement so new vacancies will be opening up in the coming years. [49]

No — attaining management/senior positions is not guaranteed through the completion of a master’s degree. These positions often require many years of experience and a significant level of career achievement. However, an advanced degree can help you develop the necessary knowledge and skills required for these positions and also prove your dedication to the field.

Yes, the American Board of Engineering Technology (ABET) is an accrediting body for safety programs. The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) worked with ABET to help create a set of standards to which members of the safety management profession are expected to adhere. Successful completion of an ABET-accredited program indicates that the student has obtained the required competencies to pursue a career in this field. [50]

Accreditations are a strong indication of quality, but are also required for students who plan to apply for federal financial aid. Accreditation ensures that your degree is recognized by employers, professional associations, and other accredited institutions of higher education.

SARA (State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement) applies only to distance education programs in the United States that cross state lines. This agreement is made between member states and establishes comparable postsecondary national standards for distance education courses.

Not every state is a SARA member. Through SARA, member states only have to receive authorization in their home state. Without SARA, non-member states would have to receive authorization in their home state and the state of each of their online students. [51]

Every school has a department or team responsible for online education. This department will be able to answer questions regarding compliance for your home state. Additionally, you can locate the school through SARA (if it is a SARA institution) to confirm compliance.