To work as a public health educator, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or equivalent; and
- have a bachelor's degree.
Education after high school
Most public health educators have at least a bachelor's degree in public health or a related health field. Some public health educators have a nursing degree with a specialty in community health. Others have a social work degree with emphasis in health and nutrition.
A limited number of colleges and universities offer programs in public health. However, many others offer nursing and social work programs. Some offer nutrition and related programs that are good preparation for this field.
It is becoming more common for individuals in this field to have a master's degree in this field or a related one.
Some public health educators begin their careers as registered nurses, biologists, or physicians. After a period of working in their profession, they switch to public health education.
Public health educators update their knowledge continually. Public health threats, laws, and medical treatments change quickly. To keep up, educators attend seminars and classes.
Some branches of the military train people to become environmental health and safety specialists or officers. For specialists, training lasts from 11 to 19 weeks, depending on your specialty. Additional training occurs on the job. Initial training is not offered for officers. They need at least a bachelor's degree to enter the military occupation. Most training is on the job.