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Transportation Safety Degree

If you are interested in becoming a transportation safety specialist, you will need to have certain qualifications prior to seeking a position in this field. To learn more about transportation safety and the qualifications you need to satisfy, read on.

What is transportation safety?

Transportation security is a broad field which is concerned with the safety elements associated with transportation systems, networks, and vehicles. This is a field which covers:

  • Hazard analysis
  • Vehicle dynamics and designs
  • Safety and regulation compliances for vehicles
  • Risk management and reduction in potentially dangerous environments
  • Organizational behavior

Today, we rely on various modes of transportation in our everyday lives. It is the job of a transportation security professional to ensure that the vehicles we use are safe, and the transportation networks that are essential to our travels are without hazards.

This is a job which requires vigilance. Transportation is a broad area which is expanding rapidly. In order to ensure that the advances made in transportation are safe, transportation safety professionals need to carry out regular inspections and provide feedback about what further measures can be taken to reduce the risk of hazard.

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Transportation Safety Degree?

If you are passionate about becoming a Transport Safety Specialist, then it is advised that you pursue a 1 to 2 year long Master of Science (M.S) in Transportation Systems Management. This degree offers a number of specializations; these include Transportation Infrastructure Systems, Data Informatics, Systems Architecting and Geographic Information Systems. There are a number of universities that are offering this degree; some of these include the University of South California and the University of New Orleans.

What Are the Requirements to Complete a Transportation Safety Degree?

Individuals enrolled in the Master of Science (M.S) in Transportation Systems Management have to complete around 21 to 23 units of core courses, and have to complete the remaining 11 to 12 units of courses related to their specialization. They are required to study a number of modules such as Transportation System Security and Emergency Management, Intelligent Transportation Systems, Spatial Analysis and Systems Engineering Theory and Practice.

How Much Can I Make after Completing a Transportation Safety Degree?

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has not categorized transportation safety as a separate career. However, some of their job duties of these workers also fall under the field of Occupational Health and Safety, hence we can consider the employment data for Occupational Health and Safety Specialists. It has been reported that these professionals earned an annual median wage of $69,370 in May 2018.

How to pursue a career in transportation safety

If you are looking to pursue a career in transportation safety, you will need to make sure that you satisfy certain educational qualifications beforehand. The first step is to find an undergraduate degree program in the field. Since transportation isn’t typically a common major at the undergraduate level, you can seek out programs in safety management or a related field.

Depending upon your specific career aspirations, you may want to enroll in more advanced degrees too. This could include a graduate degree or a Ph.D. in transportation safety.

In general, the steps to pursuing a career in transportation could look like this:

Steps to pursuing transportation safety:

1. Enroll in a bachelor’s degree program in safety management or a related field

2. Enroll in a graduate degree program in transportation safety

3. Get relevant training and experience in the field of transportation safety 

Bachelor’s degree in safety management

At the undergraduate degree level, you will need to find a program in safety management or a related field. These programs will build your technical understanding and expertise and groom you for industrial markets around the world. This program is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills to deal with a wide range of safety related challenges.



Some of the courses offered

Bachelor’s degree in safety management or a related field

4 years

  • Introduction to Industrial Health and Safety
  • Industrial Accident Prevention
  • Human Factors/Ergonomics
  • Analysis Techniques in Industrial Health and Safety
  • Industrial Supervision
  • Fire Protection Systems/Techniques
  • Current Issues and Training Concepts in Industrial Health and Safety

Master’s degree in transportation security

Master degree programs in transportation security are interdisciplinary degrees which seek to cover all of the elements of transportation security. This includes everything from the design of vehicles, the technology involved, and their management. These programs are typically pursued by individuals who wish to take part in the design, planning, and creation of various transportation modes and services.

Students can choose to pick an area of specialization such as land transportation, air transportation, etc.



Some of the courses offered

Master’s degree in transportation security

2 years

  • Transportation analysis and policy
  • Intelligent transportation and management of transportation systems
  • Vehicle dynamics and design
  • Demand modeling
  • Emergency safety issues in transportation
  • Labor relations
  • Vehicle structures and standards
  • Logistical planning methods

Career prospects and salary

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is one of the leading authorities on career profiles in the country. While BLS does not recognize transportation safety as a distinct career in its own right, those interested in learning more about what a career in this field would look like can look to related professions in the database.

Transportation safety would fall under the umbrella of Occupational Health and Safety Specialists. These are professionals who are responsible for inspecting a variety of workplaces to ensure that they are complying with the relevant safety standards.

According to data from BLS, Occupational Health and Safety Specialists made an annual median salary of $70,210 per year in May 2015. This translates to about $33.75 per hour. In 2014, there were 70,300 positions occupied in the field. In terms of employment growth, this profession is expected to see a 4% increase in job outlook from 2014 to 2024. This rate is slower than the average rate for most professions which is 7%. Nevertheless, this will lead to the creation of roughly 2,800 more jobs until 2024.

Data from BLS also indicates that there are certain industries in which these professionals were more densely employed. These include:


Annual Median Wage (May 2015)

Federal government, excluding postal service



Professional, scientific, and technical services









State and local government, excluding education and hospitals    



Professionals in this field typically work full-time regular hours.

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