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Health Educator Job Description, Career as a Health Educator, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

public educators issues degree

Education and Training: Master's degree or higher

Salary: Median—$52,639 per year

Employment Outlook: Very good

Definition and Nature of the Work

Health educators plan, organize, and direct health education programs for communities and groups such as civic organizations and labor unions. They work with other health professionals, civic groups, and community officials to determine health needs, develop desirable health goals, and evaluate the availability of health services. They focus on promoting good health and preventing disease, but they must also deal with social, behavioral, legal, and economic issues.

Public health educators prepare and distribute educational and informational materials on public health issues such as smoking, immunization, drug abuse, and AIDS. They may plan exhibits and health fairs, and may conduct forum discussions to motivate their audiences to understand health issues so they can act in ways that promote good health. Public health educators may also be involved in health-related issues, such as traffic safety and the design of community health facilities. Their goals are to help people adopt healthier lifestyles, make the most efficient use of health services, and practice self-care.

Education and Training Requirements

To be a health educator, you should have a master of public health (M.P.H.) or a master of science (M.S.) degree, preferably from one of the accredited schools of public health or an accredited graduate public health program offered at other educational institutions. Study for the M.P.H. or M.S. involves courses in public health practice and program management, behavioral sciences, and health education, among others.

Some health educators also have a medical degree and have worked in the medical field. Others have a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as sociology or anthropology, as well as related work experience. Practicing public health educators must continue to take courses to maintain and improve their skills, and many go on to earn doctoral degrees. You can become a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) if you meet the standards of competence established by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) and have successfully passed the CHES examination.

Health educators conduct classes on public health issues such as violence prevention, immunization, drug abuse, and smoking. (© Martha Tabor/Working Images Photographs. Reproduced by permission.)

Getting the Job

Graduates can consult the college placement office for job openings. Many entry-level jobs are available with federal, state, and local governments; health agencies; and volunteer health organizations.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

A public health educator for a town or county can become the director of health education for a state's Department of Health and Human Services or, at the federal level, a director of the National Institutes of Health or the Health Resources and Services Administration. A public health educator can also advance by becoming a specialist in a particular area—such as international health issues—and by working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Employment opportunities for public health educators are expected to increase faster than the average through 2014. The rise of communicable diseases such as AIDS, the need for prenatal and child health care programs, and the increasing complexity of medical technology have all contributed to this growing demand. Community-oriented health care is also becoming increasingly important.

Working Conditions

Public health educators generally work in comfortable offices. When they are conducting forums or giving presentations, they may have to work some evenings and weekends. Public health educators also frequently travel to other communities or states to explore health education programs.

Educators must have good communication skills and be comfortable working with people. They must also be able to adapt ideas to suit various situations.

Where to Go for More Information

National Commission for Health Education Credentialing
1541 Alta Dr., Ste. 303
Whitehall, PA 18052-5642
(888) 624-3248
http://www.nchec.org

American Public Health Association
800 I St. NW
Washington, DC 20001-3701
(202) 777-APHA
http://www.apha.org

Earnings and Benefits

In 2006 the median salary for a health educator was $52,639. Salaried educators usually receive health insurance, paid holidays and vacations, and retirement plans.

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over 6 years ago

I have a degree in Public Health and cannot find a job in this field. It appears as if it much easier to find a job in this field if one is a RN.

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over 9 years ago

I was wondering, when you become a Certified Health Education Specialist how much more money can you expect to earn in comparison to someone with the same amount of education and work experience who is not certified?

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over 9 years ago

Jane do you have a master's degree?

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over 6 years ago

i am from india & i want to become an MS in health education because i am interested in biology.i scored 75% in 12th sci. with biology. if i'll perform my best, so which kind of jobs will i get? what roles will i play there?
please, reply me.

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over 5 years ago

I have Completed Diploma in Health Promotion and Education Training Course in India.What are the JOB Sources AS Health Educator about me.

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over 5 years ago

kindly link me up with how i can be registered,as a healht educator for any available vaccancy. M.Ed Health Ed.(Unilag). B.Sc Health Ed(Unibadan).

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over 9 years ago

I am a Health Educator and I am not earning no where near $52,639.

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over 9 years ago

I am a Health Educator, with a master's degree (MPH), working in a city with a high cost of living (New York City)... I make much much less than $52,639. This salary estimate assumes how many years of experience? I have 1 year post-masters (3 years post-bachelors), plus I'm about to get my CHES.

Am I underpaid?

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almost 7 years ago

Iam a fresh graduate of health education from Tai solarin university of Education,ijebu-ode in Nigeria.I had second class upper,pls,if i am employ in an hospital,what roles will i play there.which department will i function best.Also,which course can i take for my master.i will be grateful if my questions are given special cinsideration and reply me via my mail.

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over 6 years ago

i wount be one studant with th,s programm

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over 6 years ago

Health Educator Job Description, Career as a Health Educator, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

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over 6 years ago

Hi i am currently researching schools and degrees. I have 2 aas degrees 1 in early edu. other in medical assisting. I am wanting to combine the 2 and Health Educator seems to fit that outline.However I am interested in the real payscale for NC health educators and what field is the majority of health educators working in my area?