Master's degree programs related to health education teach students about the major public health issues facing the country as well as strategies needed to build community engagement. Some programs also include topics related to personal well-being so students can provide individualized counseling. Graduates of these health education master programs typically work as educators in medical care facilities, secondary schools, colleges and universities. However, some degree holders may choose to become researchers and advocates in the field of public health.
Public health master's programs require a doctoral or other health-related degree. Master's degrees in health education applicants need a B.S. in education or related field, physical education certification and possibly some prior coursework in field.
Students have the option to specialize in their programs. These specializations include family and community health, global health and clinical effectiveness. A declaration of secondary-tier concentration is required, in addition to an internship or assistantship.
Master's of Public Health
A master's in public health program focuses on community health education. The skills acquired in such programs include community assessment, program planning, administration and development of core areas of public health, such as epidemiology and health education. MPH graduates find jobs in the healthcare industry and as public health educators.
Accredited MPH programs require the same basic coursework. This coursework can include:
- Environmental health science
- Health services administration
- Behavioral sciences
Master's Degree in Health Education
For students interested in getting involved in health education in academic, clinical, and corporate settings, the appropriate track is typically a Master of Arts or Master of Science degree in health education. Many programs offer a combined physical education and health education program.
Health education for schools, colleges and universities typically deal with sensitive subject matter and require knowledge of both personal and community health, which is reflected in degree coursework. Coursework focuses on informational classes and teaching application classes. Potential topics include:
- Human sexuality
- Personal health
- Stress prevention and management
- Health curriculum and instruction
- First aid/CPR certification
Popular Career Options
A Master's in Public Health degree typically leads to jobs with local, state or federal government agencies, or in the private sector with non-profit organizations that focus on health issues. Graduates can pursue positions as:
- Health services administrators
- Environmental health managers
- International health managers
- Public health program managers
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
As with most education concentrations, health educators typically do not enter this career for the money. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in 2015 that the median salary for health educators was $51,960 annually. The BLS (www.bls.gov) reports that the health education industry will see a 12% growth in jobs between 2014 and 2024.
Master's degree programs in public health or health education are available for those interested in a managerial or administrative career in health education. Both programs require extensive research and have specialization options depending on your specific career goals.