How To Become A Public Health Educator | Tulane University (2023)

The World Health Organization describes health as a state of complete well-being: physical, mental and social. Achieving this state requires access to quality healthcare, safe living and working conditions, and a clean environment. To be healthy, however, people must be aware of health-promoting behaviors.

A public health educator with the right skills empowers people to take care of their own health. Tulane University offers aOnline-Master in Public HealthProgram that prepares graduates to develop health education programs and organize health promotion communities.

Role of education in public health

The public health sector strives to prevent health problems before they occur. Public health professionals do this by advocating policies that positively impact health, delivering services, and conducting research. Educational programs help raise awareness of health issues, educate people about available resources, and teach them how to effectively manage their health problems.

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that six out of ten Americans are living with chronic diseases. However, most chronic diseases result from unhealthy behaviors that people can change. How can health professionals get people to change unhealthy behaviors?

While many factors play a role, education plays an important role. Learning to eat well, exercise regularly, avoid tobacco, limit alcohol consumption, and get routine health screening can help tackle some of the nation's leading causes of death and disability. While learning about healthy behaviors is no guarantee that people will change their behavior, it does offer a crucial first step.

Education can address many aspects of well-being, from sexual and reproductive health to stress management and nutrition. For example, awareness-raising initiatives can teach patients with hypertension how to manage the condition and minimize its harmful effects on the body, and substance abuse prevention programs can raise awareness of the harmful effects of drug and alcohol abuse.

Career as a public health educator

Those interested in using education as a tool to solve current public health challenges may consider a career in public health education. The positions generally focus on the organization and planning of health education programs in the community.

community organization

The community organizing career as a public health educator encourages community involvement in improving health. This work involves examining the context and deep causes of health problems with information from the community experiencing them. Often these positions focus on a specific topic, such as B. Childhood obesity or violence prevention.

By involving groups and organizations in the community, public health educators make decisions in collaboration with community members. These collaborations identify urgent health problems and strategies to address them. In this way, the public health educator empowers communities to solve their own health problems.

This public health approach also considers how community members and public health professionals influence health situations. In addition to assessing a community's health needs, public health educators working in community organizations nurture partnerships and work with the community to evaluate programs and initiatives.

Programming for health education

Public health educators who focus on programming develop materials that educate other public health officials or community members about relevant health issues. They also recommend policies that support healthy environments and behaviors. Program development varies depending on where the public health educators work.

schools and colleges

Health educators who design programs for schools and colleges focus on youth-related issues such as childhood obesity, eating disorders, smoking and alcohol use. This includes developing curricula as well as advocating for measures to protect student health, such as B. Snack machines with healthy options. Public health educators may also oversee program implementation.

Public Health Secretariats

Educators in health departments run campaigns on immunization, emergency preparedness, and nutrition. They create materials and work on policies that help keep communities healthy. They also provide public safety information in the event of a public health emergency or crisis. For example, during a pandemic like COVID-19, they can educate the public on when to use a mask or appropriate handwashing methods.

nonprofit organizations

The focus of a nonprofit organization drives the programs that a public health educator develops. Health educator Stephanie Parr works at Stephenson Cancer Center, where she works with private foundations to fund mobile mammography. She also coordinates with local and state governments and tribal nations to expand chronic disease prevention and risk reduction programs. Health educators in nonprofit organizations also help inform policymakers. They advocate for specific policies known to reduce gun violence, reduce childhood asthma rates, or address inmates' mental health needs.

Educational requirements for public health educators

Public health instructors need to have the right training to gain the experience needed to succeed in their role.

Step 1: Earn a bachelor's degree

Public health educators must first earn a bachelor's degree in public health, health education, or a related field. This builds fundamental knowledge about health and theories about health behaviors. While some health educator positions only require a bachelor's degree, many require an advanced degree, particularly positions involving leadership roles.

