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The best online safety certificates offer a quick and relatively inexpensive path toward a certification that can augment career possibilities and increase earning potential.

For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 8% job growth for environmental science and protection technicians between 2019 and 2029. With this increase in demand, a professional certificate offers a direct route to specialized knowledge, often in less than one year.

The following page explores the benefits of online safety certificates, highlights standout programs, and showcases several career options. Read on to learn more about practical, flexible, and inexpensive online safety certificates.

What Are the Best Online Certificate in Safety Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top Five:

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Rank School Location
1 Eastern Kentucky University Richmond, KY
2 St Petersburg College Clearwater, FL
3 Wayne Community College Goldsboro, NC
4 Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ
5 Coastal Carolina Community College Jacksonville, NC
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2021 Best Online Accredited Certificate in Safety Programs

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Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle

Eastern Kentucky University

Richmond, KY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 47%

Located in Richmond, Kentucky, EKU is known for its security and intelligence program, which offers a certificate in security management. Courses in this 24-credit certificate in safety program include physical security, homeland security technology, and risk analysis. Kentucky residents and nonresidents pay the same tuition rates. However, active-duty military pay less to study online.

The program runs on an accelerated, eight-week class schedule. Classes begin six times per year, which means students can begin coursework when it is most convenient for them. EKU's certificate in security management program takes place entirely online, so students are not required to visit campus.


St Petersburg College

Clearwater, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 32%

SPC maintains 11 campuses, centrally located in Pinellas County, Florida. The college is known for its career-focused curriculum. Florida residents pay lower tuition rates than out-of-state students at SPC.

The Department of Public Safety, Public Policy, and Legal Studies features three on-campus and five online certificate programs. Public safety certificates include homeland security, public safety telecommunication, and emergency administration and management.

The emergency administration and management certificate program teaches students how to respond to natural disasters, terrorist threats, and other crises. Classes in this 24-credit online certificate in safety program include introduction to hazards, disaster recovery operations, and domestic and international terrorism.

Graduates who wish to continue their studies can apply their certificate credits toward SPC's associate of science degree in emergency administration management.


Wayne Community College

Goldsboro, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 26%

Based in Goldsboro, North Carolina, WCC boasts 140 academic programs. Each year, WCC helps 5,000 medical service, fire service, and law enforcement professionals prepare for certification exams.

WCC's emergency management program offers five certificates: management, EMS management, fire service management, law enforcement management, and public safety. Certificate programs include 12-18 credits of coursework.

WCC offers all emergency management certificate courses online. All students working toward their certificates must take two classes: emergency management and critical incident management for public safety. Four of the five certificate programs require students to complete the course emergency center operations management.

At WCC, North Carolina residents pay lower tuition rates than their out-of-state counterparts.


Northern Arizona University

Flagstaff, AZ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 52%

NAU operates 20 campuses throughout Arizona. The university's emergency management undergraduate certificate comprises 18 credits, and required classes include introduction to emergency management, administration for emergency services, and incident management systems.

Students can complete most of the requirements for this certificate in safety program online, but some hybrid online/on-campus coursework is required. NAU delivers most online coursework asynchronously. However, students in the emergency management program may need to attend some live online courses.

Students not working toward a degree who enroll in the certificate program are not eligible for financial aid. All NAU learners pay the same tuition rates for online classes no matter where they live.


Coastal Carolina Community College

Jacksonville, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 25%

Based in Jacksonville, North Carolina, Coastal features 21 online certificate, diploma, and degree programs. At Coastal, active-duty military and their dependents are eligible for in-state tuition. Also, in-state residents pay lower tuition rates than learners who reside outside North Carolina.

Coastal's emergency management program offers three certificates: a certificate in administration, a certificate in mitigation and preparedness, and a certificate in response and recovery. Certificate courses take place online, and each certificate includes 15 credits of coursework. Students learn about hazardous materials, study emergency agency operations, and develop technical and administrative skills.

Learners working toward their certificate in emergency management administration take classes, such as incident management and fire service supervision. The mitigation and preparedness certificate offers a class in the sociology of disaster. Students pursuing the certificate in response and recovery take a course on terrorism and emergency management.

What Can I Expect From an Online Certificate in Safety Program?

Unlike associate or bachelor's degrees, safety certificates typically take less than one year to complete, providing graduates with an immediate boost to their resume.

Designed for working students, online safety certificate programs cover various topics, including environmental, industrial, and public safety. Unlike associate or bachelor's degrees, safety certificates typically take less than one year to complete, providing graduates with an immediate boost to their resume.

Admission requirements vary by program and school. The University of Washington's construction safety certificate admits students with at least five years of construction safety experience. Upon admission, students complete courses, such as industrial safety; fall protection; and excavation, trenching, and soil mechanics.

Programs like Davidson-Davie Community College's public safety telecommunicator certificate are open to all high school graduates and typically take two semesters to complete. The program requires 18 credits, and students enroll in courses like municipal public relations, EMS management, and ethics and community relations.

