Public Health Education and Awareness

Public health education and awareness is concerned with the well-being of communities and the promotion of healthy lifestyles. Read on to learn more about the certificate and degree programs that can lead to a career as a health educator.

Is Public Health Education and Awareness for Me?

Career Overview

Health educators design programs to inform communities of ways to prevent illnesses and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Health educators can work for colleges, private companies and nonprofit organizations. Communication and listening skills are important since health education and awareness can only be effective if you understand the needs of your audience. While job duties can vary according to your employer, you might talk with health specialists, media professionals and work one-on-one with patients on a regular basis. If you're employed by a hospital or college, you might work with patients and their families or serve the needs of an entire study body.

Employment and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), health educators were expected to see a 19% increase in job opportunities nationwide from 2012-2022. Degree-holding candidates with specialized experience and proficiency in a foreign language may stand out in the job market. As of May 2013, health educators earned a median annual salary of $49,210. Salaries were higher for those who were employed by the federal government (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Work in Public Health Education and Awareness?

Educational Requirements

A bachelor's degree is generally required to work in entry-level positions. Employers may only consider applicants who have a master's degree for higher-level health education jobs. Graduate certificate programs can keep you up to date with advances and changes in health care. If you're close to completing a bachelor's degree program, you can become a Certified Health Education Specialist. This certification may be required by the state you work in, so it may be a good idea to explore the state prerequisites.

Curriculum

A bachelor's degree program in health education prepares you to design and execute community health plans. Undergraduate course options may include environmental health, stress reduction and function of health services. A master's degree program in public health nutrition is a good option if you wish to develop programs that address issues like obesity or nutrition epidemiology. In a graduate health education program, you may take courses in biostatistics, public health ethics and child nutrition. A graduate certificate program in community health research usually consists of 15 credits of coursework and an internship.

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