Step 2: Gain work experience

With a bachelor's degree, public health educators can take up positions that develop their skills in core competencies for health education, including:

  • needs assessment
  • Health education planning
  • Evaluation and research in health education
  • education management and health promotion

Step 3: Earn a master's degree

Public health educators responsible for developing comprehensive educational programs require advanced knowledge. For example, you must be fluent in:

  • Strategies for designing public health programs
  • Methods for monitoring and evaluating public health programs
  • Health Communication Theory

A Master of Public Health equips public health educators with this knowledge and cultivates the key competencies to successfully develop and launch public health awareness campaigns.

Step 4: Get Credentials

Public health educators looking to gain a competitive edge will benefit from the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential. To obtain it, public health instructors need a bachelor's degree and must pass an exam. In addition, public health educators with more experience can earn a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES). To receive an MCHES, applicants must have a master's degree or five years of professional experience in health education and pass an exam.

Skills of Public Health Educators

To be successful, public health educators must develop skills in the following areas:


Public health educators assess community needs and programs based on the data they assess. This requires critical thinking and analytical skills.

to teach

Public health educators often train staff and educate clients on health issues. This requires the ability to teach and communicate ideas and information effectively.

interpersonal relationships

Public health educators need to build trust, communicate effectively, and work with people from diverse backgrounds. This requires the ability to listen well, be culturally sensitive and show empathy.


Public health educators can face many challenges when designing programs, including budget constraints and client skepticism. Therefore, they must be able to come up with creative solutions and find ways to overcome obstacles that arise.


Public health educators can author curricula, grant applications, and program materials. Your ability to communicate effectively often depends on your writing skills.

Learn more about how public health educators help solve health problems

Dealing with public health issues requires a multifaceted approach. Public health educators play a key role in developing programs that educate people about health issues and influence individual behaviors that can promote healthier living. In addition, they educate peers and policymakers on important information that can be used to build healthier communities.

Find out how Tulane UniversityOnline-Master in Public HealthThe program prepares graduates to strengthen communities through health education.

recommended reading

Responding to disease outbreaks: Exploring the critical role of epidemiologists, disease investigators, and other public health specialists

What is health justice? Ensure access for all

Why Community Health Matters to Public Health


CDC Foundation, what is public health?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Comprehensive Health Community Center, The Importance of Health Education and Preventive Services

NCTEC, choose your certification path

NCEC, Guide to Careers in Health Education

NCHEC, „Ein Interview mit Stephanie Parr, CHES®, Community Outreach Coordinator, Stephenson Cancer Center“

NCTEC, Responsibilities and Competences for Health Education Specialists

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Educational and Community Programs

Department of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Social Determinants of Health

Rural health information center, community organization model

Truity, health educator or community health worker

Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, MPH in Health Education and Communication

US Bureau of Labor Statistics, health educator and community health worker

World Health Organization, Constitution


How To Become A Public Health Educator | Tulane University? ›

Health education specialists typically need at least a bachelor's degree in health education or health promotion. Employers may accept a variety of other majors, including business, social science, and healthcare and related fields. Students may gain additional knowledge and skills through an internship.

How do I become a health educator in USA? ›

Health education specialists typically need at least a bachelor's degree in health education or health promotion. Employers may accept a variety of other majors, including business, social science, and healthcare and related fields. Students may gain additional knowledge and skills through an internship.

What is a public health educator? ›

What Is a Public Health Educator? Public health educators – also called health educators or health education specialists – are qualified professionals who teach people about wellness and the best ways to live healthy lives.

How do I become a health educator in California? ›

​​1. ​​​​​Are you a new teacher?
  1. ​Bachelor's Degree.
  2. Pass the CBEST.
  3. Either complete the Health Science Subject Matter Program​ or obtain a passing grade on the CSET examinations in Health Science.
  4. Complete an Education Program, including required course work and student teaching.

How do I become a health educator in NYC? ›

Health educators need a bachelor's degree for entry-level positions. Most health educators hold master's degrees. There are some formal programs in health education, but many health educators graduate from educational programs in nursing, public health, or related fields.

What is the highest pay for a health educator? ›

Avg Salary

Health educators earn an average yearly salary of $61,480. Wages typically start from $38,960 and go up to $104,210.

Is a health educator a nurse? ›

The “health educator” job title is a non-clinical position that does not require a medical or nursing license. Health educators serve as advocates for their community and the individuals within it.

