What Can I Do with a Degree in Health Education?

Learn more about what you can do with a degree in health education. Find information on health education careers, job outlook, salary, and recommended schools. View popular schools that prepare students for careers in health education.

Overview

Healthy lifestyles including proper diet and exercise continue to be stressed as foundations for quality of life and longevity. Although many people know the value and importance of healthy living, many do not know how to practically achieve a healthy lifestyle. Health educators, professionals trained in helping people develop healthy lifestyles can be important resources for those seeking to achieve a healthier outcome in their lives.

Professionals working in the field of health education may provide educational supports for communities, families and individuals. Health educators may, for instance, work with community leaders to develop programs to help reduce obesity in the general population. When working with families or individuals, health educators must do more than just provide a plan of action for achieving a healthy lifestyle. Specifically, these professionals must work with the client to assess his or her needs with regard to health education and motivation for change. By providing this type of support for the client the health educator not only creates a plan for improving the client’s lifestyle but also the professional is able to help motivate the client to achieve health goals. This process is one that can be very fulfilling and rewarding for the health educator.

Careers

Careers in health education are similar. Differences exist with regard to the specific setting in which health education services are provided. For instance, health educators can be employed in medical facilities to work with patients and their families. One specific example of the role of the health educator in this setting is in cardiac rehabilitation of the patient. Patients that survive a heart attack will receive support services from a health educator including steps that can be taken post discharge to maintain health. Health educators may also be employed in colleges and universities. In this setting, professionals work with students to address relevant health issues including smoking, drug use, alcohol consumption and sex. Health educators employed in secondary schools will provide similar supports for students and will also be responsible for contributing to the development of health education curriculum. Health educators may also be employed by state and local governments to provide expertise in the field of public health.

Salary

Salaries for health educators are significantly influenced by the type of organization in which the professional is employed. Additionally, salaries are influenced by the professional’s level of education. Many entry-level positions in health education require a Bachelors Degree. However, many professionals opt to acquire Masters Degrees in order to expand their earning potential and number of job opportunities. Median annual salaries for health educators were $44,000 in 2008. Professionals at the top of their profession were able to command average salaries of $78,260 while those at the bottom of the career ladder had salaries of $26,210. Professionals employed in hospitals including medical and surgical units typically had higher median annual wages than those employed in individual family service organizations: $56,390 and $36,050 respectively. Most positions in health education include full time work. As such, most health educators have access to benefit packages that include healthcare, paid time off and vacation time.

Job Outlook

Individuals seeking careers in health education should have a number of opportunities for employment in the coming years. Job growth in the profession is projected to increase by 18 percent through 2018. Demand in the field is being spurred by changes in the healthcare system. A focus on preventative medicine has increased the need for health educators to provide services to patients. Even though many healthcare providers are reducing the services they provide as a result of cost issues, healthcare organizations are investing more money in prevention, as a means to reduce long-term healthcare costs. Health education is an important foundation of this strategy. Public health departments have also begun focusing more heavily on prevention. As a result, more health educators will be needed in this field. Growth in health education is also being fueled by the aging of the Baby Boomer population. As more individuals seek healthcare services, health educators will be needed to provide supports for healthy living.

Recommended Schools

Matching School Ads

At Kaplan University, we offer over 180 degree and certificate programs. With three different ways to learn, you can choose the format that works best for you:

  • Study wherever you have an Internet connection, because almost all of our courses are 100% online, or
  • Take campus-based classes(with day and evening options available), or
  • Combine campus learning with online classes (blended).

Programs:

  • MS in Health Education
  • MS in Education (for Existing Teachers Grades K-12)
  • Master of Science: Education
  • And more...
Locations:  Hagerstown

Concordia University, Nebraska offers accredited Master of Education and Master of Science degree programs online to help advance your career and become a transformative leader. Our M.Ed. and M.S. programs offer the knowledge and skills required in today’s competitive marketplace. These graduate degree programs are also practitioner-based: study real world solutions in class you can also apply to your current job. A reliable online learning system allows you to learn with other adult students, around your own schedule, and wherever you connect online.

Programs:

  • M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction
  • M.Ed. In Curriculum and Instruction with Instructional Technology Leadership Emphasis
  • M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with Curriculum Supervisor Certification
  • And more...

St. Thomas University is a Miami-based institution of higher learning with a rich history of academic achievement centered on the belief that education is a path to enlightenment. Founded as Biscayne College in 1961, we earned full university status in 1984. We adopted the St. Thomas name at that time to honor the original Augustinian institution of higher learning where our founders taught and led.Learn from dedicated, experienced instructors committed to your success: St. Thomas University’s graduate degree programs offer an inclusive, faith-based academic environment focused on practical training, critical thinking and ethical leadership. A reliable online learning system allows you to study with other adult students, around your own schedule, and wherever you connect online. Our commitment is to the academic, personal, and professional success of each student, preparing graduates to be ethical leaders in the world community. We offer fully online business, education, science and technology graduate degrees built on a 50-year tradition of scholastic excellence, community leadership, and faith-focused values. Our accredited online programs meet the same high standards of academic quality as our on-campus programs and are designed specifically for working adults – study and complete assignments around your schedule!

Programs:

  • M.S. in TESOL