University of Florida

Careers in Health Education & Behavior

The importance of health education and promotion cannot be overstated. Life expectancy and well-being are on the decline* in the United States — and preventable problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory illnesses are among the highest causes of death. Because of this, health educators are needed in communities across the country to increase awareness of these problems, promote effective strategies for staying healthy, and work with local agencies and providers to ensure access to health care.

The University of Florida’s online Master of Science in Health Education and Behavior (HEB) prepares graduates to do just that. The M.S. in HEB curriculum is based on the areas of responsibility as defined by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC):

  • Area I: Assessment of Needs and Capacity
  • Area II: Planning
  • Area III: Implementation
  • Area IV: Evaluation and Research
  • Area V: Advocacy
  • Area VI: Communication
  • Area VII: Leadership and Management
  • Area VIII: Ethics and Professionalism

By completing the M.S. in HEB program, students will be equipped to pass the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES®) exam and succeed in a range of health education settings. But the NCHEC Areas of Responsibility aren’t only essential to passing an exam — they represent a comprehensive set of competencies and sub-competencies that health education specialists must master and continue demonstrating in order to effectively serve their clients and their communities.


Career Opportunities for HEB Graduates

While job titles in the field of health education and promotion are all relatively similar — most of them fall under the umbrella of Certified Health Education Specialist — the settings in which health education specialists work vary quite a bit. Graduates of the M.S. in HEB may choose to pursue careers in the following areas:

  • Community/Non-Profit Health Settings such as the YMCA and local community and health centers
  • Governmental Health Agencies at the local, state or federal levels, such as county and state health departments and the CDC
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Schools
  • Clinical Health Organizations including hospitals, primary care clinics, and physical and occupational therapy clinics
  • Businesses/Worksites to promote wellness and stress management for employees in the workplace

With Gator alumni spanning all 50 states and 135 countries, students can also be confident in having a strong network of professionals in the health care, health education, and health behavior fields with whom they can connect.

*https://www.aafp.org/news/health-of-the-public/20181210lifeexpectdrop.html

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