Embry-Riddle Undergraduate Degree in Aerospace and Occupational Safety Earns Prestigious Recognition

Amanda Dargie, Graduate Student in Occupational Safety, uses the College of Aviation's XR Lab, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Occupational Safety graduate student Amanda Dargie uses advanced technology found in the College of Aviation's XR Lab, on Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus. (Photo: Embry-Riddle/David Massey)

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s pioneering Bachelor of Science in Aerospace and Occupational Safety (AOS) degree has been officially accredited by the ANSAC (Applied and Natural Science) commission of ABET, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

This designation makes Embry-Riddle’s AOS undergraduate degree one of only 20 similar programs in the country to receive this prestigious level of accreditation.

A Promising Career Path

The AOS program, designed for students who have a passion for preventing potential mishaps, prepares graduates for careers in the aviation industry as well as in manufacturing, construction, insurance, transportation, entertainment and government services, among other fields. Students learn to provide authoritative safety management expertise based on federal regulations and standards set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Department of Defense, Department of Transportation, as well as recognized best practices in the profession.

The average salary for a Health and Safety Manager in the United States was $106,871 as of last year, but the range typically falls between $85,830 and $119,429, according to Salary.com. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has described the employment outlook for these professionals as positive, with a 9 percent growth rate expected from 2016 to 2026. Based on information from recent AOS graduates, starting salaries range from $40,000 to $75,000.

Accreditation Matters

“Accreditation by ABET is an important external validation of the strength of our faculty and program and the outstanding educational experience provided to our students,” said Dr. Alan Stolzer, dean of the College of Aviation on Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus. “The goal of ABET’s intense accreditation process is to verify that academic programs are taught by qualified faculty using industry-relevant techniques and equipment that will produce graduates who can immediately and positively contribute in their profession after completing the degree. I’m pleased that the commission has validated what we already knew – that our AOS program is of the highest quality.”

Stolzer commended the Department of Applied Aviation Sciences and all AOS faculty, particularly Dr. Mike O’Toole, who “championed and skillfully led the accreditation effort to a successful outcome.”

ABET accreditation offers assurance to students and their parents that a collegiate program has met standards essential to preparing graduates entering critical STEM fields in the global workforce. Graduates from an ABET-accredited program have a solid educational foundation and are capable of leading the way in innovation and emerging technologies, and in anticipating the welfare and safety needs of the public. In addition, many multinational corporations seek employees with degrees from ABET-accredited programs that translate globally.

ABET accreditation begins with an application and an in-depth self-study report, Stolzer explained. The onsite portion of the evaluation typically extends over multiple days and involve industry and academic experts who inspect course materials, review assessment procedures, and interview various stakeholders. 


Posted In: Applied Science | Institutional News | Security Intelligence and Safety