Career Development

What Does a Health Educator Do?

Find out what a health educator does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a health educator.

Health educators are responsible for educating the public on a variety of health-related topics. They may focus on specific diseases or conditions, but they also commonly provide information about healthy living in general.

Health educators often work with individuals or groups to deliver their message. This might include one-on-one meetings, presentations at community events, workshops, etc.

Health Educator Job Duties

Health educators have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Conducting research on topics such as disease prevention or environmental hazards to help create effective health education programs
  • Establishing relationships with community leaders including teachers, religious leaders, business leaders, and elected officials who can help promote health education initiatives
  • Writing grant applications and proposals for funding opportunities to secure additional resources for program implementation
  • Conducting community outreach events such as health fairs or educational presentations at local schools
  • Creating and implementing health education materials such as brochures, pamphlets, flyers, posters, or other printed materials
  • Developing policies and procedures for safe operation of facilities and equipment used in educational programs
  • Assisting in designing and implementing health screenings, including blood pressure checks, cholesterol tests, and screenings for diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Coordinating with community partners to provide health education services to underserved populations
  • Conducting training programs for staff members in schools or businesses to teach them about health topics such as HIV/AIDS awareness, substance abuse prevention, or safety procedures

Health Educator Salary & Outlook

Health educator salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of organization they work for.

  • Median Annual Salary: $47,000 ($22.6/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $79,500 ($38.22/hour)

The employment of health educators is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

Demand for health education services will stem from an aging population, which is more susceptible to chronic diseases and other health problems. Health educators will be needed to educate older adults about healthy lifestyles and treatment options.

Related: In-Depth Health Educator Salary Guide

Health Educator Job Requirements

A health educator typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Most employers require health educators to have at least an associate’s degree. Some employers prefer a bachelor’s degree. Health educators can earn a degree in health education, public health or a related field. Courses in these programs include anatomy, physiology, nutrition, psychology, research methods and statistics.

Training & Experience: Most health educators receive on-the-job training in their new positions. This training may include shadowing current health educators or working with a supervisor to learn the curriculum and teaching methods.

Certifications & Licenses: Some states require health educators to earn a license to provide services within the state, though requirements vary. Those who plan to provide services in multiple states should seek a license in each state in which they plan to provide services.

Health Educator Skills

Health educators need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Health educators must be able to communicate effectively with their audience. This includes knowing how to speak to a large group of people, as well as one-on-one. You may also need to communicate with other professionals, such as doctors or nurses, to ensure your audience is receiving the information they need.

Interpersonal skills: As a health educator, you may work with a variety of people, including those who have no health knowledge and those who have extensive health knowledge. You can use your interpersonal skills to help everyone feel comfortable and confident in your classroom. You can also use your interpersonal skills to help people understand each other and work together to find solutions to health problems.

Written communication: Health educators often communicate with others through writing, including emails, letters and other documents. They also often create presentations and other documents to educate others about health topics. This requires strong written communication skills, including the ability to communicate clearly and concisely.

Critical thinking: Critical thinking is the ability to analyze a situation and make a decision based on the information you have. As an educator, it’s important to think critically when planning lessons, evaluating student progress and devising ways to improve your health education program.

Problem-solving: Problem-solving is the ability to identify a problem, analyze it and find a solution. As an health educator, you may be responsible for educating a group of people about a certain health topic. You may need to identify the most important information to share and the best way to present it. This requires strong problem-solving skills.

Health Educator Work Environment

Health educators typically work in a variety of settings, including colleges and universities, hospitals, community health centers, and public health departments. They may also work for businesses, government agencies, or nonprofit organizations. Many health educators have a background in health science, education, or communication. They typically work full time, although some may have flexible schedules that allow them to work part time. Some health educators may be required to travel to attend conferences or to provide training to other health educators or health care providers.

Health Educator Trends

Here are three trends influencing how health educators work. Health educators will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

Health Care Reform

Health care reform is a trend that is having a major impact on the health education field. As health care becomes more complex, health educators will need to be able to provide patients with the information they need to make informed decisions about their care.

This trend also means that health educators will need to be familiar with the latest changes in health care legislation and how it affects patients. They will also need to be able to communicate effectively with doctors and other health professionals in order to provide the best possible care for their patients.

The Importance of Patient Engagement

As health care moves towards a more patient-centered model, the importance of patient engagement will become even more apparent. This means that health educators will need to be able to connect with patients on a personal level and help them understand the importance of healthy behaviors.

In order to be successful in this area, health educators will need to be able to develop strong relationships with patients and understand what motivates them. They will also need to be able to create educational materials that are both engaging and informative.

More Attention to Prevention

As health care costs continue to rise, there has been an increasing focus on prevention as a way to reduce costs. This has led to an increased demand for health educators who can help people prevent disease and injury by teaching them about healthy lifestyle choices.

Health educators can capitalize on this trend by becoming experts in prevention methods and by developing programs that teach people how to live healthier lives. In addition, they can also work with businesses and schools to create wellness programs that promote good health throughout the community.

How to Become a Health Educator

A career as an health educator can be incredibly rewarding. It offers the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives, and to help them live healthier, happier lives. However, it’s important to consider all aspects of this career before jumping in.

One of the most important things to think about is where you want to work. Do you want to work for a government agency, a non-profit organization, or a private company? Each setting has its own unique culture and requirements, so it’s important to find one that fits your personality and interests.

You should also think about what type of programs you want to develop. Do you want to focus on nutrition, exercise, mental health, or another area? There are many different ways to approach this, so it’s important to find a program that works best for you and your audience.

Related: How to Write a Health Educator Resume

Advancement Prospects

Health educators typically need at least a bachelor’s degree, although some jobs may require a master’s degree. Many health educators have a background in another health-related field, such as nursing, nutrition, or public health.

Health educators can advance their careers by becoming involved in professional organizations. The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing offers the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential for those who meet eligibility requirements, which include completing a minimum of a bachelor’s degree program and a health education-specific coursework, as well as passing a written examination.

Those who wish to move into management or supervisory positions can do so by completing a master’s degree program in health education or a related field. With experience, health educators can also advance to positions such as director of health education or community health programs.

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