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Considerations When Selecting OSHA 10-hour or OSHA 30-hour Training Courses

Do You Need OSHA 10-hour Training, 30-hour Training, or Both?

Employers and employees looking to get educated on OSHA standards and workplace hazards often turn to one of the OSHA-authorized 10 or 30-hour Outreach training courses available through an onsite training class led by an authorized instructor, or via an OSHA-authorized online training course. The OSHA 10-hour and 30-hour training courses are based on either the OSHA general industry standards, or the OSHA construction standards. Students who complete either course from an OSHA-authorized trainer or an authorized online OSHA training course provider receive a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) OSHA wallet card; in fact, a student receives the same exact card regardless of whether they take their OSHA training in person or through one of the OSHA-authorized online providers.

However, there are a few things to consider when deciding if the 10-hour course or the 30-hour training course is the best fit for the student.

Is the OSHA 10-hour course a required prerequite to take the 30-hour training course?

Job site Requirements for OSHA 10-Hour and 30-Hour Training

The first thing to ask when choosing between a 10-hour or 30-hour class is, are there any employer or job-site requirements? Some people seek out either OSHA 10 training or OSHA 30-hour training because it is a condition of employment at a company where they want to get a job, or a general contractor site owner makes it a mandatory job-site requirement to have a specific OSHA card to access their job-site. In fact, there are several states with laws on the books where either a 10 or 30-hour OSHA training card is required to step foot on certain types of construction sites. So, don’t guess which course you need, because you could be wrong. Instead, ask your boss or the general contractor at the site you want to access which course they require you to have, if any, because taking the wrong OSHA training class will be a complete waste of your time and money.

As for those who are wondering if an OSHA 10-hour training course or an OSHA 30-hour training course is best when neither one is a mandatory job-site requirement, we recommend you base your decision on the job of the employee to be trained. Front-line workers typically take the 0SHA 10-hour training course, as it covers about eight to ten topics at a basic level, whereas employees at higher levels in an organization, such as supervisors, managers, and safety personnel usually take the 30-hour course, which covers over 20 health and safety-related topics in greater detail.

Is it a Requirement to Take the OSHA 10-hour Training Before You Take the OSHA 30-hour Training?

One more important thing a prospective trainee and their employer needs to be aware of is that, according to federal OSHA, the OSHA 10-hour training course is not a prerequisite to take an OSHA 30-hour training course. Some trainers and online training providers try to trick you into thinking you must take the OSHA 10-hour course first, before you are allowed to take the OSHA 30-hour course. And it is certainly the prerogative of an employer or contractor to make both courses a requirement for accessing their work site. However, there is absolutely no federal OSHA requirement for a student to take the 10-hour training before they can take the 30-hour training, nor does it offer the student any advantage.

The topics covered in the 10-hour course are also covered in the 30-hour course, so the training provided on those topics will be redundant. Secondly, if you are on a job-site that requires you to show an OSHA 10-hour wallet card to work there, possessing the 30-hour OSHA wallet card is even better, as OSHA policy states the OSHA 30 card supersedes the 10-hour card. So, if your ultimate goal is to get the OSHA 30-hour training wallet card and you want to save yourself a lot of time and money, just forego taking the OSHA 10-hour course, and take the OSHA 30-hour course instead.

Applying an OSHA 10-hour Training Course Towards an OSHA 30-hour Training Course

I’ll close out this topic by addressing the often-asked question about whether or not a person who completed an OSHA 10-hour training course is able to obtain 20 more hours of training later, and then get the OSHA 30-hour card too. OSHA has very strict rules about that.

First of all, that practice is currently not allowed for any student who took their 10-hour course online. As for a student who completed their original 10-hour class in a classroom setting, the additional 20 hours of classroom training must be provided by the same trainer who conducted their initial training class. In addition, all 30 hours of the training, from the beginning of the 10-hour class to the end of the additional 20-hours of classroom training, must take place during a contiguous six-month period. And, of course, the training for both the initial 10 hours of training and the additional 20 hours must be in the same category of training; for example, all construction course training, or all general industry training. Last but not least, though, the student does not get to keep both cards; they will have to turn in their 10-hour wallet card to the trainer before they can receive their 30-hour wallet card if they go this route.

OSHA 10 & 30-hour Training Resources

Employers or workers wanting to get additional information about obtaining OSHA 10 or 30-hour training from an OSHA-authorized training in a classroom setting, or via an OSHA-authorized online training course, can contact us through our website. And please scroll down to share your thoughts with us about this topic in the “Comments” section of this post. Thanks – Curtis


6 thoughts on “Considerations When Selecting OSHA 10-hour or OSHA 30-hour Training Courses”

  1. I am looking to attend an OSHA 30 General Industry training onsite. I am the only person on my team needing the training. I would like to find a class in Arkansas I could attend.

    1. Hello Kirea. I would love to help, but unfortunately we do not offer open enrollment classes for OSHA 30 hour, haven’t for many years. The availability, convenience, and affordability of the online 30-hour general industry course we offer pretty much wiped out demand for open seminars. I suggest you try Google search, but the open classes are dinosaurs, may be difficult to find one anywhere, much less one near you. Thank you for checking, and best wishes in your endeavors. Curtis

    1. Hello Anthony. For individual students, we offer the OSHA 30-hour training courses online on our website at . Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks, Curtis

  2. I know you’re not going to be able to answer for every situation. But in general, would you expect it to be the case that if a job application requires OSHA 10 certification, then OSHA 30 would be acceptable, since it includes all of the information in OSHA 10 and more?

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About The Author of The OSHA Training Blog

Curtis Chambers - OSHA Training and Compliance Expert

The author of The OSHA Training Blog is Curtis Chambers, MS-OSH, CSP. An OSHA expert with over 30 years in OSHA training and compliance management experience, Mr. Chambers’ credentials include:

  • Board Certified Safety Professional (CSP) since 1992
  • Master of Science degree in Occupational Safety and Health (4.0 g.p.a.)
  • Former safety officer in OSHA state consultation program
  • Nationally recognized OSHA expert in occupational health and safety-related litigation matters
  • Owner of OSHA Training Services Inc.

You can contact Curtis Chambers MS-OSH, CSP through our Contact Us form