Because online safety certificates provide such specific training, students need to review course requirements to ensure classes meet their academic and career goals.

Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Certificate in Safety Program?

While courses vary considerably between certificate programs, students typically learn about Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, risk mitigation, and employee health and safety.

Due to the inherent flexibility of online courses, distance learning allows students the chance to simultaneously learn and apply course content while working in the field. The following section highlights some typical certificate courses.

Introduction to Workplace Safety

Highlighting the safety risks common to industrial environments, this course explores the health and safety responsibilities for frontline workers. Students learn hazard identification and analysis techniques and apply them to practical scenarios. Learners also discuss safety management systems designed to mitigate workplace hazards.

Construction Safety

This online class covers safety methods and regulations in the construction industry. Students explore the causes of fatalities and severe injuries in the field while closely examining the methods used to navigate common industry hazards. Students also learn OSHA regulations.

OSHA Standards

By recognizing the importance of OSHA standards and the basic principles of regulatory compliance, students evaluate and interpret policies related to workplace scenarios. This course also examines OSHA enforcement procedures, workplace compliance standards, and common OSHA violations. Before completion, students develop a systematic training guide based on OSHA regulations.

Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response

This course covers site survey techniques, decontamination exercises, and routine respirator maintenance. Students also experience a confined space equipment demonstration and develop health and safety plans addressing common risks in the field.

Accident Investigation

This online course explores workplace accidents and near-miss investigations as a tool for accident prevention. Through systematic, determinative, and procedural methods, students evaluate the processes typically used in accident investigations. Learners also apply investigation techniques to case studies and other workplace scenarios.

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What Can I Do With an Online Certificate in Safety?

An online certificate in safety provides students with professional training and certification directly related to their field. These focused tracks offer a quick and relatively inexpensive way to boost career options and increase pay.

Between 2019 and 2029, the BLS projects solid job growth for fire inspectors (8%), environmental science and protection technicians (8%), and occupational health and safety specialists (4%). As these careers grow, earning a certificate offers a practical way to stand out among the competition.

Occupational Health and Safety Specialist

Occupational health and safety specialists use their experience and formalized training while inspecting workplace adherence to health, safety, and environmental regulations. In addition to inspections, these professionals evaluate workplace safety programs and provide educational and training assistance. These workers also investigate accidents, potential causes, and develop risk mitigation plans.

Environmental Science and Protection Technician

Trained to monitor natural and workplace environments while investigating pollution sources, these public health professionals inspect public places and businesses for health and safety hazards. These technicians collect myriad environmental samples for analysis and use complex technical equipment to monitor environmental factors like emissions and water contamination.

Fire Inspector

Trained to examine buildings for potential fire hazards, fire inspectors possess a deep knowledge of the federal, state, and local fire codes designed for public safety. Often having experience as firefighters, these professionals frequently hold credentials, such as certified fire investigator.

Wastewater Treatment Operator

Wastewater treatment operators oversee the complex web of machines that transfer wastewater. In addition to collecting and testing water and sewage samples, these workers continuously monitor operating conditions while keeping up with various meters and gauges. These professionals record and report test data to regulatory agencies.

Construction Inspector

Construction inspectors lean on experience and training to ensure construction projects meet national and local building codes, regulations, and contractual obligations. These professionals assess building plans, monitor construction sites to ensure compliance, and issue violation notices if projects fail to meet guidelines. Construction inspectors also inspect electrical and plumbing systems and maintain digital logs from all inspections.

Safety Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Frequently Asked Questions About Certificate in Safety Programs

What is safety?

Safety refers to the principles and practices that ensure safe work environments while promoting public health and safety. OSHA regulations promote worker safety and help offset financial liabilities while encouraging practices that underscore community health and wellness.

How much does it cost to get a safety certificate?

Tuition fees vary by program, but safety certificates typically do not take much time to complete and are offered through public institutions. As a result, students can usually earn a certificate without a significant price tag. Depending on residency status, certificates usually cost around $1,200-$5,000.

Should I get a degree or a certificate in safety?

While a certificate is often a valuable supplement to an undergraduate degree, it can also boost job prospects for high school graduates. Nevertheless, earning a bachelor's degree is proven to increase access to lucrative jobs that require more specialized knowledge. Additionally, many organizations require an undergraduate degree when considering applicants for leadership positions.

How long does it take to get a safety certificate?

Completion times vary significantly. Some programs take only 30 days, while others can take up to a year. Additionally, programs that require experience in the field often take longer. Online coursework often allows students to complete assignments at their own pace while keeping up with personal and professional obligations.

What are the highest-paying jobs I can get with a safety certificate?

Salaries can vary significantly depending on education and experience. While entry-level roles typically pay considerably less, jobs like occupational health and safety technician, construction inspector, and fire inspector all pay median salaries over $60,000 per year.