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Public Health Jobs

Public health jobs promote wellness and healthy lifestyles through educating individuals in the community to help prevent diseases and other health problems. Potential topics such as nutrition, avoiding sexually transmitted diseases, and the importance of exercise are covered after they assess their audience needs. Largely serving as a resource for information, they also develop targeted plans for organizations, public healthcare centers, businesses, colleges and universities. Public health jobs work standard 40 hour work weeks, but may be required to work weekends or evenings when programs, events, or meetings must be organized.

A bachelor's degree is the minimum amount of education required for entry level public health careers. There are around 250 colleges and universities that offer bachelor's programs in health education. These programs provide the foundation for public health jobs through the coursework such as psychology, human development, and health theory. Graduate health education programs can lead to a Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Education, or a Master of Public Health degree. The majority of students work towards their Master's in health education after working or majoring within another field. The National Commission of Health Education Credentialing offers a Certified Health Education Specialist credential for those that pass an examination and have completed a degree program or those that are within 3 months of completion.

In 2006, there were 62,000 health educators employed with the majority working in the health care industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a projected increase in public health employment by 26 percent. This increase will be significantly faster than the national average for all occupations and stem from the rising cost of health care and the acknowledgement of the need for qualified public health educators.

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