What Are Some Career Options with a Community Health Degree?

Community health professionals educate people about topics concerning their health and well-being. Read on to learn about career opportunities for those who hold a degree in this field. Schools offering Medical Social Work degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Community Health Degree Programs

Community health programs commonly are available on the bachelor's degree level. Most prepare graduates for entry-level jobs in community health education. Generally, the goal of a community health educator is to provide at-risk populations, hospital patients or company employees with education for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Master of Public Health (MPH) degree programs also are available with community health education specializations. These programs can qualify you to take on an administrative, management or research position. Some employers of community health educators are described more fully below.

Important Facts About This Field

Key Skills Analytical, instructional, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills
Similar Occupations Mental health counselor, school/career counselor, nutritionist, social worker
Professional Certification The Certified Health Education Specialist and Master Certified Health Education Specialist credentials are available
On-the-Job Training Internships are commonly accompanied with bachelor's degree programs

Career Opportunities

Medical Facilities

Hospitals and other health care providers employ community health educators to provide patients with information in areas like pregnancy and childbirth, hypertension and weight control. In addition to planning and teaching courses, you might be involved in evaluating or promoting program outcomes.

Private Companies

Businesses and corporations employ graduates with community health degrees to help maximize their employees' effectiveness and efficiency. You may work with employers to develop, implement and analyze health programs focusing on issues like stress management, nutrition and job safety.

Government Agencies

Government agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), deal with a variety of health issues ranging from the local to the national level. As a graduate of a community health degree program, you could implement or develop programs for an organization specializing in the areas of heart disease, cancer or AIDS, to name a few.

You also might find a job with your state's public health department, though a master's degree may be a requirement for these positions. Professionals in this sector may organize media releases or keep health care professionals abreast of the department's policy decisions.

Non-Profit Organizations

Community health educators also work for non-profit organizations, such as the YMCA or a community health center. You may educate the public about available resources, such as free health screenings or lectures. You also might create print materials about disease prevention methods. This information may be addressed to specific groups, such as women or children.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an above-average 14% increase in jobs was projected for health educators through the 2016-2026 decade. Much of this is due to public and private agencies' efforts to mitigate expensive health care treatments that could be avoided by changes in diet or behavior. The median yearly salary of a health educator was $54,220 as of May 2018 (www.bls.gov).

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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