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Online Health Promotion Bachelor's Degree Programs

Learn about the topics studied in online health promotion programs and the classes typically offered. Get information about career options and the certification and licensure available in your field of choice.

Can I Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Health Promotion Online?

Health promotion is a broad field that involves teaching people to live healthy lifestyles. There are a few online bachelor's degree programs available in health promotion, but more online programs exist at the master's degree level. Online bachelor's programs are available that lead to a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Health Promotion or a B.S. in Health Science with an emphasis in health promotion. Programs may be offered through a school's physical education, public health or communication department.

Degrees in Health PromotionBachelor's degree
Common CoursesPrinciples of health education, environmental health, emergency care, CPR, health appraisal
Licenses and CertificationsPersonal trainer, fitness instructor, weight management consultant, teacher certification
Median Salary (2018) $54,220 (for health educators)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 14% growth (for health educators)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Kind of Courses Will I Take?

The courses you will take in a health promotion bachelor's degree may depend upon the career you are interested in pursuing after graduation. Health promotion programs commonly include classes in physical fitness, community health, health literacy and sports psychology. Topics may include:

  • Principles of health education
  • Program development for better health
  • Behavioral aspects of health
  • Environmental health
  • Emergency care
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • Disease risk reduction
  • Health appraisal

What Kind of Licenses and Certifications Exist?

Many jobs related to health promotion require certification. If you wish to work with clients in a sports facility or gym, there are certifications available in personal fitness training and overall health fitness, as well as specialty certificates. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), fitness workers such as group instructors may not need certification to gain employment, but certification is generally encouraged and some employers may require it (www.bls.gov).

Fitness certification is available from a variety of sources and usually involves a certain amount of experience and passing an exam. The American College of Sports Medicine (www.acsm.org) provides training and exams for several different health promotion certifications. The American Council on Exercise (www.acefitness.org) also offers a variety of designations, including personal trainer, fitness instructor and weight management consultant. In addition, the National Academy of Sports Medicine offers training and exams for certifications in this field. There are a few college programs that build certification into their coursework.

On the other hand, if you want to become a K-12 health teacher or a coach with teaching responsibilities, you need to be certified for the level of education you are interested in. State laws differ, but most require a minimum degree with certain education classes, as well as a period of student teaching. Health promotion programs designed for aspiring health or physical education teachers are less likely to be offered online.

What Can I Earn in This Field?

According to the BLS, fitness trainers and aerobics instructors earned a median annual wage of $39,820 in 2018. Individuals in this field are commonly employed by gyms and fitness centers. The BLS states that a bachelor's degree in a fitness- or health-related field is required by an increasing amount of employers in the fitness industry. Health teachers in secondary schools earned a median annual salary of $97,370 in 2018, and in the same year health educators earned a median annual wage of $54,220 per the BLS. Health educators and high school health teachers need a bachelor's degree.