A health teacher teaches health topics to students of varying ages. Often, health teachers are found teaching at the high school level, but many are qualified to teach younger children as well. To become a health teacher, you’ll typically need to obtain a high school diploma and then go on to earn a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Depending on where you are located, you may have to earn a teaching certificate or license to become a health teacher as well. Additionally, there are some jurisdictions in which health teachers who hold master’s degrees are preferred to those who hold four-year degrees.
In most places, you’ll need to earn a high school diploma to gain admission to college and begin your preparation for becoming a health teacher. Many colleges and universities accept general educational development (GED) diplomas or similar credentials as well. While earning a high grade point average and participating in activities may help you get into a good college, taking advanced classes in science and health may help you build a good foundation for college-level studies.
To prepare to become a health teacher, you’ll likely have to attend an accredited college or university and enroll in a bachelor’s degree program. Choosing a health or science major may provide you with the best preparation for this job. You may be able to land a teaching job in this subject with another type of degree, depending on the jurisdiction in which you plan to work, but most schools prefer applicants who have focused their studies on a health-related subject. You may also consider continuing your education by enrolling in a master’s degree program. This is not a mandatory step in most places, but it may open the doors to more teaching opportunities.
Once you’ve earned a degree in a related field, you’ll likely have to apply for a teaching certificate. The laws regarding teacher certification may differ from place to place, but you’ll usually have to pass a basic skills test and provide proof of your education to become a health teacher. You may also have to pass a test that focuses on health in particular. Additionally, you may have to submit to a background check or meet other jurisdiction-specific requirements.
Often, prospective teachers have to gain experience working with children. In many cases, prospective teachers gain student teaching experience through their degree programs. Alternatively, you may gain experience through part-time work, internships, and even through volunteer opportunities.