What Are the Education Requirements for a Community Health Career?

As the emphasis on public health education continues to grow, careers in community health are expected to expand. Many colleges and universities offer degree programs for those seeking to enter this growing field. Read on to find out more about the education requirements for a career in community health. Schools offering Medical Social Work degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Education Requirements for a Career in Community Health

At least a bachelor's degree is required for a career in community health. For some administrative or management-level positions, a master's degree is required, or at least preferred. A certificate in community health can provide individuals already working in the field with an added credential in a specialized area.

Important Facts about this Career

Dieticians/NutritionistsMedical and Health Services Managers
Degree Fields Dietetics, food and nutrition, food service systems, clinical nutrition Health services, long-term care administration, public health, public or business administration
Common Courses Nutrition, psychology, chemistry, biology Hospital organization, accounting and budgeting, HR administration, ethics, health information systems
Continuing Education May need to complete a licensing exam May need to complete a licensing exam
Online availability Bachelor's and master's of nutrition and dietetics/nutrition science available online Bachelor's and master's of public health available online
Median Salary (2018)$60,370 $99,730
Job Outlook (2016-2026)15% 20%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Bachelor's Degree

Most employers hiring for roles such as dietitian, school nurse, nutritionist or public health educator will look for applicants to have at least a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in either community health or public health. A B.A. or B.S. can lead to employment in hospital health education programs, corporate wellness programs, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), government health agencies or community health centers.

Master's Degree in Community Health

A Master of Arts (M.A.) or Master of Science (M.S.) degree in community health or public health is usually required to enter an administrative position. Public health program directors, hospital program administrators or community health program project coordinators are generally required to hold a master's degree. Executives in government health agencies or community health centers may also be required to possess a master's degree. In some cases, however, work experience in community health may substitute for a master's degree.

Certificate in Community Health

A graduate or advanced certificate in community health can help you upgrade your skills if you're already working in the profession. At minimum, a certificate may be required if you're seeking to advance to a management of administrative position without a master's degree.

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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