How to Become a Health Educator: Career Path Guide
If you want to become a health educator, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for you. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as a health educator:
Those who become health educators have a keen interest in educating others in ways to stay healthy and lengthen their lives. They have strong communication skills and have the ability to explain scientific information in everyday terms. Health educators need to have excellent people skills, and must be able to motivate others to make behavioural changes.
Now that you’ve determined that you’re interested in becoming a health educator, you’ll need to know how to become one. Below we've outlined what you'll need to begin a career as a health educator. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!
Health Educator Job Description
Health educators are responsible for planning, organizing and implementing health education programs for communities and groups such as employees, civic organizations and others. Health educators must identify and address the health needs of these groups and communities by liaising with health professionals, civic groups and community officials.
Their primary goal is to assist individuals, groups, families and communities in the acquisition of skills and competencies related to making healthy life choices and breaking unhealthy habits.
Health Educator Job Duties
• Monitor and evaluate the progress of specific programs
• Conduct lectures for university or college classes
• Conduct presentations for community groups, employees, civic organizations and other groups
• Recruit, hire, train and supervise assignments to volunteers and student workers
• Prepare materials related to health education for campus and community newspapers
Education Needed to Become a Health Educator
To become a health educator, you typically need a bachelor’s degree in an area such as health education, health promotion, or a related field, as these areas will provide with the best preparation for this career.
Other applicable areas of study may be biology, education, nursing, nutrition, exercise science, kinesiology and communications. All of these provide skills, knowledge and competencies that can be applied to a career as a health educator.
Some employers may require prospective health educators to hold a master’s degree in health education, health promotion or a similar area.
Who Hires Health Educators? Where Do They Work?
Health educators can work in various capacities for many different types of employers, ranging from giving presentations to an organization’s employees at lunch, to providing consultation for government departments with regards to health promotion program planning. Below are examples of where health educators can work:
• Public healthcare departments
• Non-profit organizations
• Business work sites
• Colleges and universities
• Hospitals and clinics
• Healthcare facilities such as nursing homes
Health Educator Jobs
Health Educator Salary: How Much Do Health Educators Earn?
The salary level of health educators can vary, depending on factors such as where they work, their level of education, their level of experience, and many others.
Health Educator Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for workers in the Health Educators occupational group is $45,830 per year.
Career Advancement Opportunities For Health Educators
With a sufficient amount of experience and possibly an advanced education such as a master's degree, a health educator can advance past an entry-level position and become an executive director, supervisor, senior health educator or may choose to be self-employed as a health consultant.
Why Are Health Educators Important?
Health educators play a vital role in preventing a wide range of diseases and health conditions by promoting healthy habits, and providing people with the necessary tools to conquer and avoid harmful habits. In addition to keeping our population healthy, health educators also help ease the burden placed on our public health care system by reducing the costs necessary to treat preventable health conditions, such as those related to smoking.
The skills, knowledge and competencies of health educators can be applied to many functions, depending on where they work and what the responsibilities of their jobs are. For example, health educators could:
• Help diabetics understand how important it is to monitor blood-sugar levels
• Teach classes showing parents how to care for newborn babies
• Help create anti-smoking advertisements
• Create promotional materials that show people how to avoid getting a common cold or flu
• Teach seniors about the importance of exercise
• Evaluate the effectiveness of existing health education programs
Careers Similar to Health Educator
Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to Health Educator, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.
References: How to Become a Health Educator
Please use the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a health educator.
California State University website: www.csuchico.edu
Science Buddies website: www.sciencebuddies.org
United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website: www.bls.gov
Scholarships for Becoming a Health Educator
Scholarships in Canada and the United States listed for majors that apply to becoming a Health Educator can be found on our All Scholarships by Major page.
Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!
Becoming a Health Educator: Applicable Majors
Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming a health educator. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!