How much does a public health educator earn in USA? ›

Entry Level Public Health Educator Salary
Annual SalaryHourly Wage
Top Earners$79,000$38
75th Percentile$62,500$30
25th Percentile$45,000$22

What are the benefits of being a health educator? ›

Most common benefits for Health Educators
  • 401(k)
  • Dental insurance.
  • Health insurance.
  • Life insurance.
  • Paid time off.
  • Retirement plan.
  • Vision insurance.
May 7, 2023

What is the difference between PE and health education? ›

Both deal with habits of exercise, sleep, rest, and recreation. Since physical well-being is only one aspect of a person's overall health, physical education is often thought of as a part of health education. Health education is an activity aimed at the improvement of health-related knowledge, attitudes, and behavior.

Is the CHES exam worth it? ›

If an individual is specifically trained in health education and promotion, and wishes to highlight that expertise, the CHES® or MCHES® is a better fit. Recognition by Employers. With more than 29 years behind it, the CHES® and MCHES® certifications are recognized by thousands of employers across the country.

How much does a health education specialist make in California? ›

Health Education Specialist Salary in California
Annual SalaryMonthly Pay
Top Earners$79,317$6,609
75th Percentile$52,878$4,406
25th Percentile$33,293$2,774

How do I become a successful health educator? ›

There are many skills that an effective health educator has, such as:
  1. Communication. ...
  2. Problem-solving. ...
  3. Time management. ...
  4. Teamwork. ...
  5. Written communication. ...
  6. Cultural competency. ...
  7. Continually develop industry knowledge. ...
  8. Practice public speaking.
Aug 12, 2022

How much does a health teacher earn in NYC? ›

How much does a Health Teacher make in New York, NY? The average Health Teacher salary in New York, NY is $59,326 as of May 01, 2023, but the salary range typically falls between $47,804 and $73,194.

How much do hospital nurse educators get paid in NYC? ›

What is the total pay trajectory for Nurse Educator?
Job TitleSalary
Nurse Educator$135,931 /yr
Senior Nurse Educator$135,954 /yr
Adjunct Nurse Educator$147,599 /yr
Sep 15, 2022

How much does a certified health education specialist earn in NYC? ›

How much does a Health Educator make in New York, NY? The average Health Educator salary in New York, NY is $82,202 as of May 01, 2023, but the range typically falls between $71,818 and $92,381.

Which healthcare company pays the most? ›

Here are the best, highest-paying healthcare companies to work for in America:
  • St. Jude Medical. ...
  • Biogen. AP Images. ...
  • Abbott Laboratories. Tim Boyle/Getty Images. ...
  • Eli Lilly. Eli Lilly and Company/Facebook. ...
  • Celgene. Courtesy of Celgene. ...
  • Merck. Merck/Facebook. ...
  • TIE: AbbVie. AbbVie/Facebook. ...
  • TIE: Johnson & Johnson.
May 13, 2016

What is the job outlook for a health coach educator? ›

Job Outlook for Health Coaches in 2023 and Beyond

The industry is expected to grow at a rate of 6.7% each year from 2022 to 2030, with an expected worth of almost $20 billion by 2026, $23 billion by 2028, and $26 billion by 2030.

Can I teach a health class as a nurse? ›

Under most circumstances, yes, you will need to earn teaching credentials. How this looks will vary depending on the role you seek. In many states for instance, a bachelor's in nursing and a current nursing license are all you need to get started as a CTE health science teacher.

What are the 7 areas of responsibility for health educators? ›

The updated list includes:
  • Area I: Assessment of Needs and Capacity.
  • Area II: Planning.
  • Area III: Implementation.
  • Area IV: Evaluation and Research.
  • Area V: Advocacy.
  • Area VI: Communication.
  • Area VII: Leadership and Management.
  • Area VIII: Ethics and Professionalism.

How many years is a nurse educator? ›

It takes between 6 to 10 years to become a nurse educator. Although, it can take as little as two years of study at the master's degree level if you are already a licensed nurse with a bachelor's degree.

