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Health Educators

Home >> Careers & Education

Public Health Teacher

Health Educators


Education

What’s Needed:

  • Most universities require that public health teachers hold at least an M.P.H. or a Master’s in Public Health.
  • If you plan on working in public high schools you may also need to secure a teaching credential.

What you study:

While pursuing a degree in public health you are likely to study all of the following:

  • Basics of Epidemiology
  • Principles of Public Health Policy
  • Statistical Methods
  • Environmental Health
  • Public Health Education


Video Overview

Briefly introduces the public health teaching occupaton. Produced for the US Department of Labor.


A Day in the Life

You’ll choose a specialty area so that you can provide targeted instruction.

Your day as a public health teacher begins in the classroom. You arrive at the college where you work about 15 minutes before your first class is due to arrive. Depending on where you work you may be called either a public health teacher or a health specialties teacher. Regardless of your title you are responsible for educating students about health issues and keeping track of developments in your specialty area.

Your students arrive right as class is scheduled to begin. You are teaching an introductory seminar on public health issues so you begin by discussing an influenza scare that has been in the news recently. Understanding the history of public health issues is important and you make sure that you talk with your students about other flu scares. You field questions and moderate a discussion about the media’s coverage of the new pandemic.

You work with diverse groups of students and school administrators.

Before your students leave you assign them a midterm essay. You hand out an instruction sheet and go over the prompts. Because most of the students haven’t had your class before you explain your expectations and give them tips about conducting research. As your students filter out you set up an office appointment with a young man who is thinking of pursuing a degree in public health. If he chooses to pursue this path you will act as his adviser.

You’re responsible for providing up-to-date information about a variety of public health issues to your students.

After all of your students have left you gather up your instructional materials and head to your on-campus office. You spend the rest of your morning grading papers and updating your student tracking system. You plan to have a quick lunch in your office before you get ready for drop-in office hours.

During drop-in office hours you assist students who need help with assignments and course readings. One of your advisers come in to let you know that she’s landed an interview at a public health agency. You talk to her about the interview and make a note in your calendar to follow up with her later in the week.

You can contribute to university research projects and write papers on health topics.

You also use this time to start working up a midterm exam for your public health policy class. It’s your responsibility to design exams and to create grading rubrics for each of your courses. You work closely with your fellow faculty members to ensure that you are meeting department expectations.

After you finish another course you can head home for the evening. Of course you bring papers that still need to be graded with you. Once you’re at home you’ll finish grading your papers and will go over your lesson plans for the next day before enjoying your free time.


Certifications and Licensing

Many health educators work with only a B.A. or M.P.H. degree. However some institutions require that health teachers hold Certified Health Educator Specialists or CHES certification.


Job Flexibility

Work location:

As a public health teacher you will spend much of your working day in a classroom setting. You will also maintain an office at the primary educational institution where you work and may complete work from home.


Recommended Websites

  • American Association for Health Education: The AAHE website provides targeted advice for university professors health education professionals and public health students. Those who are interested in pursuing careers in this field will find a wide variety of information about professional development on this site.
  • Association of Community Health Nursing Educators: Those individuals who want to enter the field of health education while holding a nursing degree will find event listings and online resources at the ACHNE site.
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook for Health Educators: This U.S. Department of Labor handbook offers quantitative information about salary ranges and employment outlooks in this field. While this information is extremely useful it’s important to consult sites that offers a more qualitative view of this profession.
  • Society for Public Health Education: SOPHE’s website provides resources training opportunities and advocacy information for both experienced and new professionals in health education. Public health students can network with SOPHE chapters in their area through the website.


Salaries by City

See typical salaries and ranges for this career below*. Shift click to sort by more than one column — for example first shift-click on state and then shift-click on salary to find best and worst salaries in each state.

