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. 
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. 
According to the BLS, occupational health and safety specialists earned $70,920 per year in 2016.  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. 
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. 
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.
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. 
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
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.
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.
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.
There are master’s-level programs in a range of aligned subjects, including:
Prominent organizations in the health and safety industry include:
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.
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:
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.
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:
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. 
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:
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:
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 
Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) 
Below are a few of the general certifications available at the BCSP. They also have industry-specific certification.
Institute for Safety and Health Management (ISHM) 
Below are a few of the general certifications available at the ISHM. They also have industry specific certification.
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. 
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:
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. 
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. 
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. 
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. 
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.