Earning a Master’s in Health Education Online
Should I Pursue a Master's in Health Education Online?
Professionals with backgrounds in healthcare, education, or both will find several online master's in health education programs to fit their needs. For example, one online master's degree in health education prepares learners to teach K-12 students about wellness; degree candidates who enjoy working with children or having educational backgrounds may excel in this program. Another school offers an online public health education degree that prepares students to become community health educators and managers who will design and implement programs that focus on disease prevention. Prospective students with nursing or other medical backgrounds may enjoy this program. Since these two master's degrees do not necessarily require in-person clinical hours, they may be earned fully online, which is convenient for working professionals and learners with family commitments.
Master's in Health Education Salary
How much health educators earn varies depending on where professionals live and how many years of experience they bring to the table. For example, health educators in Georgia earn an annual mean wage of $76,160 while those in Florida earn $51,810. Candidates must remember that the costs of living vary between states as well. For instance, the standard of $54,740 per year that health educators earn in Texas may go further than the $55,270 average in New York. Across the country, new health educators earn an annual mean wage of about $39,000 while those with one or two decades in the field earn $50,000.
Top Paying States for Health Educators
|State||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Pay by Experience Level for Health Educator
- Entry-Level (0-5 Years):
- Mid-Career (5-10 Years):
- Experienced (10-20 Years):
- Late-Career (20+ Years):
Master's in Health Education Careers
A health education master's degree from an online school opens several career paths. Graduates can become health educators, community health workers, college professors, or nutritionists. After a few years, professionals can move into management positions, including department chair at a university or community health manager.
Which directions graduates follow depends on their passions and experience. For example, professionals who care deeply about food quality and its effects on human health may pursue a career as a dietician. Meanwhile, those who enjoy the academic environment may choose to serve as a postsecondary teacher.
Annual Median Salary: $53,940
Projected Growth Rate: 16%
These professionals use their knowledge of education theory and human biology to help community members stay healthy. They may work in hospitals, clinics, schools, surgery centers, or outpatient facilities. While some employers require bachelor's degrees, a master's degree can help a candidate stand out and climb the ranks.
Community Health Worker
Annual Median Salary: $45,360
Projected Growth Rate: 18%
Community health professionals often work alongside health educators to implement programs that teach people about physical and mental wellness. They serve as the link between the medical professionals and the surrounding communities and should have strong communication skills and empathy. While not always a requirement, these professionals often benefit from holding master's degrees.
Annual Median Salary: $76,000
Projected Growth Rate: 15%
These professors teach the next generations of healthcare professionals and educators. They may work in community colleges or major universities. Some teach inside medical or nursing schools while others lead basic health courses for a broader array of learners. The minimum requirement for this position is a master's degree, but many schools require doctorates.
Dietician or Nutritionist
Annual Median Salary: $59,410
Projected Growth Rate: 15%
These workers counsel patients on their diets. They make lifestyle and nutritional recommendations, help clients come up with meal plans and adjust the programs as necessary. An online master's in health education can help graduates market themselves. Additional training is often needed for this position.
Postsecondary Education Administrators
Annual Median Salary: $92,360
Projected Growth Rate: 10%
Learners who earn master's degrees in health education online and work for several years can become department chairs at colleges and universities. They teach courses and oversee other professors in the same subject area. Candidates must have at least a master's degree, but they sometimes need doctorates for these positions.
What Can I Expect from an Online Master's in Health Education Program?
Many of the best online master's in health education programs offer unique courses and concentrations; however, many institutions provide learners with a few foundational courses that closely resemble those at other schools. The list below represents some of the most common classes in health education master's online programs.
Curriculum for an Online Master's Degree in Health Education
- Principles of Epidemiology: Community health workers often use educational tools to fight against health outbreaks in their regions. For example, they design anti-flu campaigns and teach about prevention methods like vaccines and handwashing. These courses teach learners about the ways that infectious diseases spread so that they can adequately educate community members.
- Human Resources for Healthcare Managers: Students who want to hold management positions should take classes like these. They learn to manage conflict between employees, hire and train talent, and follow employment laws. These skills impress employers and demonstrate a willingness to lead. As such, graduates with such skills can become managers quickly.
- Health Behavior Theory: These classes teach students why healthcare consumers make certain decisions. They learn the economic, social, and educational factors that change how people behave regarding their wellness. With this knowledge, community health workers and health educators can design more effective programs.
- Social Marketing and Health Communications: A significant part of a community health worker's job is to use social channels to promote healthy behaviors. These courses teach students social communication theories, current best practices, and how to evaluate the effectiveness of communication. Graduates use these skills to ensure success in their positions and keep their communities healthy.
- Capstone in Health Education: Many online master's in health education programs end with capstone courses. In these classes, learners bring together skills they honed throughout their degree into a final project, which will demonstrate their knowledge to potential employers.
Certifications and Licenses a Master's in Health Education Prepares For
- Master Certified Health Education Specialist: The National Commission for Health Education Credentials, Inc. offers this high-level certification for master's degree graduates once they complete five years of experience as health educators. The organization provides graduates with a lower-level certification before they earn five years of experience. Candidates must pass exams to earn either credential.
- Community Health Worker State Licenses: Several states require community health professionals to earn certification within the jurisdiction before they can start working. Most of these states need candidates to have formal education in the field, including master's degrees. Others require applicants to take written exams as well. Some jurisdictions require continuing education to renew the credentials every year or two.
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