According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) figures above, the growth rate for health educator jobs is expected to increase much faster than average by 2020. Health educators teach people about behaviors that promote wellness by developing materials and programs that encourage health decisions. Health educators may teach in facilities, colleges, nonprofit organizations, private business, and public health departments and depending on where a they are employed, the duties will vary:
- Evaluate the needs of the people they are teaching
- Develop programs and events that will educate people on health topics
- Assist people in finding health services or information
- Evaluate the effectiveness of programs and materials and evaluate data collected about the audience to make improvements
The duties listed above are just a sample of some of the different aspects of what a health educator does. Certain elements are specific to the industry they are employed in, such as one-on-one patient interaction or creating programs for a specific demographic. In public health departments, health educators will administer campaign on topics such as proper nutrition and will develop materials that can be used by other public health officials. In a health care facility, they might conduct screenings and in nonprofits, they might focus their teaching on a specific disease or towards a particular audience. The BLS lists a full description for each type of health educator career for further information.
Job Growth for
|District of Columbia||750||$73,950||$36|
Becoming a Health Educator
Getting into careers for health educators requires a certain level of educational background and certification requirements to be met. Most entry-level health educator positions require a bachelor's degree in health promotion or health education for a candidate to be eligible, but some may also require the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential. Degrees in health education or promotion provide students with the tools, methods, and theories necessary for developing and producing health education materials and programs.
Additionally, these programs typically include internships, which is a great way to add experience to a resume. Courses offered in these bachelor programs also satisfy the informational and preparation needs a health educator needs going into the occupation. In particular, courses such as foreign language, human development, and psychology are of interest to potential employers. When choosing a bachelor's degree that will lead to careers in health education students should make sure the program includes these important courses, in addition to the following:
- Community and Public Health
- Health and Wellness Promotion
- Cultural Diversity in Health and Illness li>
- Health Promotion Planning and Evaluation
In addition to the education requirements, some health educator jobs only accept applicants who have earned the Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) certification. This certification is offered through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc and ensures that the health educator can satisfactorily perform basic health education responsibilities. If a candidate seeks a health educator career in the public sector or with the federal government, it may be necessary to obtain a master's degree, but for most positions a bachelor's degree and the CHES certification will satisfy eligibility requirements.