Online Health Education Bachelor’s Degree
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Students who decide to pursue a health education bachelor's degree online can have an exciting career filled with numerous professional opportunities. In exchange for devoting four years of study to the discipline, graduates enjoy meaningful and challenging work. Before committing to an online health education degree, prospective students should fully research their options to ensure they find the right fit. Keep reading to learn about how this degree translates to the real world, what skills and knowledge graduates can gain, and the common careers and average salaries for graduates.
What is Health Education?
A multifaceted social science, health education incorporates biology, psychology, environmental science, and medical sciences into an education-based framework for helping people live better lives. With a focus on educating the public about simple disease prevention and behavioral shifts individuals can make to live healthier, health educators help individuals and communities create better habits.
Given that online health education degrees provide a generalist plan of study, graduates of these programs can adapt to take on roles in nonclinical settings. While most positions for graduates of bachelor's level programs are entry level, individuals can either work their way up by gaining experience or elect to pursue a master's level course of study in nursing or healthcare administration. Health educators often work in various areas of the healthcare industry, including community health organizations and advocacy groups, hospitals and care facilities, health management organizations, and governmental departments of health.
In addition to programs devoted wholly to health education, students may also come across related degrees that offer health education concentrations. Touro University Worldwide, for example, provides a bachelor of science in health sciences with a health education concentration, while the University of Louisiana at Lafayette offers a bachelor of science in kinesiology with a concentration in health promotion and wellness.
What Can I Do with an Online Health Education Bachelor's Degree?
Pursuing an online health education degree allows students to follow various professional paths, but sometimes it can be difficult to pick just one when the time comes. By reviewing the following sections, degree seekers can get a better sense of how these programs prepare graduates for the real world and a potential salary, while also reviewing some of the best jobs at the bachelor's level.
Skills and Knowledge Gained
Over the course of completing an accredited online health education degree, distance learners pick up critical knowledge and competencies that help them excel in the field and compete against others for meaningful jobs. Since careers in this discipline focus on teaching others about living healthily, programs concentrate heavily on equipping students with the skills needed to educate those they serve.
In addition to studying topics surrounding program and curriculum development, students also frequently take classes in public speaking and engagement so students can successfully interact with many different types of people in professional environments. Multitasking is also an important part of the curriculum since health educators often balance multiple administrative and teaching responsibilities on any given day.
To build these skills, many health education online degrees require distance learners to participate in a practicum experience. This semester-long assignment allows students to learn health education in a real-world setting, ask health education professionals questions, and build meaningful contacts they can connect with after graduating.
Since health education online degrees can branch into numerous professionals paths, many students elect to focus their educational efforts in a particular subdiscipline. Some students may decide to fill their elective requirements with classes that help them gain jobs as wellness coordinators at a corporation, while others may seek out courses that propel them into community health coordinator roles at a nonprofit. As you move through coursework and get a better sense of your interests, search for classes that help you stand out against competition.
Careers and Salary Potential
Given that graduates of an online bachelor's degree in health education can select from so many different professional paths, narrowing down options can prove challenging. Fortunately, jobs in this field vary significantly enough to help learners identify positions that speak to their strengths and interests. In addition to reviewing the jobs and work locations discussed below, complete additional research to find the perfect role.
- Individual and family services: Whether working at a community empowerment organization or a school, health educators help their clients create healthy living environments through education, advocacy, and home visits.
- Government: Health educators working for the government often take up community outreach projects, build coalitions, advocate for change at the local level, and create health campaigns to bring awareness to issues.
- Hospitals: Working in a hospital allows health educators to teach patients postsurgical care or work with fellow nursing staff to update information on surgical and safety procedures.
- Outpatient care centers: These individuals may coordinate workshops or disseminate healthy living pamphlets. They write grants for funding projects and collect data to ascertain programmatic effectiveness.
Health Educators and Community Health Workers
Annual Median Salary: $45,360
These health professionals work within communities to develop healthy living curriculum, train teachers, work with community stakeholders, evaluate program effectiveness, and gather data about health improvements resulting from implementation of the program.
Social and Community Service Managers
Annual Median Salary: $64,100
Whether working with a nonprofit or local government, social and community service managers connect clients with social services. They oversee programmatic budgets, review data to ensure program effectiveness, and write grant proposals for funding.
Annual Median Salary: $44,302
Wellness coordinators work in a variety of public settings to create and implement health programs, manage programmatic vendors, create new policies for encouraging healthy behaviors, and work with individual departments to set goals.
Certified Health Education Specialist
Annual Median Salary: $47,282
These individuals develop the educational materials used by their organizations and stay current on best practices and changes in the industry. They review reports and studies within health education and use that research to inform new curriculum.
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