A native Iowan, Heath earned an undergraduate degree from Morningside College and a master's degree from the University of South Dakota. After college, Heath worked for the F.W. Woolworth Company where he remodeled, opened and closed stores, and was responsible for daily operations for various retail stores throughout the Midwest. He then became operations manager for a company headquartered in Charles City, Iowa, that had several retail operations across Northern Iowa. In 1984, Heath became regional director of the University of Iowa Small Business Development Center. Heath is a CMA, CPA and a Certified Business Advisor.