Career Profile: Health Educator
Health Educators are professionals who educate people about health promotion and disease prevention. Health Educators work in communities and directly with individuals. The role of the Health Educator is to assist groups and individuals to make informed decisions affecting them, their family and community in health and wellness matters. The teaching and training are about behaviors and voluntary behavior change that prevent disease and promote wellness. Health Educators also provide training in specific areas such as Diabetes and Nutrition, Hygiene, Lactation, Nutrition, stop smoking behavior and other areas in health clinics and hospitals.
Prior to any training, the Health Educator conducts an assessment of the needs of the individual or community. Health Educators plan an effective health education program and implement the program. Health Educators may use a variety of tools and teaching methods to inform their audience. They evaluate the effectiveness of their programs, methods and tools in order to best help and serve their audience. Health Educators use the need assessment data they collect to inform other health care professionals, especially in the field of public health and community health. Ideally, Health Educators not only inform the public concerning care, prevention and betterment of health, but they also create and implement programs that sustain it.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that demand for Health Educators is set to grow 12 percent by 2024. Because public health and health education are proven to help reduce costs in the health care system, the government, organizations and businesses are looking to expand this field. It’s become an in-demand service to provide information concerning screenings, general health and nutrition, how to identify potential health problems and how to avoid costly treatments and procedures. Health Educators teach the public about lifestyle changes and how their behaviors affect their health and well-being.
Health Educators earn an average salary of $51,960 a year, according to the BLS. Health Educators employed by hospitals have the highest earning potential at $61,610. Those who work for the government can earn $54,050. Generally, Health Educators work full time, although not all have regular work hours.
Health Educators need at least a bachelor’s degree in order to acquire an entry-level position. In an undergraduate program, future Health Educators learn about assessing and organizing communities concerning their health education needs. An undergraduate program like the Online Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences with a concentration in Health Education offered by Touro University Worldwide prepares graduates for the Certified Health Education Specialist exam through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing.
For Health Educators looking to advance their career in this field, earning an Online Master of Science in Health Sciences with emphasis on Health Education can be beneficial. Graduates of this program are equipped with the competencies and skills needed to serve the health promotion and disease prevention needs of any kind of community or group of people.
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