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Health education works to improve community and individual health by teaching people how to address and follow up on health care issues. There are many health education jobs, ranging from hands-on public health to laboratory work in health science. The main mission shared by all of these jobs is to improve, promote, and maintain overall health by collecting and analyzing data, while performing needed health-related services. In the United States, federal funding for health education training was increased in 2002 to address the growing demand for health education workers.
A teaching career in public health involves using science and education to help create healthy communities. The general focus of this field is the promotion of good health, and injury or disease prevention. Health educators who have a degree in public health often work in clinical and administrative settings with physicians, hospitals, and health clinics to increase awareness about health conditions that affect the public. Some of the main public health education jobs include behavioral science, environmental health, biostatistics, health services administration, and epidemiology.
Careers in health education in a school setting are abundant in the United States and other countries. Health teacher jobs are available in all grade levels, from pre-schools to universities, and in private as well as public school systems. Elementary and high school educators teach basic health education to children and teens on topics such as hygiene, anatomy, physiology, and hormones. University-level educators may teach courses in dentistry, physical therapy, pharmaceutics, laboratory technology, and public health.
Health education jobs are also available in the wide-ranging field of health sciences. These individuals work in both a laboratory setting and inside the classroom to teach students how to research and study topics like cell biology and cancer, environmental health and toxicology, microbiology, and infectious diseases. Educators who choose this field may also have an increased opportunity to be involved with ongoing research into serious public health issues such as avian influenza, bio weaponry, and pandemic prevention and treatment plans.
Most health education jobs require specialized four-year study programs. In the United States, many colleges and universities offer graduate and undergraduate degrees in community health education, health science, and other related fields. After graduation, credentials as a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) can be obtained from the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc (NCHEC). Due to an increased focus on preventative care, health education jobs in the US are experiencing steady patterns of growth.
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