Certificate in Public Health

Overview of Field

The field of public health promotes the general health of the community by surveying cases, supporting healthy habits and making organizational level decisions to prevent the spread of disease. It is an ideal profession for individuals with basic-level management and problem solving skills who want to improve the quality of life of people in an organized manner. Such individuals can enter the career by doing certificate or degree programs in public health.

Scope of a Public Health Certificate Program

A public health certificate program is different from the degree programs in public health because it is usually shorter with fewer course requirements. It can possibly be completed in a year, though may take less or longer depending on the a particular student's enrollment status. Also, there are various types of certificates in public health. The ones offered at undergraduate level are usually general whereas the postgraduate certificates concentrate on a subspecialty of public health such as statistical methods, injury control, population health, health education, maternal and child health, gerontology, etc. Nowadays, there is a growing trend in schools for providing first-rate programs for public health certificate online.  
Course Work
A general certificate in public health program may cover the following courses:

  • Introduction to Public Health Practice
  • Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
  • Evidence-based Public Health Methods
  • Environmental Health
  • U.S. Healthcare System

Admission Requirements
As compared to formal degree programs, the admission process is easier for certificate programs; however, every public health school has its own set of requirements. Most of the schools look for analytically minded individuals who are good at number crunching as biostatistics is an integral part of public health. Another important prerequisite may be proficiency in communication, both verbal and written.

Career Prospects
An individual with a general public health certification may improve one's prospects of finding entry level jobs in research, policy development and health administration departments of various healthcare organizations such as hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, pharmaceutical companies, humanitarian organizations and government agencies. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that public health professionals such as health educators earned an annual median salary of $50,430 in May 2014. Baccalaureates who achieve a post-graduate certificate in public health can have brighter career prospects as they can attain management level jobs in the field.

Further Education
People with a general public health education can enroll in special public health certificate programs in their fields of interest to enhance their career prospects such as pursuing a certificate program in maternal& child health or public health informatics. Furthermore, all students or working professionals in the field of public health should consider taking the certification examination of the National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE), which is an organization especially geared towards checking the quality of public health professionals across the country.

How long does it take to get a certificate in Public Health?

There are two different types of certificates in public health, i.e. an executive certificate and a junior level certificate. Executive certificates are for experienced health care professionals who want to further their careers. Junior level certificates are for recent undergraduate students looking for experience in the field. Certificate Programs in public health generally include taking 15 credit hours i.e. a year-long program with a maximum of 5 courses. Most programs take 8 to 12 months to complete.

What are the requirements to get a certificate in Public Health?

Before you get a junior certificate, you must complete a bachelor's degree in public health or a related field. However, for a junior level certificate, candidates do not require work experience. For an executive certificate, you must have work experience in the field prior to applying. To complete a certification in public health, you will have to clear courses such as Basic Principles of Epidemiology, Biostatistics for Public Health and Environmental Health.

How much can I make after I get a certificate in Public Health?

Health educators and community health workers encourage behavior that leads to a better quality of life. They can usually be found working in hospitals, NGO's and on college campuses. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay as of May 2018 was $46,080 per year and $22.15 per hour for health educators and community health workers. Employment opportunities in this sector are on the rise with the expected increase in jobs from 2016 to 2026 being 19,200.

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:What courses are included in a certificate in public health?

A:There are a number of courses included in a certificate in public health. Some of the courses are Introduction to Public Health Practice, Evidence Based Public Health Public Health Methods, Environmental Health, Introduction the US Health Care System and Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. With the health care industry expanding all over the United States, there is huge potential for students interested in this certification.

Q:What will I learn in a public health certificate program?

A:Public health certificate program aims at providing students with management skills and updated concepts relevant to the field. In this program students learn how to manage health emergencies in efficient ways. Some of the main topics covered in this program include community health, environmental health, risk assessment, homeland security, management, and epidemiology.

Q:What kind of jobs can I look forward to after completing certificate programs in public health?

A:Public health is a broad field that aims at promoting a healthy community. With education in this area, you can look forward to a number public health jobs such as the following: healthcare data analyst, infection control practitioner, healthcare coordinator, project coordinator, health and wellness coordinator, health educator, and clinical research assistant. The type of job you may be eligible for will depend upon your area of specialization.

Q:What kinds of subjects will a certificate in public health online focus on?

A:A certificate in public health will focus on a wide range of topics such as the following: individuals and community health, biostatistics for public health, environmental health, health management and policy making, epidemiology, and theoretical foundations of public health. The course is a non-degree program and can be pursued online.

Q:What is Certificate in Public Health and what can you do with this qualification?

A:A certificate degree in public health is a short course being offered by many schools. The program is geared towards providing students with knowledge about community health issues, and environmental health. You can work in community health clinics with this certification. The exact job will depend upon your area of specialization and other qualifications.

Q:How much time will it take to complete a certificate program in public health?

A:A certificate in public health is a short course and normally takes six months to one year. However, the duration can vary in online programs because students have the opportunity to learn at their own pace. This allows students to complete the certificate program, earlier or later than the standard time.

Q:Can I work in healthcare management after a Certification in Public Health?

A:Yes, you can. Healthcare management and administration is a field that is related to many aspects of the health administration such as health care systems and administration of public health systems, leadership, hospital networks, hospitals and management. With a certification in public health, you will be eligible for available job positions in public health administration.

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