Industry Associations & Certifications

Professionals meet at networking event

There are several different reasons why a public health professional may want to contemplate joining a professional association.

Industry associations, which are common in a wide variety of different professions and disciplines, are crucial because they keep public health practitioners stay on top of evolving trends and issues that will influence the people that they work with.

Connecting with other professionals in your field by being part of industry associations is a great way to learn more about the career field you chose and gain experience while beginning a job hunt or a career change. It may also lead to professional networking and career enhancement opportunities, engaging with like-minded professionals.

Of course, with public health being such a broad and diverse career path, the professional associations that a public health professional may be interested in joining might not be linked to public health at all.

Professional Certifications

Currently, in the U.S. there is no single national-level public health certification.

However, there are a few credentials available to students and alumni in Public Health. Credentials may help you demonstrate to potential employers your continuing dedication to the Public Health sector. 

It's important to study your choices independently while planning out your path to becoming a public health professional.

Find out below what qualifications may be available to you.

1. Certification in Public Health (CPH)

The National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE) offers the Certified in Public Health (CPH) credential as the only voluntary core credential for public health professionals. The CPH designation demonstrates that an individual graduate from a CEPH-accredited school or program of public health has mastered foundational competencies in public health. CPH professionals raise the bar and enhance the public health profession through their exemplary academic and leadership skills. 

Learn more about the CPH Exam

GPH Students and Alumni automatically receive a discount of $70 when applying to take the CPH exam. 

GPH Students and Alumni are also able to access the ASPPH CPH study guide at no cost by requesting a code to the Office of Student & Alumni Affairs at

2. Health Education Specialist (CHES) & Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES)

To signify professional competency in health education, the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) offers the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES®) and Master Certified Health Education (MCHES®). These examinations are competency-based tools used to measure possession, application, and interpretation of knowledge in the Seven Areas of Responsibility for Health Education Specialists delineated by A Competency-Based Framework for Health Education Specialists 2015. The CHES® and MCHES® certifications create a national and international standard for health education specialists practicing at both entry and advanced levels.

3. National Environmental Health Credentials 

The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) has developed several certifications that evidence mastery of specialized knowledge of environmental health (e.g., Food Safety, Foodborne Outbreak Investigation, Environmental Health).

4. Physical Activity in Public Health Specialist (CPAPHS)

One of the most common public health certifications offered by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is the Certified Physical Activity in Public Health Specialist (CPAPHS). This credential demonstrates competency in public health and wellness, with a focus on physical activity in the community. 

5. Certified Correctional Health Professionals

To improve the quality of health care in jails, prisons, and juvenile confinement facilities, the National Commission on Correctional Health Care has developed several certifications for health care professionals from a variety of disciplines and settings. These certifications recognize the mastery of national standards and the knowledge expected of leaders in the complex and ever-changing field of correctional health care. 

6. Project Management Institute Certifications

The Project Management Institute (PMI) is the world's leading association for those who consider project, program, or portfolio management their profession. 

PMI offers eight certifications that recognize knowledge and competency, including the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification – renowned as the global gold standard of project management.