Public health programs are geared towards providing learners with the knowledge on improving the health of communities. A variety of degree programs are offered in this area of study that may be useful to pursue positions such as health educators, epidemiologists or health program analysts. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of health educators is expected to grow by 21% between 2012 and 2022, faster than the average for all other occupations.
Students interested in public health programs can pursue the undergraduate or graduate degrees and learn how to conduct research on diseases, protect the population against diseases and analyze the effects of genetics and the environment on health.
Public Health Degrees
Both traditional and online colleges offer degrees in public health. Students can work towards the associate, bachelor's, master's or doctorate programs. Community health, business administration and healthcare operations are some of the areas of study within these degrees. The associate in public health can be completed in 2 years while the bachelors' degree generally requires 4 years for completion. Students can earn the master's degree in 1-2 year. PhD programs may take 5-7 years to complete. The duration of these programs depends on the enrollment status of candidates.
Associate in Public Health
The associate degree may provide students with the understanding of the goals and challenges of public administration. The coursework in this program may include topics such as health policy and education, epidemiology and environmental health. Students may also learn about biostatistics, social and behavioral sciences. The program can be suitable for students who want to find entry-level positions in healthcare and related settings as well as those who aspire to get into the advanced degrees later on.
Online Public Health Degrees
Students who want to get into the public health can also pursue the online degree programs. These programs allow students to study remotely using the internet and complete a program at their own pace. The online degrees can be useful for working adults as well as others who want to work towards a college degree but do not have time due to busy personal or professional schedules. Stay-at-home parents, working professionals and those who reside in remote areas may pursue an online degree.
A degree in public health may help candidates find jobs in several settings such as insurance companies, human services agencies, public health departments and hospitals. They may also look for employment opportunities in family planning clinics, wellness centers, and managed care facilities. Compensation is subject to several factors including job type, location, experience and qualification. As of 2012, the median annual wage of health educator was $48,790.
Students who already hold an associate degree in public health can improve their knowledge in this area of study by working towards their bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree. These programs are offered by number of colleges and help students gain knowledge in science, nutrition, psychology, communication and anatomy among other topics.
How Long Does It Take to Complete an Associate in Public Health?
There are many schools, such as the Northampton Community College and the American Public University, that are offering an associate's degree in Public Health. Students can enroll in an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Public Health, which takes 2 years to complete. Both online and on-campus classes are being offered to students. Individuals admitted to this program explore the public health preparedness, social determinants of public health, and public health challenges through a variety of community services and applied learning opportunities.
What Are the Requirements to Complete an Associate in Public Health?
In order to obtain an Associate in Public Health, students are expected to complete around 60 credits. They are required to study modules like Public Health Education, Environmental Health, Public Health Administration, Personal & Community Health, and Public Health Advocacy. If you are passionate about serving the community and want to address public health challenges in your community, then this program is ideal for you.
How Much Can I Make after Completing an Associate in Public Health?
After completing the Associate in Public Health, individuals can pursue their careers as Public Health Workers, Health Teachers, Community Health Educators, and Health Promotion Counselors. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Health Educators and Community Health Workers earned an annual median pay of $46,080 in 2018. In 2016, the number of jobs available in this field was 118,500. Also, it is predicted that the employment in this field will grow by 16% between 2016 and 2026.