This article talks about Master of Health Education degree programs and their educational requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and certification and continuing education choices.
Master of Health Education Programs
Graduates from a master’s degree programs in health education can expect to have gained expertise in developing programs and evaluating their effectiveness. Students become adept at performing research and at marketing health education topics for diverse audiences. In some programs, students may be taught about working in a group, community, and one-on-one settings. Each program may have its capstone requirement for graduation; commonly, a thesis, project, or internship is incorporated. Program graduates can volunteer for professional certification.
Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold an accredited bachelor’s degree, in addition to completing specific courses before being allowed to begin core coursework.
Program coursework typically includes foundational topic areas relating to the development and implementation of health education programs. The focus of elective courses can be on stress management or drug education, among other specific issues related to the field. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:
•Health education techniques
•Health education curriculum planning
•Evaluation of health education
•Health education program management
In 2012, most health educators were employed in social assistance, healthcare, or governmental organizations (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Health educators may cover various topic areas or opt for specialization in a particular issue. Varying with their place of employment, they may work with individual clientele. They may choose from possible job positions such as:
•Health promotion specialist
•Clinical nurse educator
•Community health consultant
•Public health educator
Job and Wage Outlook
Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of 21% has been predicted for health educators (BLS). In May 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $41,830 (BLS).
Certification and Continuing Education Choices
The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. offers professional certification for health educators, including the Master Certified Health Education Specialist and the Certified Health Education Specialist credentials. These credentials can be obtained by meeting eligibility requirements and passing a certifying exam. Continuing education standards must be met to maintain certification.
Program graduates seeking continuing education may enroll into a Ph.D. in Health Education program that schools may offer in conjunction with health promotion or another related topic. The program, which can lead to a career in research or academia, typically ends in a dissertation.
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