RMCOEH Academic Advisor
The statistics are stark.
Each year, there are more than 5,000 occupational deaths in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, along with 2.7 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses.
Occupational and environmental health and safety (OEHS) professionals are on the front lines of the battle to reduce those numbers and ensure workers return home, healthy, to their families each day. As a leader in education and research within OEHS, RMCOEH is eager to train the next generation of professionals who are committed to taking up the fight.
What is Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety?
OEHS professionals are dedicated to protecting people from harmful exposures in the workplace and outside. They utilize their expertise to prevent accidents, injuries, and illnesses caused by hazards such as chemicals, noise, heat, and radiation. They also work to mitigate environmental risks.
There are several disciplines within OEHS, including industrial hygiene, ergonomics, safety, occupational medicine, occupational injury prevention, occupational health nursing, mining safety, occupational health psychology, and more. Each discipline requires its own unique skill set and training, and offers its own set of challenges and rewards — but they all provide an opportunity to make a concrete, meaningful difference in the lives of workers.
RMCOEH’s bachelor’s program is housed within Weber State University. It is part of WSU’s Bachelor of Integrated Studies program, an arrangement that allows students to also attend certain classes at the University of Utah and participate in the interdisciplinary experiences that RMCOEH emphasizes in its training. Students will gain the training to manage and implement programs to promote occupational safety and reduce or eliminate occupational hazards as well as address industry needs that include ensuring environmental regulations are met. The curriculum spans a breadth of topics, including workplace hazard recognition, risk management, ergonomics, environmental health, epidemiology, industrial hygiene, construction safety, and regulatory safety.
Students who complete the degree are equipped to embark on a successful career in the field — there is tremendous demand for bachelor’s-trained OEHS professionals — or continue their education in a graduate program, including those at RMCOEH, that will open further opportunities.
Graduates will enter a job market where their skills and expertise are in demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, for instance, anticipates that there will be 14,500 annual job openings through the rest of the decade for professionals with the kind of training that those who complete the bachelor’s degree will have. The bureau pegs the annual median wage for OEHS specialists at $82,110, meanwhile, with even higher salaries for those who earn a graduate degree.
There is also a diversity of career paths available to graduates. Trainees will have the opportunity to specialize in a discipline if they choose, and pursue careers across a range of industries, as well as in government and academia.