State City / Region Typical Salary Salary Range Job Count % of All Jobs
AK Anchorage $53190 $34K – $98K 150 0.08%
AK Fairbanks $61230 $40K – $87K 30 0.09%
AL Birmingham – Hoover $45730 $33K – $62K 80 0.02%
AL Mobile $48550 $29K – $72K 40 0.03%
AL Montgomery $42740 $30K – $83K 60 0.04%
AR Little Rock – North Little Rock – Conway $44180 $31K – $75K 120 0.04%
AZ Phoenix – Mesa – Glendale $51350 $26K – $88K 870 0.05%
AZ Tucson $49170 $23K – $83K 230 0.07%
AZ Yuma $25860 $18K – $40K 60 0.10%
CA Bakersfield – Delano $34290 $30K – $60K 160 0.06%
CA Fresno $43790 $28K – $84K 110 0.04%
CA Hanford – Corcoran $34290 $34K – $80K 90 0.25%
CA Los Angeles – Long Beach – Glendale (Metro Area) $39800 $23K – $84K 1500 0.04%
CA Merced $45090 $33K – $95K 30 0.06%
CA Modesto $54450 $34K – $98K 70 0.05%
CA Oakland – Fremont – Hayward (Metro Area) $56250 $39K – $104K 860 0.09%
CA Oxnard – Thousand Oaks – Ventura $50920 $32K – $74K 130 0.05%
CA Redding $35170 $21K – $87K 60 0.11%
CA Riverside – San Bernardino – Ontario $40250 $22K – $90K 450 0.04%
CA Sacramento – Arden – Arcade – Roseville $61380 $29K – $84K 550 0.07%
CA Salinas $34290 $31K – $65K 120 0.08%
CA San Diego – Carlsbad – San Marcos $44500 $30K – $95K 440 0.04%
CA San Francisco – San Mateo – Redwood City (Metro Area) $58980 $36K – $116K 470 0.05%
CA San Jose – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara $53510 $41K – $90K 560 0.06%
CA San Luis Obispo – Paso Robles $42180 $34K – $88K 50 0.05%
CA Santa Ana – Anaheim – Irvine (Metro Area) $45800 $31K – $79K 510 0.04%
CA Santa Barbara – Santa Maria – Goleta $44540 $31K – $76K 80 0.05%
CA Santa Cruz – Watsonville $41980 $32K – $80K 70 0.09%
CA Santa Rosa – Petaluma $48550 $34K – $85K 80 0.05%
CA Stockton $58080 $34K – $94K 80 0.04%
CA Vallejo – Fairfield $36170 $28K – $90K 90 0.08%
CA Visalia – Porterville $60590 $32K – $90K 50 0.04%
CO Colorado Springs $53300 $36K – $74K 60 0.03%
CO Denver – Aurora – Broomfield $55110 $29K – $88K 360 0.03%
CO Greeley $49810 $33K – $62K N/A N/A
CT Bridgeport – Stamford – Norwalk $46780 $37K – $109K 80 0.02%
CT Hartford – West Hartford – East Hartford $52000 $32K – $92K 260 0.05%
CT New Haven $49160 $26K – $74K 130 0.05%
DC Washington – Arlington – Alexandria (Metro Area) $64710 $29K – $112K 1260 0.05%
DE Wilmington (Metro Area) $65410 $44K – $90K 90 0.03%
FL Cape Coral – Fort Myers $38950 $22K – $78K 110 0.05%
FL Deltona – Daytona Beach – Ormond Beach $40060 $19K – $70K 80 0.05%
FL Fort Lauderdale – Pompano Beach – Deerfield Beach (Metro Area) $43290 $23K – $89K 260 0.04%
FL Gainesville $39900 $29K – $58K 90 0.07%
FL Jacksonville $41490 $27K – $70K 340 0.06%
FL Lakeland – Winter Haven $42100 $23K – $69K 40 0.02%
FL Miami – Miami Beach – Kendall (Metro Area) $40660 $27K – $79K 350 0.03%
FL Naples – Marco Island $64470 $28K – $74K 30 0.03%
FL North Port – Bradenton – Sarasota $45320 $31K – $70K 80 0.03%
FL Orlando – Kissimmee – Sanford $41680 $27K – $73K 400 0.04%
FL Palm Bay – Melbourne – Titusville $46650 $24K – $61K 130 0.07%
FL Panama City – Lynn Haven – Panama City Beach $34680 $26K – $57K 30 0.05%
FL Pensacola – Ferry Pass – Brent $36430 $26K – $58K 160 0.10%
FL Port St. Lucie $39340 $23K – $67K 40 0.03%
FL Tallahassee $36760 $26K – $68K 80 0.05%
FL Tampa – St. Petersburg – Clearwater $35950 $21K – $68K 350 0.03%
