Public Health Schools | Find Public Health online classes and Public Health programs

Public Health Schools and Programs

Public health agencies hire specialists in nursing, dental care, counseling, nutrition, occupational rehabilitation, and other high-growth fields. Prepare by enrolling in a post-secondary degree or career training program.

How to Become a Public Health Professional

Public health professionals hail from a wide range of medical and administrative backgrounds. The public or community health sector professionals include nurses, administrators, nutritionists, health educators, dentists and hygienists, physician assistants, counselors and psychologists, epidemiologists, and laboratory research assistants and technologists. They may work in federal, state, and local government health care agencies and organizations, Native American agencies, state and federal prisons, veteran's health facilities, and schools.

Exploring Careers in Public Health

Most public health professions require an associate's or bachelor's degree for candidacy, while supervisory or management roles require a master's degree. Social workers play a large role in public health care. They work with families, children, the homeless, and those with substance abuse issues. A bachelor's degree is often the minimum requirement for candidacy to one of the social worker fields, including counseling, medical, and public health. Many employers seek graduates of master's degree programs in counseling or health care administration. Job growth for social workers is expected to rise by 22 percent during the 2006-2016 decade, with the largest increases in jobs for mental health and substance abuse workers. The median annual wage for social workers in 2008 was $45,650, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Registered nurses also hold a large percentage of jobs in public or community health care. Students can enroll in associate's and bachelor's degree programs in nursing to prepare for the field. Some pursue a master's degree in nursing or health care administration to take advanced or executive roles with public health care agencies. Job growth for registered nurses is projected at 23 percent during the 2006-2016 decade. The BLS reports a median annual wage for social workers in 2008 of $62,450. Each state has its own licensing requirements for social workers, registered nurses, and other public health professionals.

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