Online Certificate Programs in Public Health

Penn Foster Career School
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  • Education Prerequisites: Depends on the level of certification; entry-level certificate programs will require a high school diploma or equivalent, graduate-level certification programs will require an undergraduate degree or experience, and a professional certification will require an undergraduate degree, and some professional programs will require a master’s degree.
  • Professional Prerequisites: Depends on the level of certification, but most above entry-level programs will require professional experience.
  • Average Program Length: 6 months (full time); 1 year (part time)

Public health is the protection and advancement of community health through social service programs. Public health is comprised of several disciplines ó biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, health behavior, health education, and health policy. Public health workers help to provide health services, education, counseling, and prevent disease. A principal concern of public health is to educate the public on health awareness and safe health practices.

Completing an Online Certificate Program in Public Health

A public health certificate is ideal for a prospective student interested in or working in health care. A public health certificate covers biostatistics, epidemiology, health administration, and social and behavioral sciences. Course work may also cover environmental health, health policy, and health education. In some public health programs, biostatistics course work may require demonstration of mathematics proficiency. Some programs may require practical experience like an internship.

Public health certificate programs may be found at all levels and are slated for an introduction in public policy for practicing public health employees or current public health students. Entry-level certificate programs will offer a foundation in biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology, health service administration, and behavioral sciences. Public health certification programs at the graduate level may concentrate in a specific discipline. Positions in public health may require state licensure or certification; for instance, states require rehabilitation counselors working in private practice to gain licensure, which requires a master’s degree and clinical experience in addition to a state exam and continuing education.

What Your Online Certificate in Public Health Can Do for You

A traditional or online public health certificate may open up a variety of career positions, or serve as the foundation necessary to gain a higher education in social and human services. Public health training is applicable to positions like social worker, human service assistant, and a social and community service manager. While a social worker usually requires a bachelor’s degree for entry-level positions, a prospective human service assistant or community service manager may find employment with a high school diploma and some experience or training. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that social workers had a median pay of $42,480 per year in 2010. The BLS expects social worker employment to increase by 25% between 2010 and 2020. Social and human service assistants had a median pay of $28,200 per year in 2010, and social and community service managers had a median annual wage of $57,950 in 2010.

A public health certificate may also lead to employment as a substance abuse or behavioral disorder counselor, or a rehabilitation counselor. Entry-level positions for substance abuse counselors may require a high school diploma and some training, while advanced positions and employment as a rehabilitation counselor may require a graduate degree and state licensure. Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors had a median pay of $38,120 per year and rehabilitation counselors had a median pay of $53,380 per year in 2010, according to the BLS. Keep in mind that salary and employment figures depend on factors like area, income, employer, and position.

Online Certificate Programs by School

Herzing University
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Herzing University - Herzing's online certificate program offers the flexibility, personalization, and support you need to succeed in today's ever-changing job market. Discover Herzing's hands-on coursework, experienced faculty, and student-first approach which sets them apart from other online universities.

Ultimate Medical Academy
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Ultimate Medical Academy -
Get personalized attention with UMA.
One-on-one tutoring, pre-interview coaching, job search assistance, alumni services—they’re all included in Ultimate Medical Academy’s competitively priced tuition. As a nationally accredited school, we provide quality career training online and at our two campuses in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Let’s talk about your needs, your career goals and how UMA can help you succeed.

Gainful employment information can be found at and includes information on tuition, loan debt, completion, placement and occupations.

Penn Foster

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Penn Foster Career School - Penn Foster Career School offers over 85 online career diploma and certificate programs that can help students prepare for a career path in some of today’s fastest growing fields. If you are looking for training in allied health, business, education, or the trades, then Penn Foster Career School is a great choice. Penn Foster Career School is regionally accredited by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.