doctor of occupational safety and health

Doctor of Occupational Health and Safety degrees are currently not offered online. As this postgraduate specialization leads to professions that deal with environmental and occupational hazards, it requires extensive and rigorous on-campus training.

A D.O.S.H program curriculum equips students with the skills needed to identify, anticipate, and address issues that thwart occupational safety and health. Resolving these hazards within workplace settings and in environmental cases requires the application of proven health and safety methods in which D.O.S.H students exhibit proficiency.

While enrolled in a D.O.S.H. program, students are trained to be adept in evaluating and working with different agencies, corporations, and industries. Their skills and knowledge are ultimately aimed at addressing national and global levels of social and epidemiological issues by applying proven trends and techniques based on occupational safety and health standards.

Upon graduation, D.O.S.H. students are expected to contribute to the field by way of a published original research in occupational safety and health.

doctor of occupational safety and health

What does an Occupational Safety and Health specialist do?

Occupational Safety and Health is a multidisciplinary field that concerns the welfare of workers in various industries. In other parts of the world, O.S.H. is regarded as “Workplace Health and Safety (WHS).” Professionals working in this field ensure the security of human resources in a company.

Occupational Safety and Health specialties are the safety nets for laborers. Professionals typically work in production facilities to prevent possible injuries and casualties. The goals of O.S.H. professionals transcend the well-being of employees.

Safety inspectors give due consideration to the family of their employees. How many kids do the workers have? Will their work affect their roles as parents? Does the work shift schedule accommodate work-life balance?

O.S.H. professionals ensure that the workers are in good hands – that no family member gets orphaned due to work-related accidents. Thus, safety officers play a crucial role in averting potential lawsuits and loss of life.

Safety standards are the core of O.S.H. work. For instance, they help in designing appropriate work attire in an industrial setting. Your custom uniforms and equipment must not in any way cause short-term or long-term harm to their wearer and user, respectively. Also, O.S.H. professionals play a critical role in placing warning signs – “High Voltage,” “Flammable,” “Toxic,” and “Beware of Falling Debris” in strategic areas prone to mishaps.

As the field of occupational safety and health has had evolving trends and technologies, the role of a Doctor of Occupational Safety and Health has become increasingly relevant. Similarly, emerging hazards, the introduction of new legislation, and various cost adjustments require the specialized research and application skills of a professional who holds a D.O.S.H. degree.

doctor of occupational safety and health

What sort of accreditation should I look for in a school?

D.O.S.H. programs are generally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and regional accreditation committees. Some programs also obtain accreditation from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Professionals need to be affiliated with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). These agencies were created under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

doctor of occupational safety and health

How do I earn my D.O.S.H. degree?

The prerequisites of a D.O.S.H. degree include a Master’s degree in a related field, a minimum GPA of 3.0 (3.5 in quantitative sciences), and high GRE scores. Bachelor degree holders can enroll in a doctorate program in a straight program wherein a Master’s degree is obtained within it.

The length of a D.O.S.H. program varies by school. Usually, you can finish the degree in two to three years if you study full-time. You need to complete 30 credits of coursework and a dissertation or capstone project before graduating.

D.O.S.H. coursework comprises subject matters like epidemiology and industrial hygiene. They also need to learn about potential chemical, physical, and biological hazards in production facilities and formulate protocols to prevent them.

After the program, D.O.S.H. graduates are expected to communicate effectively to workers, peers, and the management team, whether in writing, speaking, or visual communication. All these inputs will be assessed in a comprehensive examination before the dissertation residency period.

The proposed dissertation should concentrate on a specific area. Specializations include Health, Environment, and Safety. The dissertation can be in the form of an evaluation criticizing existing safety programs or proposing a new method that will help improve the current Occupational Safety and Health practices.

Most institutions award a Ph.D. degree, as in “Doctor of Philosophy in Occupational Safety and Health.” Others award the “Ph.D. in Occupational Environmental Health (OEH),” “Doctor of Ergonomics and Safety,” “Occupational Safety & Health Engineering (OSHE),” and “Ph.D. in Environmental Health, Occupational Health & Toxicology.” While they differ in terminologies, all of these degrees are almost identical, with only slight differences in their curricula.

doctor of occupational safety and health

What are the major categories of occupational health and safety I should consider?

There are several types of career concentrations in this field to consider, such as:

  • Hazard Prevention and Control
  • Worker Training and Education, Workplace Environment, Workplace Monitoring
  • Occupational Health Services
  • Emergency Preparedness and Response
  • Safety Equipment
doctor of occupational safety and health

What type of degree do I need to pursue research or educate others in Health Sciences?

A D.O.S.H graduate can teach in Occupational Safety and Health schools. Because D.O.S.H. programs require a dissertation, the program engages students and scholars in in-depth research, making them highly qualified for professional instruction, often in academia.

doctor of occupational safety and health

What kind of career and salary can I expect with my D.O.S.H. degree?

D.O.S.H. graduates work in leadership positions in various industries and corporations. They work with engineers, miners, scientists, technicians, construction workers, and blue-collared workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Safety and Health specialists have an annual median salary of $78,570. When you have a D.O.S.H. degree, you have the option to work part-time as a professor.

doctor of occupational safety and health

Do I need a license to be an Occupational Safety and Health specialist?

After earning a bachelor’s degree in a related field, you can take the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) exam. Individuals obtaining a technical certificate course may take the BCSP exam with mandatory training hours.  The minimum requirement varies greatly for individuals receiving an advanced educational background in a related field, as they may waive the licensure exam requirement.

doctor of occupational safety and health

What schools offer D.O.S.H. degrees?

The following schools offer the D.O.S.H. or Ph.D. in Occupational Safety and Health programs: the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah, and West Virginia University in Morgantown, Virginia.

The University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio, awards the Doctor in Occupational Safety & Health Engineering (OSHE) degree. At the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska, you may enroll in the Ph.D. in Environmental Health, Occupational Health & Toxicology program.