Certified Health Education Specialists have opportunities for employment at hospitals, government and health agencies. Increased emphasis on disease prevention and healthy living means these are high demand occupations for professionals with bachelor's degrees who have passed the Certified Health Education Specialist exam.
Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) hold at least a bachelor's degree in a health-related field and have passed a certification exam. Continued education is required to maintain this credential. These workers promote healthy living through developing health information programs, compiling data on health issues and evaluating the needs of the community. Health education specialists may work in the public and private sectors.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree in health education or health promotion; some employers require a master's or doctoral degree|
|Other Requirements||passing Certified Health Education Specialist exam|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||13% for all health educators*|
|Median Salary (2016)||$48,396**|
Sources: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **PayScale.com.
Salary Information for a Certified Health Education Specialist
According to PayScale.com, Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) with 1-4 years of experience earned a median salary of $46,979 as of 2016. Those with 5-9 years of experience earned $49,000, while those with 20 years or more earned $65,000. The overall median salary, it reported, was $48,396. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a median salary of $51,960 in 2015 for all health educators (certified or not). It also reported that the 12,870 health educators working in hospitals made a mean annual wage of $62,230 per year in 2015. The BLS does note that some employers require candidates to have the CHES certification.
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Career Information for a Certified Health Education
CHES Job Description
Certified Health Education Specialists increase health awareness in order to promote healthy lifestyles. Specialists provide information on substance abuse, nutrition, exercise and pregnancy. Duties range from assessing audience needs to collecting data and evaluating health awareness initiatives such as anti-smoking or family planning programs. Specialists primarily work in healthcare, government and education.
A bachelor's degree in health education is the most basic prerequisite. Employers may favor candidates who have some work experience, including internships and volunteer positions. Graduates who pass a certification exam become Certified Health Education Specialists and thereafter, must complete 75 hours of continuing education within a 5-year period to maintain their certification. Although certification is not required for employment, some states may require it for work in the public sector.
CHES Career Outlook
Advancement to upper level administrative and executive positions generally requires a master's degree in a health education field. Graduates from these programs may move into supervisory positions and focus more so on research and analysis. The rising cost of health care is increasing demand for disseminating health care knowledge and disease prevention. The BLS estimates that employment is expected to increase by 13% for health educators between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov).
A Certified Health Education Specialist is a highly-trained health educator with a bachelor's degree. They work to implement health strategies and promote behavioral change within their communities through hospitals, health departments, and governments. Over the next few years, jobs in this field are expected to grow faster than average for all occupations.