Can you make money with a public health degree? ›

In particular, epidemiologists and other professionals involved in disease research and control will find many employment opportunities in California. The salary for MPH degree graduates in California is $109,527 annually or $52.66 on an hourly basis.

What is the salary of BS public health in USA? ›

Bachelors Public Health Salary
Annual SalaryMonthly Pay
Top Earners$104,000$8,666
75th Percentile$86,500$7,208
25th Percentile$57,500$4,791

Are public health jobs in demand in USA? ›

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Public Health jobs are expected to grow between 5-11% in the next 10 years.

Why do I want to be a health educator? ›

If you have a strong interest in the health and wellness industry and like the idea of positively impacting the health of others, you may be interested in a career as a health educator. Health educators work closely with individuals and large groups to help them develop and maintain healthy habits.

Why are public health educators important? ›

By providing relevant and scientifically sound medical advice, health educators improve the quality of life for millions of Americans while lowering burdensome medical costs. Individuals seeking a career with a positive impact on their community should consider earning a Bachelor of Science in Public Health.

What is a day in the life of a health educator? ›

Public health educators teach people how to live in a healthy manner. A day in the life of a public health educator starts with collecting data about the health hazards of a particular community, contacting the community members and discussing health concerns with the members of that community.

What degree do you need to be a physical education teacher in PA? ›

You can choose to complete a bachelor's degree program in a field related to health and fitness from a regionally accredited college or university and then complete a Pennsylvania-approved teacher preparation program afterwards for the required pedagogy courses and student teaching component.

Is health and physical education hard? ›

Contrary to its perception, Phys Ed is a tough degree that is in no way "elementary" in its course load requirements. Classes for nearly every Phys Ed program include kinesiology, chemistry, calculus, anatomy and physiology. Many programs also allow students to specialize in either teaching or health and wellness.

Why PE should not be required? ›

Regardless, high school students should not be required to participate in PE as it does not benefit their health as its proponents intended. The purpose of PE is to encourage children to move around and to apply their knowledge to develop a healthier lifestyle.

Is the CHES exam difficult? ›

Stay Motivated. Staying motivated while studying for the CHES® and MCHES® exams can be tough. Putting in many long hours can be grueling, but keeping your end goal in mind is the best way to avoid burnout from studying.

Is getting a CPH certification worth it? ›

62% of job seekers said "get an edge over other candidates" was the biggest reason for earning their Certified in Public Health (CPH) 23% said earning their Certified in Public Health (CPH) helped them make more money. 23% said earning their Certified in Public Health (CPH) helped them get a job.

What is the pass rate for the CHES exam? ›

– The pass rate for the CHES Certification exam is about 73%. – The cost to register for the CHES Certification exam ranges from $240 to $330 for nonstudents depending on when you register for the exam. For those who are students, the fee is $210 to $265 depending on when you register.

Is an Education Specialist degree worth it? ›

The Ed. S. degree is ideal for educators who wish to develop expertise in a specific area of education or move into leadership roles, such as curriculum specialists, instructional coaches, school psychologists, or administrators. Or those who want to deepen their knowledge and skills without pursuing a doctoral degree.

What is the salary of an enrollment specialist in California? ›

Enrollment Specialist Salary in California
Annual SalaryMonthly Pay
Top Earners$60,222$5,018
75th Percentile$44,065$3,672
25th Percentile$30,845$2,570

What is a California Education Specialist credential? ›

The Educational Specialist Credential addresses the needs of the diverse population of students receiving special education services while their Specialist teacher candidates obtain critical knowledge and skills in of core curriculum and specialized instruction.

What state pays health educators the most? ›

The states and districts that pay Health Educators the highest mean salary are District of Columbia ($94,610), Maryland ($90,140), Georgia ($88,740), Connecticut ($79,340), and Rhode Island ($73,890).

What is top pay for NYC teachers? ›

For 2021-22, starting salaries for teachers range from $61,070 (bachelor's degree, no prior teaching experience) to $83,972 (master's degree, eight years teaching experience, without additional coursework). New teachers with a master's degree but no prior teaching experience will earn $68,252.

