This page highlights different associate programs in safety, including criminal justice technology, occupational safety, health technology, and criminology. We discuss courses, admission requirements, and career outlook. You can also find answers to prospective students' typical questions.

Please use the embedded links to explore the top online associate degrees in safety.

What are the best Safety programs of 2020? Here are our top 5:

Rank School Location
1 Pamlico Community College Grantsboro, NC
2 Stanly Community College Albemarle, NC
3 College of the Mainland Texas City, TX
4 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
5 South Texas College McAllen, TX
6 Saint Leo University Saint Leo, FL
7 Chaminade University of Honolulu Honolulu, HI
8 Vance-Granville Community College Henderson, NC
9 Copiah-Lincoln Community College Wesson, MS
10 Ozarka College Melbourne, AR

After earning an online associate degree in safety at a community college, you can transfer to a bachelor's program at a different school. Doing so can save you potentially thousands of dollars on tuition, as two-year schools typically charge less than four-year institutions.

An associate degree can also prepare you for work as a police officer or other entry-level positions. However, your future employer may require that you earn a bachelor's to advance in your career.

How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students. Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read more about our Ranking Methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

2020 Best Accredited Online Associate in Safety Programs

Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

Pamlico Community College

Grantsboro, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 62%

Based in Grantsboro, North Carolina, Pamlico Community College features small classes with a 9-to-1 student-teacher ratio.

PCC's 67-credit online associate degree in criminal justice technology includes introductory courses to court procedures and evidence, interviews and interrogation, community policing, and ethics and community relations. Online learners must also fulfill around 15 credits of humanities and social science general education requirements.

Students enrolled in the associate in safety learn to collect and preserve evidence. Graduates can find careers with federal, state, or local law enforcement; corrections facilities; or other security fields.

PCC may ask applicants to take a placement test for admission. North Carolina residents receive a discounted tuition rate.

Pamlico Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

2

Stanly Community College

Albemarle, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 48%

Based in Albemarle, North Carolina, Stanly Community College offers two-year degree programs and delivers coursework through Canvas.

The 66-credit online associate degree in criminal justice technology includes classes in court procedure and evidence, ethics and community relations, investigative principles, and organization and administration.

Students enrolled in the online associate degree in safety need about two years or less to finish their degree. Online learners can earn additional credit through a work-based learning experience.

Applicants need a high school diploma or GED equivalent and must complete a placement test. SCC requires that students complete at least one-quarter of their credits at the community college

Stanly Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

3

College of the Mainland

Texas City, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 92%

Based in Texas City, Texas, College of the Mainland notes that its graduates with technical degrees earn higher starting salaries than any other new college graduate in the state.

The occupational safety and health associate degree includes courses in accident inspection and investigation, physical hazards control, contingency planning, and safety program management.

Graduates of the associate in safety program may sit for the associate safety professional or certified safety professional examinations from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP).

College of the Mainland is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The associate degree in occupational safety and health is accredited by the BCSP.

4

Liberty University

Lynchburg, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 50%

Based in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University enrolls over 100,000 students and offers more than 450 online degree programs.

The 60-credit online criminal justice associate degree includes classes in criminal justice research and writing, judicial process, criminology, and criminal law. Graduates pursue careers in areas like victim advocacy and homeland defense.

Students in the online associate degree in safety can complete the program in 1-2 years. Liberty allows students to transfer up to 75% of their credits from another school. Each online course lasts about eight weeks.

Liberty charges the same tuition rate of in-state and out-of-state students.

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

5

South Texas College

McAllen, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 22%

Located in McAllen, South Texas College boasts more than 120 degree programs and employs more than 2,700 faculty members.

The 60-credit online associate degree in criminal justice features introductory courses in criminal justice, ethics with an emphasis in criminal justice, business and professional communication, and federal government.

Students can complete this associate in safety in about two years. Graduates land careers in law enforcement or juvenile detention facilities, or may transfer into a four-year bachelor's program.

This college may ask applicants to complete a placement test. In-district and in-state students receive discounted tuition rates.

South Texas College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

6

Saint Leo University

Saint Leo, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 51%

Located in Florida, Saint Leo University boasts the oldest Catholic institution in the state and enrolls nearly 13,000 students.

The 60-credit online associate degree in criminal justice features core courses in criminal procedure, criminal justice ethics, substantive criminal law, and crime scene investigation.

This program encourages field placement internships with agencies like the U.S. Secret Service or the Drug Enforcement Agency. Graduates of the online associate degree in safety program can find careers as victim witness assistants or coast guard officers.

Applicants need a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Saint Leo may accept prior work experience as credit toward a student's degree.

Saint Leo University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

7

Chaminade University of Honolulu

Honolulu, HI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

Located in Hawaii, Chaminade University of Honolulu enrolls over 1,000 students. The university boasts that 100% of students complete a service-learning project.

The 60-credit online associate degree in criminology and criminal justice includes core classes in systems and management, juvenile justice system, criminal justice systems, and foundations in criminology.

Students enrolled in the associate in safety must complete at least 15 credits at Chaminade, including at least nine credits of core courses. This program prepares students for transfer to a four-year program or a career related to law enforcement.

Applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA and may choose to submit standardized test scores if they wish.

Chaminade University of Honolulu is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission.

8

Vance-Granville Community College

Henderson, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 43%

Based in Henderson, North Carolina, Vance-Granville Community College participates in the North Carolina Community College System and offers more than 40 degree and certificate programs.

