Health Educator – Job Duties, Requirements, Salary & Job Outlook
A health educator dedicates their professional and personal life to the promotion of better health through lifestyle changes to individuals, groups and more broad audiences like the intermediate community, also known as community health education. When one becomes employed as a health educator, they can expect to earn a salary which is at a median of $60,000 per year, and can range over $100,000 in specific specialties. As far as requirements go for health education employment, one must meet certain prerequisites that include:
- A minimum of a Bachelors Degree coming from an accredited college, and can choose to attain a Masters Degree, like a Masters in Public Health (MPN), which will provide one with even better opportunity for employment and a larger salary.
- The overall promotion of optimal health and wellness, through knowledge as well as practicing what they preach, in the form of staying fit and making healthy choices.
- Provide consulting services to different agencies.
- Keep up on the latest knowledge by attending seminars and classes related to health education and promotion.
- Hands on training can be required, either community service or paid work.
- Often times a health educator chooses to obtain the title of a Certified Health Education Specialist, which is a credentialing examination administered by the National Health Commission for Health Education Credentialing Inc. It is not a requirement but a preferred prerequisite by many employers, and allows one to differentiate themselves from other applicants.
- Writing up of articles for scholarly purposes on the topic of health education meant for learning purposes.
- Health educators that hold more of a supervisor position, which a higher degree is a must, will generally hand out job duties similiar to the above duties, and make sure all goes smooth.
Job Description of A Health Educator
Job duties can range depending on the exact job one attains in the health education feild, but can have many similarities. Health educators teach a myriad of different areas of health education, some of which can include; smoking and drinking cessation, drug abuse, healthy body image, eating disorders, safe practice, STD’s, eating healthy, working out, mental health and coping methods, injury prevention, early detection among many others. Some of the main job duties of health educators can include:
- Writting up grants and funding proposals to provide funding to cover expenses for health education program development and administration.
- Marketing health education and health educator programs through various methods of advertisement which can include; social media, word of mouth, radio announcements, fliers, audio material, handouts among others.
- Networking with large corporations and small corporations and businesses which are either like minded when it comes to health education and/or are interested in learning more about developing a healthier lifestyle.
- Assess the health education needs of the population that they are speaking to, which can happen in the form of taking surveys to measure the needs that must be satisfied.
- Arrange guest speakers for their health education programs if need be.
Where Health Educators Work
Health educators working in a host of different workplaces, but major jobs positions include:
- Schools which include elementary, junior high and high school as well as in colleges and universities.
- Health care facilities like outpatient centers.
- Government employment.
- Family services.
- Non Profit Organizations.
- Self employed, which a small percentage fills this category.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for health educator employment is outstanding, as they project that over the ten year time span of 2008 to 2018, the profession will experience an 18% growth, making the health education profession an excellent one to go into being that the demand is in the job seekers favor and will be for a long time.
In order to say employed the health educator must complete a certain numbe of hours of what is called “continuing health education” on top of the hours requirements if one chooses to become a Certified Health Education Specialist.