What is the lowest teacher salary in New York? ›

How much does an Entry Level Teacher make in New York? The average Entry Level Teacher salary in New York is $45,487 as of May 01, 2023, but the range typically falls between $37,986 and $55,473.

What is the highest ER nurse salary? ›

Emergency room nurse salaries typically range between $50,000 and $126,000 a year. The average hourly rate for emergency room nurses is $38.41 per hour.

How much does a NYC nurse earn hourly? ›

Salaries by years of experience in New York, NY
Years of experiencePer hour
1 to 2 years$65.65
3 to 5 years$68.91
6 to 9 years$71.40
More than 10 years$79.83
1 more row

How much does a NYC RN BSN make? ›

$79,262 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $134,472 is the 75th percentile.

How do I become a Health Educator in NYC? ›

Health educators need a bachelor's degree for entry-level positions. Most health educators hold master's degrees. There are some formal programs in health education, but many health educators graduate from educational programs in nursing, public health, or related fields.

How much does a public health specialist earn in NYC? ›

These charts show the average base salary (core compensation), as well as the average total cash compensation for the job of Population Health Specialist in New York, NY. The base salary for Population Health Specialist ranges from $63,747 to $82,487 with the average base salary of $72,277.

How much does a public health specialist earn in New York? ›

How much does a Public Health make in New York City, New York? As of May 7, 2023, the average annual pay for the Public Health jobs category in New York City is $69,736 a year.

How do I become a healthcare worker in USA? ›

At a minimum, entry-level positions usually require a high school diploma or associate degree. However, most CHW positions require a bachelor's degree in a healthcare-related field. And if you're interested in working in the federal government or a public health agency, you'll likely need a master's or doctoral degree.

How many health educators are there in the US? ›

National estimates for Health Education Specialists:
Employment (1)Employment RSE (3)Wage RSE (3)
56,1901.5 %0.7 %

How much does a childcare educator earn in USA? ›

How much does a Early Childhood Teacher make in USA? The average early childhood teacher salary in the USA is $33,482 per year or $16.10 per hour. Entry level positions start at $29,050 per year while most experienced workers make up to $51,227 per year.

Why should I become a health educator? ›

By providing relevant and scientifically sound medical advice, health educators improve the quality of life for millions of Americans while lowering burdensome medical costs. Individuals seeking a career with a positive impact on their community should consider earning a Bachelor of Science in Public Health.

How much do public health workers earn in USA? ›

Public health worker salaries typically range between $29,000 and $60,000 a year. The average hourly rate for public health workers is $20.44 per hour.

What is the salary of health worker in USA? ›

The average Health Care Worker salary in the United States is $59,144 as of May 01, 2023, but the salary range typically falls between $43,684 and $65,623.

How do I start a career in healthcare? ›

An undergraduate college degree. Four years of medical school. Substantial, identifiable training such as a three- to five-year residency in an ACGME accredited program and several years of experience and proven competencies in the specific specialty or sub-specialty. A license to practice medicine.

Is there an educator shortage in the US? ›

As of October 2022, after the school year had already begun, 45% of U.S. public schools had at least one teacher vacancy. That's according to limited federal data. For several months, NPR has been exploring the forces at work behind these local teacher shortages.

What is the largest health profession in the US? ›

Nursing is the nation's largest healthcare profession, with nearly 4.2 million registered nurses (RNs) nationwide. Of all licensed RNs, 84.1% are employed in nursing.

What is the highest daycare salary? ›

Daycare worker salary ranges between $18,000 - $37,000, with the average total compensation falling around $27,490 per year in 2021.

What state pays daycare teachers the most? ›

Geographic profile for Childcare Workers:
StateEmployment (1)Annual mean wage (2)
New York39,890$ 35,190
California29,500$ 37,430
Florida28,360$ 28,480
Illinois22,660$ 30,900
1 more row

What state pays the most for childcare? ›

Detailed List Of In-Home Childcare Provider Salaries By State
RankStateAverage Wage
46 more rows
Nov 15, 2016

What is the job outlook for a health educator? ›

Being a health educator is "a lot more than pits and zits," she says. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 7.6% employment growth for health educators between 2021 and 2031. In that period, an estimated 4,500 jobs should open up.


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