The 65-credit online associate degree in criminal justice technology features core classes in law enforcement operations, criminal law, juvenile justice, and investigative principles. Online learners need about two years to complete their degree.

Students in this online associate degree in safety learn the key components of the criminal justice system and how to apply constitutional rights.

Applicants who submit standardized test scores do not need to sit for placement testing. North Carolina residents receive a discounted tuition rate.

Vance-Granville Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

9

Copiah-Lincoln Community College

Wesson, MS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 45%

Based in Wesson, Mississippi, Copiah-Lincoln Community College prepares learners to transfer into a four-year degree program or enter the workforce after two years.

The 63-credit online associate degree in criminal justice includes introductory classes in police administration and organization, criminal justice, juvenile justice, and corrections.

Online learners need about two years to complete their degree. Graduates of the associate in safety can find careers in law enforcement at the local, state, or federal level.

Applicants must submit ACT scores or take a placement test with the community college. Co-Lin requires a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Co-Lin charges the same tuition rate for both in-state and out-of-state students.

Copiah-Lincoln Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

10

Ozarka College

Melbourne, AR Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 38%

Based in Melbourne, Arkansas, Ozarka College enrolls around 2,500 students and prides itself on providing all learners with personalized attention from the faculty.

The 60-credit online associate degree in criminal justice and corrections includes core courses in criminal evidence and procedure, police and community relations, the criminal justice system, and the American national government.

Students in this online associate degree in safety gain a foundational understanding of victimization and criminality. This program teaches the essentials of constitutional rights and criminal justice regulations.

Ozarka features an open admission policy, but does not guarantee admission to any particular degree program. Applicants need a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Arkansas residents receive a discounted tuition rate.

Ozarka College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Online Associate in Safety Program Overview

As online associate degrees in safety represent multiple majors, each program uses a different curriculum. However, typical courses cover criminal law, psychology, and criminology.

You can learn more about five common safety courses in the following section.

Common Associate in Safety Degree Courses

Criminal Justice Research and Writing

This course covers APA formatting, different types of legal writing, and how to avoid plagiarism. Students perform original research and write an extended essay.

Judicial Process

The judicial process refers to the criminal justice system's inner workings. Students analyze how courts function, the role of judges and lawyers, and interactions among different law enforcement agencies.

Criminology

People commit crimes for numerous reasons. Criminal justice professionals must understand these reasons -- including mental illness, poverty, and belief systems -- to both prevent crime and protect the community when a crime occurs. In this course, degree-seekers analyze historical criminological theories to gain a better understanding of criminals' motivations and actions.

General Psychology

The modern study of psychology dates back more than a century. Although many early theories of human behavior proved incorrect, they still provide learners a unique insight into how the field developed and why current theories took hold. This course often covers abnormal psychology, including mental disorders that influence some people to commit crimes.

Introduction to Social Work

Social workers keep communities safe by addressing the underlying problems that lead to crime. Degree-seekers analyze the profession's history, goals, and methods. This course also provides future law enforcement officials with greater empathy as to why some people commit crimes and how to respond accordingly.

Online Associate in Safety Admission Requirements

  • High School Transcripts

    High school transcripts are the most crucial part of your application portfolio, as admissions departments use them to judge your academic potential. Contact your high school to request transcripts.

  • GED Scores

    Prospective students who did not graduate high school can still apply to a two-year college through GED scores. The GED consists of four tests that cover mathematical reasoning, reasoning through language arts, social studies, and science.

  • Placement Tests

    Many two-year colleges ask incoming students who do not submit ACT or SAT scores to take placement tests that cover English and math skills. These tests take place either on campus or at an authorized testing center.

  • Transfer Credit

    If you already have some college credit, submit your undergraduate transcripts to your new college or university. Good grades may exempt you from some courses, allowing you to graduate quickly and save money on tuition.

  • FAFSA

    The FAFSA determines your ability to pay for college. After you provide tax information, the FAFSA reports how much you can pay for college in the coming year. If your expected tuition and fees exceed this figure, you may qualify for a federal grant or loan.


Online Associate in Safety Career Paths

Criminal and occupational safety graduates can explore multiple entry-level careers However, some positions, such as teachers and court operations managers, may require a bachelor's degree in addition to professional experience.

Most public safety professions do not require a state-issued license. However, you may need to earn a professional certification to advance your career. Once you start a job, research how a certificate can lead to increased career and salary potential.

Related Careers

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a safety degree hard?

An online associate degree in safety requires you to master both safety and general education topics. If you feel overwhelmed academically, research your school's support resources, such as tutors and mental health counselors. They can support you and keep you on track for graduation.

How long does it take to get a safety degree?

As most programs use a 60-credit curriculum, you can expect to earn an associate degree in approximately two years if you study full time. You may need an additional year or two if you learn part time.

What kind of jobs do safety majors get?

Occupational safety graduates can start careers as safety specialists or managers. Criminal justice career opportunities include crime scene technician and paralegal.

How much do safety majors make?

Salaries can vary among different positions. U.S. police officers earn a median annual salary of $65,170. Salaries for safety majors also vary by geographical location. Large metropolitan areas often feature jobs with better salaries to compensate for the higher cost of living.

Is a safety officer a good career?

Police officers often face unique dangers and challenges on the job. However, benefits can include health insurance, four weeks of paid vacation, and the ability to retire sooner than other professionals. Retired officers also receive medical and pension benefits.

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Additional Reading and Resources

Want more? We have additional resources to help you in every stage of your educational journey.