FL West Palm Beach – Boca Raton – Boynton Beach (Metro Area) $39720 $28K – $73K 150 0.03%
GA Atlanta – Sandy Springs – Marietta $79080 $32K – $115K 2260 0.10%
GA Augusta – Richmond County $55810 $32K – $82K 70 0.03%
GA Columbus $64030 $35K – $75K 50 0.04%
GA Macon $55320 $32K – $82K 70 0.07%
GA Savannah $56580 $35K – $78K 50 0.03%
HI Honolulu $46610 $31K – $79K 190 0.04%
IA Davenport – Moline – Rock Island $52370 $32K – $73K 90 0.05%
ID Boise City – Nampa $43580 $24K – $68K 200 0.08%
IL Champaign – Urbana $45650 $28K – $71K 80 0.08%
IL Chicago – Joliet – Naperville (Metro Area) $62360 $30K – $93K 1120 0.03%
IL Lake County – Kenosha County (Metro Area) $61360 $21K – $91K 40 0.01%
IL Peoria $48670 $24K – $74K 140 0.08%
IL Rockford $44450 $31K – $61K 50 0.03%
IL Springfield $52380 $31K – $80K 80 0.07%
IN Elkhart – Goshen $48910 $25K – $75K 40 0.04%
IN Evansville $41150 $24K – $70K 50 0.03%
IN Fort Wayne $61100 $30K – $73K 70 0.03%
IN Gary (Metro Area) $65850 $43K – $89K N/A N/A
IN Indianapolis – Carmel $53910 $30K – $87K 340 0.04%
IN South Bend – Mishawaka $47360 $40K – $75K 30 0.03%
KS Topeka $43320 $38K – $63K 40 0.04%
KS Wichita $39440 $21K – $57K 60 0.02%
KY Lexington – Fayette $34780 $26K – $63K 80 0.03%
KY Louisville – Jefferson County $41410 $28K – $61K 170 0.03%
LA Baton Rouge $51600 $30K – $72K 180 0.05%
LA Lafayette $31030 $21K – $68K 30 0.02%
LA Monroe $55060 $18K – $81K N/A N/A
LA New Orleans – Metairie – Kenner $54010 $33K – $75K 160 0.03%
LA Shreveport – Bossier City $50190 $26K – $68K 70 0.04%
MA Barnstable Town $38490 $26K – $70K 80 0.09%
MA Boston – Cambridge – Quincy (Metro Area) $47710 $37K – $88K 990 0.06%
MA Brockton – Bridgewater – Easton (Metro Area) $40150 $26K – $59K 30 0.03%
MA Framingham (Metro Area) $46450 $33K – $89K 30 0.02%
MA Leominster – Fitchburg – Gardner $31970 $24K – $52K N/A N/A
MA Lowell – Billerica – Chelmsford (Metro Area) $35000 $19K – $80K 30 0.03%
MA Springfield $45280 $24K – $77K 110 0.04%
MA Worcester $46070 $29K – $69K 280 0.11%
MD Baltimore – Towson $56810 $35K – $87K 450 0.04%
MD Bethesda – Rockville – Frederick (Metro Area) $97940 $52K – $133K 1220 0.22%
MD Hagerstown – Martinsburg $24900 $20K – $39K 140 0.14%
ME Bangor $44810 $23K – $64K 50 0.08%
ME Portland – South Portland – Biddeford $38200 $31K – $69K 160 0.08%
MI Ann Arbor $54980 $22K – $75K 120 0.06%
MI Detroit – Livonia – Dearborn (Metro Area) $49520 $31K – $68K 170 0.02%
MI Flint $40590 $32K – $76K 60 0.04%
MI Grand Rapids – Wyoming $63640 $36K – $74K 50 0.05%
MI Lansing – East Lansing $72780 $41K – $85K 130 0.07%
MI Muskegon – Norton Shores $24980 $21K – $72K N/A N/A
MI Saginaw – Saginaw Township North $60220 $35K – $74K 30 0.04%
MI Warren – Troy – Farmington Hills (Metro Area) $56210 $34K – $75K 190 0.02%
MN Duluth $39540 $27K – $59K 50 0.04%
MN Minneapolis – St. Paul – Bloomington $49450 $34K – $71K 760 0.04%
MN St. Cloud $54050 $41K – $75K 30 0.03%
MO Cape Girardeau – Jackson $32710 $22K – $45K 40 0.09%
MO Jefferson City $38780 $31K – $47K 140 0.20%
MO Kansas City $43980 $30K – $74K 510 0.05%
MO Springfield $43630 $28K – $69K 140 0.08%
MO St. Louis $44440 $27K – $73K 660 0.05%
MS Jackson $36870 $27K – $61K 180 0.07%
MT Billings $35720 $27K – $56K 50 0.06%
MT Missoula $41940 $25K – $66K 40 0.07%
NC Asheville $59240 $30K – $74K 70 0.04%

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