Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Online Training for a Certified Occupational Safety Specialist

Certified occupational safety specialists inspect and analyze the workplace environment in accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. Short training programs can jump-start your career in this growing field. For instance, the Certified Occupational Safety Specialist (COSS) safety training program confers a COSS certificate at the end of a five-day, 40-hour course. If you prefer more convenient online instruction, you can find other interesting options that align with your career ambitions.

Choose the Best Fit

Select an online training program that complements your career objectives. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a bachelor’s degree is generally needed to become an occupational health and safety specialist. Technicians need a minimum of a high school diploma with courses in English, math and science. Earning an associate degree or a certificate that demonstrates knowledge of respiratory protection, materials handling and hazard communication may be advantageous in landing a job.

Pursue Online Certificates or Degrees

Certificates and college degrees can be earned online for those interested in an environmental safety career or professional development education in occupational and industrial safety. Earned certificates are noted on student transcripts. Both undergraduate and graduate online instruction can be found, including self-paced classes that allow for speedy completion of credentials. Online instruction is flexible and manageable for a working adult to juggle in a busy life.


Columbia Southern University offers an online occupational safety and health undergraduate certificate that comprises 12 semester credits in four or more courses related to hazardous materials, fleet and construction safety, OSHA, toxicology, ergonomics and accident investigation. An online graduate certificate is an option for those seeking advanced training in such topics. Other online career pathways at CSU include an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in occupational safety and health.

Look Into Short-Term COSS Safety Training

The COSS program is endorsed by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) to train aspiring and experienced certified occupational safety specialists. The 40-hour entry-level class COSS curriculum uses hands-on learning and case studies to teach students all about hazard mitigation, OSHA requirements, job safety assessment, safety plan essentials, accident investigation, safety committee facilitation and safety initiatives. After successful completion of a five-day (40-hour) program at a nationwide training location, you will be awarded a COSS certificate on a wooden plaque_. Online professional development courses_ can count toward mandatory recertification.

Consider Online Management Certificate in Safety

An online management certificate with an emphasis on occupational safety may be a good choice if you have supervisory responsibilities in an industrial setting, but lack training in workplace safety. You may also want to consider online training if you currently work in occupational health and safety and want to avail yourself of promotional opportunities. Courses cover topics like OSHA, accident prevention and protecting workers in hazardous work environments.


The University of Alabama offers an online Health and Safety Management certificate that trains supervisors to maintain and monitor safety conditions in the work environment. The approximately 100-hour online program includes four core courses: OSHA, workplace safety, industrial hygiene and workers’ compensation. Students choose from electives that teach strategies for managing ergonomics programs, hazard communication and personal protective equipment use, for instance.

Become a Certified Safety Professional

Certified safety professionals are responsible for recognizing potential hazards, mitigating risks, overseeing regulatory compliance and developing emergency response plans. The Board of Certified Safety Professionals sets the criteria for certified safety professionals. Eligibility requirements include a bachelor’s degree, four years of occupational safety experience, and possession of a previous BCSP credential, such as an Associate Safety Professional credential for those with a two-year degree. Applicants must also pass the certified safety professional exam and pay a credentialing fee.


Dr. Mary Dowd brings decades of hands-on experience to her writing endeavors. Along with general knowledge of human resources, she has specialized training in affirmative action, investigations and equal opportunity. While working as a dean of students, she advised college students on emerging career trends and job seeking strategies. As director of equal opportunity, she led efforts to diversify the workforce and the student body.