Best Online Environmental Health and Safety Programs
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Editor & Writer
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The bachelor's in environmental health and safety is a four-year undergraduate degree that introduces students to industrial hygiene, occupational safety, and environmental health concepts. Students learn how to identify and mitigate hazards that could harm the environment, people, or property.
Interested in getting a bachelor's in environmental health and safety but unsure what it costs? According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average cost of attending a four-year public college or university is $20,598 per year. That includes tuition, fees, and room and board. Private schools typically charge higher tuition rates than public schools. The cost for an online degree at a top online school may be less than for an in-person degree, depending on the school.
According to Payscale data from December 2021, the average base salary for someone with a bachelor's in environmental health and safety is $70,000 per year. Common job titles include environmental health and safety specialist, environmental health and safety manager, safety manager, safety specialist, and safety coordinator.
What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Environmental Health and Safety Program?
A bachelor's in environmental health and safety takes about four years to complete and requires at least 120 credits. Some schools offer concentrations in environmental health and safety. For example, at Unity College, students can choose from emergency disaster management, environmental GIS, sustainable business, renewable energy, and wildlife ecology concentrations.
The bachelor's in environmental health and safety degree typically includes science courses, such as chemistry and biology, which may require labs. There may be other requirements as well. For example, The University of Arizona requires six credits of field work in health education.
This degree is usually a bachelor of science (BS) degree. As you could probably guess, BS degrees usually require more science than bachelor of arts (BA) degrees. Some schools offer accelerated 4+1 programs that allow students to earn both their bachelor's and master's degrees in environmental safety and health in five years. Rutgers University and Rochester Institute of Technology are two schools that offer a 4+1 program.
Qualities that will serve a student well during their online bachelor's in environmental health and safety program include communication skills, perseverance, and a desire for personal improvement. These qualities will also come in handy in the workforce after earning your online bachelor's degree in environmental health and safety.
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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Environmental Health and Safety Program?
Introduction to Epidemiology
This course presents students with the basic methods and principles of epidemiology. Students develop analytical and critical thinking skills as they learn about research methods and clinical practice in epidemiology.
Principles of Health Education and Health Promotion
In this course, students learn the principles of health promotion and health education. They learn about clinical services that work to prevent future health problems and discuss the affordability of those services.
Introduction to Environmental and Occupational Health
This course provides an overview of occupational and environmental health issues. It examines ways to control and prevent environmental hazards. Topics include infectious diseases, climate change, and air pollution.
Introduction to Biostatistics
This course introduces students to important topics in biostatistical reasoning. Students learn about data and data types. They learn how to describe variability in data as well as how to test statistical hypotheses.
What Are Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Environmental Health and Safety Program?
The admission requirements for an online program are usually the same as those for the on-campus program at that school. Students need to fill out an application and submit their transcripts and test scores. They may also need to write an essay or get letters of recommendation.
Regardless of which program you want to complete, the process starts with an application, which usually must be accompanied by an application fee. Most schools have an online application form, but if you're applying to multiple schools, it may be easier to use the Common App. This service allows you to apply to many schools at once.
Despite concerns about standardized testing, many colleges require scores from college entrance exams as part of the application process. Many schools require minimum scores for the ACT or SAT for admission. Others require students to take additional courses to improve their math and English skills if their scores fall short.
Letters of Recommendation
Many schools require 2-3 letters of recommendation. You can ask former teachers or contacts from work. It is usually best to ask a work supervisor or another manager who is familiar with your work. If you have not yet entered the workforce, ask your favorite teachers, a counselor, or the principal of your school.
College application essays provide an opportunity for candidates to inject a little personality into their college applications. Some colleges provide a choice of topics, while others leave the topic up to the applicant. Most college application essays are short usually between 400-600 words in length.
You'll need to request your official high school transcripts to be sent to the college. If you've attended college before, you'll need those transcripts as well. Previous college credit might earn you transfer credits. For example, if you are transferring from a community college to a university, the university will evaluate your community college credits to determine whether any of them should count toward your degree.
What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Environmental Health and Safety Degree?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for occupational health and safety specialists and technicians and health and safety engineers is about average. The BLS projects that job opportunities will grow 6-7% for these occupations from 2020-30.
Jobs for graduates with this degree may be more difficult to find than opportunities related to more popular college majors, such as business administration and health professions.
In December 2021, Payscale reported an average base salary of $70,000 per year for those with a BS in environmental health and safety. Occupational health and safety specialists and technicians often work in manufacturing, government, construction, or consulting.
Occupational Health and Safety Specialists and Technicians
Occupational health and safety specialists and technicians inspect their workplaces to make sure employees are following all regulations regarding the environment, health, and safety. They collect and analyze data, conduct tests, and measure hazards. They work to keep employees, the environment, company property, and the general public safe from work-related hazards.
Median Annual Salary: $72,530 (as of May 2020, BLS)
Health and Safety Engineers
Health and safety engineers design systems and create procedures that keep people safe from workplace injuries and illnesses. They also try to prevent property damage. They usually have a background in both health and safety and engineering. They make sure that the machinery, chemicals, and other products used by the company will not harm people or property.
