Top 10 Affordable Occupational Health and Safety Bachelor’s Degrees 2021

Earning a bachelor’s degree in occupational health and safety provides graduates with an entry into this varied and growing field. Since workplace and environmental safety regulations need to be enforced for the safety of people, property, and the environment, people in this field can find satisfying challenges in their work. This list of affordable bachelor’s degrees in occupational health and safety includes mostly online programs, with some on-campus and hybrid programs listed as well. Pursuing an affordable occupational health and safety degree online can help get you on your way to a meaningful career.

With the affordable online option, students who wish to continue in their current job and continue to care for responsibilities without uprooting their life to move to an on-campus degree program can do so. This article lists the most affordable online occupational health and safety bachelor’s degree programs for prospective students to investigate. Check out these affordable programs to find a program that meets your educational goals as well as your budget. 

Bachelor’s Degrees in Occupational Health and Safety Methodology 

This ranking of the 10 most affordable online bachelor’s degrees in occupational health and safety includes mostly online programs, but also includes some on-campus and hybrid programs. These programs are from an initial pool of 28 programs. All online programs from the initial pool were included in this list, with additional affordable programs included with on-campus and hybrid formats. Programs were ranked according to in-state tuition costs from the College Navigator website. Profile information was derived from school websites. Contact the school you are interested in for the most current and up to date program and tuition information. 

  1. Odessa College, Odessa, TX
  2. Columbia Southern University, Orange Beach, AL
  3. North Carolina A & T State University, Greensboro, NC
  4. Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant, OK
  5. Missouri Southern State University, Joplin, MO
  6. University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO
  7. Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY
  8. Oakland University, Rochester Hills, MI
  9. Waldorf University, Forrest City, IA
  10. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL

Ranking the Top 10 Bachelor’s in Occupational Health and Safety Online and On-Campus

10. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL

BS Safety Management

Online

Tuition $36,868 

 WEBSITE

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University was recently ranked number 2 by US News and World Report for its online bachelor’s degree programs, and has ranked in the top 5 since this ranking began in 2013. This BS in Safety Management, a top occupational health and safety degree online, equips graduates with the skills to meet safety challenges that exist, and to keep up with changing regulations. This program was designed for working professionals in active duty military that are industry researchers, managers and safety officers wishing to advance their career in this growing field. This bachelor’s degree in Safety Management is an approved Category I – AU-ABC Program and is a selection option in the Air Force Virtual Education Center (AFVEC). This program promises to aid in the development of the upcoming generation of safety experts responsible for workplace safety and response to hazards and emergencies in the workplace. This program is also available to students wishing to obtain their master’s degree through one year of additional study. 

9. Waldorf University, Forrest City, IA

BA Psychology Occupational Safety and Health concentration

Online

Tuition $22,352

WEBSITE

Waldorf University’s online Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology is offered with an option for an Occupational Safety and Health Concentration. This concentration is designed to provide foundational knowledge to enter the field of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH). Graduates of this four year program will have an understanding of industrial hygiene, occupational health and safety, environmental health and safety, and health safety. With a unique complement to Psychology, students in this program focus on safety strategies designed to have an influence on employee thought and behavior, leading workers to promote safety in the workplace. 

8. Oakland University, Rochester Hills, MI.

BS Environmental Health and Safety

Online, On-Campus, Hybrid

In-state Tuition $13,346

Out-of state Tuition $24,710

WEBSITE

This Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) is from Oakland University, which offers this top occupational health and safety degree online in all formats, including the flexible online format. Students can expect to gain knowledge and skills in science, engineering, behavioral science, environments and occupational health and safety, and industrial hygiene. Professionals in this growing field work to identify, evaluate, and control or eliminate hazards to people, property or the environment. Graduates of this 125-credit program can expect to find employment in a wide variety of settings including heavy and light industry, manufacturing, service and healthcare, and local, state and federal government. Graduates from OU’s EHS program have been employed by Fiat Chrysler, General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and local governments, to name a few. 

7. Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY

BS Occupational Safety

Online

In-State Tuition $9,876

Out-of-State Tuition $19,948

WEBSITE

Through Eastern Kentucky University’s Online BS in Occupational Safety program, students can graduate in as little as 2.5 years. Students graduate with the leadership skills, preventive strategies and response tactics needed to protect people, property and the environment. As a Qualified Academic Program (QAP) of the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, graduates of this bachelor’s program may apply for the Graduate Safety Practitioner (GSP) credential, leading the way to earning the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) credential. With professors that are involved in every area of health and safety and nationally and internationally known in the safety field, these professors are dedicated to student success. EKU encourages students to complete a Co-Op as part of their program to gain valuable experience. Students may also do an Independent Study, allowing them to pursue topics of interest as they complete this occupational health and safety degree online.

6. University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO

BS Occupational Safety

Accelerated BS and MS dual degree

Online, On-Campus, Hybrid

In-state Tuition $7,969

Out-of-State Tuition $14,715

WEBSITE

Students earning their degree from UCM in this high-demand profession have three concentration options: Environmental Management, Safety Management or Occupational Health Management. Students can apply to the accelerated BS/MS degree program in Occupational Safety, earning both degrees in less time than earning each separately and saving money. Graduates of this Qualified Academic Program (QAP) are awarded the Graduate Safety Practitioner (GSP), leading the way to professional certification as a Certified Safety Professional (CSP). Develop the knowledge and skills needed to keep people, the environment and property safe in this affordable on-campus or online occupational safety and health degree program from UCM.

5. Missouri Southern State University, Joplin, MO

BAS Environmental Health and Safety – Online or On-Campus

BS Environmental Health and Safety – Not all courses offered online

In-State Tuition $6,803

Out-of-State Tuition $13,606

WEBSITE

MSSU’s Online Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Environmental Health and Safety is offered in both Online or On-Campus formats. Incoming students either have an Associates’ degree or are attaining an Associate’s degree. The Bachelor of Science (BS) requires more science courses than the BAS. MSSU’s Environmental Health and Safety degree program is recognized by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) as a Qualified Academic Program (QAP), and meets the qualifying credential for the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) certification. The CSP certification may be obtained following 4 years of work experience in safety. Students may apply for Graduate Safety Professional (GSP) certification upon graduation from this occupational health and safety degree online or on-campus. 

4. Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant, OK

BS Occupational Safety and Health

Online 

In-State Tuition $6,750

Out-of-State Tuition $15,390

WEBSITE

Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s online BS in Occupational Safety and Health program is a Qualified Academic Program (QAP) with the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP), entitling graduates to the Graduate Safety Practitioner (GSP) certification and eliminating the need to take the Associate Safety Professional (ASP) portion of the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) exam. This online occupational safety and health degree program equips students with the skills to design and implement safety procedures to keep workers safe on the job. This online program teaches students to identify workplace hazards, safety infractions and safety risks. This program offers multiple start dates throughout the year, helping students get started on this online degree. This occupational health and safety degree online program is also available on campus. 

3. North Carolina A & T State University, Greensboro, NC

Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety – Online

BS in Environmental Health and Safety – On-Campus

In-State Tuition $6,657

Out-of-State Tuition $20,167

WEBSITE (Certificate)

WEBSITE (Degree Completion)

This online Certificate program in Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) is designed for students wishing to pursue an advanced certificate in OSH. Students can expect to be prepared with technical and managerial skills for employment in occupational safety and health programs, with knowledge to anticipate, recognize and control hazards and accidents in the workplace. After completing this 18-credit certificate, students can apply to continue in their BS completion program. Students pursuing this BS in Environmental Health and Safety program need strong math, science, and communication skills. This 126 credit BS program positions graduates for possible employment as Safety and Health Specialists, Industrial Hygiene Managers, Corporate Industrial Hygienists, Compliance Specialists, EPA Specialists, Consumer Safety Specialists, Transportation Safety Specialists, or Risk Managers. 

