Career Q&A: Health Educator
In Demand: Careers in Health Care, Career Voyages, U.S. Dept. of Labor
What will I do?
Public health educators help people and communities adopt healthy lifestyles. They may direct health-related talks at schools, workplaces and community agencies, such as a social service office.
Health educators plan community or agency health programs, set the goals and pick the subjects to be covered. They might test how well a program is doing and make changes to improve it. They also counsel on chronic diseases.
What training do I need?
The training of public health educators can vary, but typically these educators need a bachelor’s degree, requiring four years of schooling, or a master’s degree or doctorate degree, which means additional years of education. The health educator may decide to become certified as a health education specialist, a certificate offered by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing. Training doesn’t stop there: every five years the certificate is renewed after the health educator shows proof of completing 75 hours of approved activities in continued education.
How will I get training?
More than 250 colleges and university offer school or community health education degrees in their divisions of public health. While in high school, a student can begin to prepare by taking classes in biology, math, English and computers and electronics. Because this health care career means working with, teaching and talking to and helping people, coursework in psychology and communications can be very valuable.
What will I get paid?
Salaries range from $44.900 to $53,000 yearly for health educator careers. Public health educators making a salary in the top 10% of the pay scale make over $68,800.