Median Annual Salary: $94,240 (as of May 2020, BLS)
Environmental Health and Safety Specialist
Environmental health and safety specialists pay attention to the way individuals behave the procedures they use and determine whether these behaviors and procedures are safe. Environmental health and safety specialists evaluate procedures for working with raw materials and heavy machinery. They look for problems and come up with solutions to help improve the level of safety.
Average Annual Salary: $64,410 (as of December 2021, Payscale)
Environmental Health and Safety Manager
Environmental health and safety managers recognize risks and come up with plans to help mitigate those risks. They evaluate the company's safety policies and suggest changes. They ensure that the company is not negatively impacting the environment and train employees in the areas of safety and environmental health.
Average Annual Salary: $85,820 (as of December 2021, Payscale)
Safety managers work to ensure the safety of employees within a company. They try to minimize the number of injuries and protect the company from liability for injuries by taking every necessary precaution to keep employees safe. Safety managers often work on construction sites but they also spend a lot of time in the office, working to resolve health and safety issues.
Average Annual Salary: $72,530 (as of December 2021, Payscale)
Environmental Health and Safety Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.
In order to advance their careers, some people with a bachelor's in environmental health and safety go on to earn a master's degree in environmental health and safety. According to Payscale, the average base salary for someone with an MS in environmental health and safety is $79,000 per year as of December 2021.
Common job titles for those with a master's in environmental health and safety include environmental health and safety manager, environmental health and safety specialist, safety specialist, and safety manager. These job titles do not require a master's degree. However, earning a master's degree may help a candidate stand out against the competition and perhaps earn a higher salary.
How Do I Choose an Online Bachelor's in Environmental Health and Safety Program?
A four-year bachelor's degree costs an average of $82,392 at a public college or university, according to NCES. That cost includes tuition, fees, room, and board, but may not be the total cost of attendance. Students attending private schools can expect to pay more, while those attending public colleges in their own state may pay less due to the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition rates. Some schools offer lower rates for online programs.
Consider whether the school offers a synchronous or asynchronous online bachelor's in environmental health and safety. Synchronous programs require you to log in at specific times, while asynchronous programs do not. If you're working, you'll probably want a part-time program. If not, you may be able to attend full-time. You may even be able to find an accelerated program that will allow you to finish even faster.
If your online bachelor's in environmental health and safety is 100% online, you should be able to take it from anywhere. However, some programs have in-person labs, practicums, or other in-person requirements. If you're going to college online, find out whether there are any in-person requirements. If so, location might be important.
Accreditation is the process by which schools are evaluated to ensure they meet minimum standards. Most schools are regionally accredited. This is important because it is easier to transfer credits from one regionally-accredited college to another. It can be very difficult to get credit for the work you have done if the college you attended was not accredited.
Before you choose a college, check to see what kinds of student services they offer. Many schools now offer student services online, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding a school that provides the support you need to succeed as an online student. Student services include alumni connections, internship assistance, tutoring, career services, and mentorship opportunities.
Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Environmental Health and Safety Programs
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Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Environmental Health and Safety Programs
Is a bachelor's in environmental health and safety worth it?
Considering the fact that people with a bachelor's in environmental health and safety earn an average base salary of $70,000 per year according to December 2021 Payscale data, most people would probably agree that it is a worthwhile degree.
However, you should also consider the cost of the degree. If you attend a private college, the tuition is often much higher, so you will have to earn more to recoup your investment in the degree. It may be a good idea to choose a low-cost college to keep your investment to a minimum.
What can I do with a bachelor's in environmental health and safety?
Common job titles for someone with a bachelor's in environmental health and safety include environmental health and safety specialist, environmental health and safety manager, safety manager, safety specialist, and safety coordinator.
Many companies hire environmental health and safety professionals to evaluate their safety guidelines and ensure that they are sufficient to keep employees safe from harm. Environmental health and safety professionals also ensure that the company follows the necessary procedures to keep from harming the environment.
Are environmental health and safety majors in demand?
The demand for environmental health and safety professionals is about average. The BLS projects that jobs for these professionals will increase 7% from 2020-30. This growth rate should result in approximately 8,800 new jobs for occupational health and safety specialists by 2030.
If you are concerned about the lack of demand for professionals in environmental health and safety, you might want to consider a dual major in another, more popular discipline such as business.
How much money can I make with a bachelor's in environmental health and safety?
The average salary for someone with a bachelor's in environmental health and safety is $70,000 per year, according to Payscale data from December 2021. However, note that entry-level jobs may pay less than average and your pay is likely to increase with experience.
You can also earn more by moving into a management-level job, such as environmental health and safety manager. Another way to possibly increase your salary is to pursue a master's degree in environmental health and safety.
What are the highest paying jobs with a bachelor's in environmental health and safety?
The highest-paying jobs for someone with a bachelor's in environmental health and safety are health and safety engineer and environmental health and safety manager.
Health and safety engineers need to have an engineering background as well as a background in environmental health and safety. This may require a dual major or a concentration in an engineering-related field. Health and safety engineers earn a median annual salary of $94,240, according to May 2020 data from the BLS.
Environmental health and safety managers oversee the health and safety departments at their organizations. They help minimize risks by recognizing hazards and taking corrective action to mitigate them. As of December 2021, Payscale reports that environmental health and safety managers earn an average annual salary of $85,820.
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