Health Educator

How to Become a Health Educator
Job Duties of a Health Educator
Skills and Qualities of a Health Educator
Salaries of Health Educators
Influential Professional Health Educators
Leading Organizations for Health Educators
Top Cities for Health Educator Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become a Health Educator

A bachelor's degree in health education or a related field may qualify one for an entry level position in health education. Courses in foreign language can provide increased opportunities. Intenership and volunteer work any also enhance job prospects for beginning health educators.

Most health educators acquire a master's degree and many public health positions require it. Health educators may pursue a Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Education, or a Master of Public Health degree, depending on their specialty.

Certified Health Education Specialist may enjoy more job opportunities and higher pay than non-certified health educators. Certification is awarded by the National Commission of Health Education Credentialing and requires the completion of an exam and continued education over a five year period.

Health educators in the medical field may hold medical degrees as well.

On the job training is often necessary for new health educators and most positions require ongoing education to keep employees up to date on health issues.

What does a Health Educator do?

Health educators work in a variety of different places including schools, government agencies, health care facilities, and private businesses. Their main purpose in each setting is to raise awareness about healthy living and compel people to practice healthy habits in their daily lives. A health educator must assess the health needs of a particular group of people, conduct research and create a program to motivate people to properly care for themselves.

Health educators coach on such topics as proper nutrition, disease prevention, fitness training, smoking cessation, stress management, and immunization. They may also write and manage grants to fund their research and projects.

In order to reach their target audience, health educators must develop some sort of program. They may teach classes or workshops, publish papers, create videos or pamphlets, train other educators, or work with the mass media.

The target audience and the means of reaching them depend upon where the health educator is employed. Certain health educators are hired to assess the need of and create programs for a restricted group such as AIDS patients or new mothers. Other health educators, such as those employed by health insurance companies, may be responsible for reaching a much wider audience and teaching about healthy living on a very broad level. Health educators may also be hired to provide information to certain groups at risk for specific health concerns. For example, health educators teaching in high schools may develop programs to prevent drug and alcohol abuse, STDs, unplanned pregnancies, and eating disorders.

Health educators are employed by health care facilities and work directly with patients to maximize the success of their medical care.

Local and State departments hire public health educators to serve on councils and committees. These health educators administer State-mandated programs.

Private businesses and industries hire health educators to keep employees in good health and prevent injury or absence.

Health educators often work in secondary schools or college environments. Here, they work as teachers in a more traditional sense; with classes, lectures and tests.

Health educators in community organizations and non-profit agencies work to enhance the health of the community at large through developing awareness of resources, coalition building, and advocacy.

Health insurance companies also hire health educators to provide clients with prevention strategies that lower claims costs.

Health educators typically work 40 hour weeks. They generally work in offices or classrooms. However, it is often necessary for health educators to leave their primary wok space to conduct research, attend programs, and reach their target audience.

What skills or qualities do I need to become a Health Educator?

The most important task of the health educator is not just to teach, but to find ways to inspire people to incorporate healthy habits into their lives. Good communication skills are essential for a successful health educator as is the ability to motivate people. It is important for health educators to be creative and resourceful in their development of classes and programs. Health educators must be skilled writers and independent workers. Health educators should also have an informed awareness of many different cultures and social classes in order to communicate appropriately with different target groups.

How much do Health Educators make?

Median annual income of health educators is $41,330. The middle 50 percent earn between $31,300 and $56,580.

Health educators employed by general medical and surgical hospitals tend to earn the highest incomes, followed by state and local government employees, those hired by outpatient care centers, and finally individual and family services educators.

Who are some influential professionals in this field?

The president of the American Association for Health Education (AAHE) is Steve Dorman, at the University of Florida. The President-Elect is Thomas Davis from the University of Northern Iowa.

What are some leading organizations in this field?

The American Association for Health Education (AAHE) is an organization for health educators and anyone else whose job involves promoting health. They provide, among other services, continuing education for health educators.

What are the top cities for Health Educator jobs?

Employment for health educators is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations in the near future.

Currently the majority of health educators work in health care and social assistance programs. State and local governments employ 20% of health educators and a small percent work in grants and social advocacy.

Phoenix, Arizona is currently the best city for health educator jobs, followed by Indianapolis, Indiana. Baltimore, Maryland and Chicago, Illinois are tied for third place.

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