Posted On: January 18, 2023

OSHA Certification: How to Become OSHA Certified

If you're job hunting in construction, manufacturing, warehousing, or another high-risk industry, chances are you've been told you should get "OSHA Certified." It sounds daunting and official. What is OSHA certification? Where do you get it? How long will it take, and how much will it set you back? All the answers you need can be found below.

What is OSHA Certification?

This is the most confusing part. Officially, "OSHA Certification" doesn't have any real meaning. It's often used to refer to a certain kind of safety training, but context matters. It would be best to ask for specifics when you doubt the required credential.

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OSHA 10-Hour General Industry

OSHA Outreach general industry covers 29 CFR 1910 regulations. DOL card included.

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OSHA 30-Hour General Industry

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What Does it Mean to be OSHA 30 Certified?

Among construction and manufacturing employers, the phrases "OSHA Certification" or "OSHA Certified" almost always mean they want you to have an up-to-date certificate of completion for OSHA Outreach Training.

Other shorthand for OSHA Outreach Training includes "OSHA 10," "OSHA 30," or a Department of Labor ("DOL") card. OSHA has very clearly stated that Outreach Training isn't a certification.

Training providers can get in big trouble for using the words "certified" or "certification" to describe themselves or their Outreach courses. Even though OSHA disapproves, employers continue to use the term and look for OSHA Outreach on your resume under Certifications.

There's nothing wrong or dishonest about listing your training there, but to avoid confusion, use the full name of the training you received. You can find it on your certificate of completion.

Does Real OSHA 30 Certification Exist?

No one program counts as a certification in OSHA training, but OSHA's website does have a list of recognized Occupational Safety and Health certificate programs.

Most of these are for professionals whose entire job is focused on occupational safety, like safety officers and safety trainers. The certificate programs recognized by OSHA require between 100 and 400 hours to complete.

Compare that to OSHA Outreach Training, which only takes 10 or 30 hours and focuses on teaching regular workers about safety measures that apply to them.

For the rest of this article, we're going to focus on the informal meaning of "OSHA Certification" since most people who search that term are looking for information on OSHA Outreach Training. .

LEARN MORE ABOUT OSHA 10-HOUR AND 30-HOUR COURSES

We offer OSHA 10-Hour ConstructionOSHA 30-Hour ConstructionOSHA 10-Hour General Industry, and OSHA 30-Hour General Industry to meet your OSHA training needs.

Not sure where to start? Read our guide.

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OSHA Training Requirements Guide

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How Do I Become OSHA 30 Certified?

Before committing to a particular OSHA Outreach course, there are a few things to understand.

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osha 30 infographic

 

Where Do I Go to Get OSHA 30 Certified?

OSHA doesn't offer certification directly. Instead, OSHA's Outreach Training Institute "trains the trainers" and authorizes private institutions to provide OSHA courses. You can find a list of OSHA-accepted training providers on their website.

Some offer online courses as we do. Others offer classroom experience instead. Always ensure your course provider is legitimate, and their authorization is current – there are fraudulent companies out there eager to take your money.

Some used to be OSHA-accepted but had their credentials suspended or revoked. Others were never authorized in the first place. Once you have a trusted training provider, you need to know which type of "certification" your job calls for.

Do I Need Construction, General Industry, or Something Else?

OSHA Outreach courses are divided up by industry to make sure you get the topics relevant to your worksite. You need OSHA Construction outreach training if you're a building contractor, renovation contractor, or any other construction worker.

Getting "OSHA certified" for construction is easy – many course providers are available and often have training in multiple languages. You need OSHA Maritime outreach training if you work in a shipyard, marine terminal, or longshoring facility.

There are fewer training options for Maritime, and they're divided even further, so you'll need to make sure you choose the right one. For all other industries, you need General Industry outreach.

This can cover anything from manufacturing and warehousing to healthcare. It's relatively easy to find General Industry providers, and some tailor their material toward a particular type of work. You should pay attention to the topics a course covers and find one that makes the most sense for your job.

Not everyone needs General Industry training. Many low-risk industries don't require OSHA Outreach, and earning a DOL card won't be very beneficial.

If you work outside of Construction or Maritime, your best bet is to check job listing requirements or ask your employer if you need General Industry training and, if so, what type.

Do I Need OSHA 10 Certification?

An OSHA 10 DOL card is usually enough if you don't supervise other employees. It requires ten total instructional hours, with mandatory breaks.

Since OSHA limits the daily instruction time, the training will last at least two days. OSHA 30 DOL cards are necessary if you have supervisory responsibilities toward others. This includes supervisors, engineers, site leads, project managers, safety specialists, and others.

The course is longer because supervisors need to understand the safety rules for everyone they oversee. Due to daily limits, an OSHA 30 course can't be finished in less than four days.

Is OSHA Certification Required?

Maybe. It depends on where you live, works, and what you do.

Federally, a Certification in OSHA is Optional

OSHA Outreach Training is voluntary by federal law. OSHA requires workers to be trained in specific safety topics, but employers have a lot of flexibility in providing that training.

OSHA doesn't require participation in Outreach Training, but the curriculum often includes common topics needed. If you're in a high-risk industry, it's a beneficial introduction to safety and worker's rights.

Certification is Required by Some Jurisdictions or Employers

Even though OSHA doesn't require DOL cards, some state or local jurisdictions do. For example:

  • Many states require a valid DOL card if you're employed on public works projects of a specific size. That includes New York State, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Missouri. Miami-Dade County in Florida has a similar law.
  • Pennsylvania requires OSHA 10 Construction for most demolition workers, construction workers, and certain contractors.
  • Nevada requires all construction workers to hold a DOL card, but they've taken a more unusual step. All workers in the entertainment industry now need an OSHA 10 or 30 General Industry card.

Even if a DOL card isn't required by law where you work, some employers will need it. It provides a solid and consistent foundation for workplace safety and introduces specific mandatory topics.

How Long is an OSHA 30 Certificate Good For?

Mandatory OSHA training usually has a frequency attached to every topic. However, the DOL cards you earn through Outreach Training don't have a federal expiration.

When a state or local law requires a DOL card, the jurisdiction usually specifies how recent the card needs to be. Employers who require an OSHA Training Certification may want you to refresh your knowledge at a specific interval.

Check with your employer, but best industry best practices suggest you repeat the training every 3-5 years.

Who Pays for My OSHA Certification?

OSHA requires companies to pick up the tab for mandatory training, but since Outreach Training isn't federally mandatory, it doesn't count. Local jurisdictions may have rules about who pays for the movement, but many employers make a valid DOL card a condition of employment when they hire you.

That means you're often paying for your 10-Hour or 30-Hour Outreach training.

Get Your OSHA Certification Online Today

Becoming "OSHA Certified" online can be the most innovative way to get it done – especially if you're the one footing the bill. Online training is far more affordable than in-person courses. It's more efficient, too.

No commute, no off-topic conversation, and you can spend the mandatory break time doing what you want instead of being stuck in a room with strangers. It also gives you flexibility: you work on the material where you want, when you want, and at your own pace. We've been a trusted OSHA-authorized training provider for over 20 years and specialize in online safety training.

We offer OSHA 10 for Construction or General Industry, as well as OSHA 30. Whatever course you choose, you'll get a certificate of completion to show your employer immediately, a durable plastic DOL card for your wallet, and a study guide for later reference.

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