Health and wellness bachelor's programs often blend classes in education with courses in medicine, public policy and the social sciences. Some programs allow students to specialize in community health education or healthcare administration, but most programs provide a breadth of knowledge in the subject as a whole.
Since public health emphasizes subjects in a variety of disciplines, having a well-rounded high school education is useful for incoming students. Applicants need a high school diploma with a strong background in biology, chemistry, communications, and have critical thinking skills. Graduates who wish to become public health nurses or public school health educators will have to pursue further training to meet state licensing requirements. Licensing requirements differ by state.
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Health and Wellness Bachelor's Degree Program
Four-year Bachelor of Science (B.S.) programs in health and wellness emphasize the preventive aspects of healthcare rather than treatment of illness, covering topics such as hygiene, environmental health and occupational well-being. Students gain experience in coordinating public initiatives to raise awareness of health and wellness.
The classes in public health B.S. programs teach students to effectively communicate medical information to a diverse population. Course topics usually include:
- Adult health studies
- Public mental health
- Substance abuse issues
- Contemporary health issues
- Research and statistics in public health
Popular Career Options
People who earn a bachelor's degree in public health are qualified for several entry-level jobs in many settings. They can work in hospitals, clinics, doctor's offices or for government agencies. Graduates often choose one of the careers noted below:
- Public health consultant
- Primary school health teacher
- Physician office manager
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected job growth of 13% for health educators and community health workers over 2014-2024, with a median salary of $43,840 as of May 2015. Employment for kindergarten and elementary school teachers, including those who teach health, is expected to grow 6% with median earnings of $54,550 during the same period. Administrative services managers, including those of physicians' offices, can anticipate 8% growth and a median salary of $86,110.
Continuing Education Information
Many people who earn a B.S. in public health continue their education and either become certified teachers or registered nurses. Each state has unique licensure standards for both professions. Teachers usually need to either earn a bachelor's or master's degree in education or complete an alternative certification program (ACP). Registered nurses (RNs) must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) and meet unique state requirements before they can work with patients.
Health and wellness bachelor's programs cover many related topics, such as public health, nutrition and research. Graduates are prepared to work in many areas, like health education and consulting.