Health educators are professionals who work with individuals and groups to ensure they maintain healthy lifestyles. Some careers in health education and promotion include: school health counselor, corporate wellness trainer, workplace safety coordinator, community health educator, and health promotion specialist.
The main responsibility of health educators is to spread awareness of positive habits in order to prevent disease and promote well-being. They often develop programs, materials and events for this cause. In this article, we will discuss what there is to know about pursuing a career in health education.
What is the role of a health educator?
Health education mainly involves developing and promoting health education programs. These professionals often cover essential health topics such as proper diet and nutrition, personal hygiene, fitness and exercise, vaccines and vaccinations, environmental sanitation, sex education and many others.
Health education specialists also have specific tasks, but it depends on their working environment. They can work for school districts, colleges, health facilities, private organizations, and public health departments. But the common goal is to promote and improve the health of students, employees and communities.
Responsibilities of health educators may include: assessing the health needs and concerns of the group or community, developing materials and programs to teach people about health topics, teaching people to manage existing health problems and connect patients with appropriate health service providers.
The qualifications needed to become a health educator
Health educators must have certain academic qualifications to practice. This may be a diploma, bachelor’s or master’s degree in education or health promotion. Such programs equip students with knowledge of healthy behaviors as well as effective teaching methods and program management skills.
Some undergraduate or graduate programs require students to complete a few months of paid or unpaid internship at a community health organization or private institution. This provides health education graduates with the opportunity to apply their academic knowledge and solve problems in a real-life scenario.
Another qualification required for advanced health educator opportunities is a Doctor of Education (EdD). This degree would prepare students who seek to take on leadership and policy-making positions in the field of health education. An online EdD program can help you qualify for leadership roles in health education.
Some employers require health educators to become certified health education specialists. Those who have studied public health or health education programs at accredited institutions are eligible to take the CHES exam which is administered by the National Commission for Certification in Health Education (NCHEC).
What Industries Employ Health Education Specialists
Certified Health Education Specialists can be found in a variety of workplaces such as: schools, universities, clinics, hospitals, non-profit organizations, government offices, wellness centers, addiction centers, and other industry organizations. private or public health.
Depending on their job description, they may provide one-on-one counseling to individuals or work with families, groups of employees and members of a particular community. Health educators are responsible for implementing strategies or programs that can promote health and well-being in their designated workplace.
What Types Of Jobs Are Available In Health Education
Due to the diversity of the field, there are many job titles for health educators. Most of these roles are categorized into work setting or specialization. For example, jobs in community health education include: family services specialist, community health educator, community outreach coordinator, etc.
Within school health education, we have roles such as health counselor, school health educator, preschool health specialist, district welfare coordinator, youth outreach coordinator, etc. .
Academic or academic roles in health education include: assistant or assistant professor, health and wellness coordinator, director of health program management, etc. Some government jobs include: public health inspector, health information specialist, epidemiologist, environmental health educator, etc.
Health education specialists may be employed in healthcare settings for roles such as nutrition services coordinator, community outreach coordinator, cancer information specialist, lactation consultant, patient care coordinator , biometric screener, medical resource manager, director of patient education, etc.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in health education and community health are expected to increase by 12% from 2021 to 2031. Over the next decade, approximately 16,000 health educator positions will become available each year. More professionals are needed to replace those who can change professions and those who leave the labor force altogether.
Salaries for health education specialists and community health workers depend on factors such as work setting, qualification, specialization, geographical location, etc. The average annual income of community health workers was $46,590 in May 2021. Health education specialists $102,480 each year.