2. Columbia Southern University, Orange Beach, AL

BS Occupational Safety and Health 

Online

Tuition $5,655

WEBSITE

Columbia Southern University’s online BS in Occupational Safety and Health is a designated Qualified Academic Program (QAP) by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals. This online occupational safety and health degree program is taught by field experts, many of them involved at the national level to advance this industry. Graduates of this program can apply for the Graduate Safety Practitioner designation from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, eliminating the need to take the Associate Safety Professional (ASP) exam in advance of sitting for the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) examination. This program is also approved through the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management (IHMM). CSU has a program called LifePace Learning, giving students the freedom to enroll 365 days a year, earning their degree at their own pace and fitting their education into their busy life. Students can complete assignments at their own pace and complete courses in four to ten weeks before moving on to the next course. 

1. Odessa College, Odessa, TX

BAAS Occupational Safety and Health Management

On Campus

In-state tuition $3,384

Out-of-state tuition $4,302

WEBSITE

Odessa College’s Bachelor of Arts and Science degree in Leadership and Management with a concentration in Occupational Safety and Health Management is designed for students to develop the skills needed to manage safe workplaces, management system auditing, and industrial hazards operation. Graduates of this program create and apply health and safety standards through critical thinking, innovation-based projects, communication and problem solving skills. Students that complete this program can expect to advance into leadership within their chosen field. Applicants to this program are required to have completed or be within 15 credits of completing their AAS in Occupational Safety and Environmental Technology or an approved related field. Odessa College tuition for the AAS is the same as for their BAAS program, instructors are masters or doctorate prepared and experienced in their fields. 

FAQs

Why study Occupational Health and Safety?

Occupational health and safety is a growing field that aims to protect people, property and the environment in the workplace. The term Safety Science is the term used for everything involved in prevention of accidents, illness, fires, explosions and other things that can harm people, property and the environment. 

What kinds of things can I do with a online occupational safety and health degree?

Students graduating with this degree may find employment within a local health department keeping water sources safe, a federal government department such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), within a company protecting worker health and safety and the environment of the local community, or as a health and safety inspector, to name just a few types of employment. 

What should I look for in an on-campus or online bachelor’s degree in occupational health and safety? 

Consider your specific needs when evaluating a program to help you successfully complete your degree. If you need flexibility, an online format that is offered part-time and full-time will likely meet your needs. If you need to complete your degree in as short a time period as possible, look for programs that can be accelerated without breaks. 

By taking the time to investigate program websites and contacting schools of interest you will be able to determine the best program to meet your education and budget goals as well as your career aspirations. 

How long will an online bachelor’s degree in occupational health and safety take me to complete?

 Typically, bachelor’s degrees require about 120 credits to complete, which often takes 4 years to complete. Many programs can be completed more quickly than 4 years, and many can be completed by working longer on the degree on a part-time basis. 

Is an online bachelor’s degree in occupational health and safety really a good idea in today’s economy? 

Occupational health and safety is growing at about average for all occupations. Graduates can expect to find employment opportunities in a wide variety of settings. With health and safety being increasingly promoted in the workplace, we can expect to see continued opportunity in this field. 

What kind of courses should I expect in an online bachelor’s degree in occupational health and safety?

Courses cover a range of subjects and may include science and math courses, psychology, accounting, fire safety, hazardous materials, construction safety, safety management, and accident investigation and analysis, to name a few. Courses will vary according to the individual program. 

What types of employers hire people with a bachelor’s degree in occupational health and safety?

People working in Occupational Health and Safety find work in a variety of settings, such as offices or factories. Many jobs involve fieldwork and travel, and may require exposure to strenuous or dangerous situations. Employers can include government agencies, manufacturing and production companies, construction, healthcare organizations, universities, airlines, and oil and gas, to name a few. 

How much money can I expect to make with a bachelor’s degree in occupational health and safety? 

Income levels vary depending on experience, location, education level, and the current economy. Professionals in this occupation earned a median annual salary of $74,100, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2019.

What are the professional organizations for this field? 

Professional organizations in this field include The Board of Certified Safety Professionals and The American Board of Industrial Hygiene. Professional organizations provide certification guidelines, professional standards, continuing education and more. 

By Carol Dolan BS RN BSN CDCES

December 2020

Carol graduated with her BS in Nutrition from Montclair State University and her BSN in Nursing from Rowan University. She is a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES) currently working with adults and children living with diabetes in both outpatient and inpatient settings.

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This concludes our ranking of the top 10 on-campus or online bachelor’s degree in occupational health and safety programs.