What Is a Health Educator? - Job Description & Salary

Health educators work to address specific health concerns and promote healthy lifestyle choices among people in the community they work for. This article explores their role in community service in greater detail.

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Career Definition of a Health Educator

Health educators provide information to people about health issues. Their role involves identifying the health needs of the people in the community they serve. They can do this by reviewing data provided by community health workers and gathering and assessing information themselves through interaction with people in the community they serve. Once they determine which health issues they should prioritize, they start to produce resources about those issues or problems.

Health educators determine the type of programs needed to effectively address health issues and then start working on program materials for workshops, seminars and other methods of sharing information. They teach the classes they've designed and they may also provide resources or training to other health professionals and community health workers so that larger groups of people can be reached. These educators continue to collect information about the health needs of their community and identify new health concerns as they arise. They might also seek funds to provide community health resources related and be involved in developing community healthcare policies.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree
Job Skills Teaching skills, computer skills, problem-solving skills, analytical skills, interpersonal skills, communication skills, tact, diplomacy, organizational skills
Median Salary (2016)* $53,070
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* 14%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

To qualify for a position as a health educator you must have a bachelor's degree. A common discipline that those interested in this career can study is health education. Some employers may prefer applicants with a master's degree in a relevant discipline. Becoming a Certified Health Education Specialist will also appeal to employers and may be required for some positions.

Required Skills

Health educators must have excellent communication and teaching skills to be able to lead the training programs they create. They need strong organizational skills so that they create programs that present information in a logical order that people can follow. These educators also need interpersonal and diplomatic skills because they may work with people from different ethnic or religious backgrounds. They need to find ways to effectively present health information while being sensitive to the beliefs and traditions of the people they serve. They use analytical skills to process data that helps them identify pressing health concerns.

Career Outlook and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a median annual income of $53,070 for health educators in 2016. Over a span of ten years starting in 2016, the BLS expects that the average employment increase for all occupations will be 7%. During that ten-year period, the BLS expects a 14% increase in jobs for health educators. This means that health educators should experience job growth that's twice as fast as the national average for all occupations.

Related Careers

Health educators help people in the community, and those that are interested in this profession may also consider other occupations that involve counseling services and support. Information about some careers that involve counseling and educating others so that they can be safe and healthy are linked to here.

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