Health Advocate Job Description, Career as a Health Advocate, Salary, Employment
Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job
Training/Educational Requirements: Bachelor degree
Median Salary: $50,000 annually
Job Prospects: Very good
Health advocates promote healthier living and educate people on the best ways to achieve healthy lifestyles. They work for a university, government body, or any number of environments, and are often responsible for identifying potential threats to public health. They work in a variety of roles educating people on how to achieve healthy living.
Health advocates often partner up with healthcare professionals to establish guidelines for any number of health issues. They establish guidelines for disease prevention, or promote healthier living habits. They are responsible for arranging, organizing, or attending events for promotion and education purposes. The level of involvement varies by initiative and employer.
Health advocates provide insight and tips pertaining to health. One of their main roles is to build awareness, whether it is around a specific subject or on healthier living in general. The nature of promotion and awareness they create and work towards depends on their specific role with their employer. They have a general commitment to health and wellness, often working tirelessly to provide initiatives and programs to educate the public on how to achieve them.
When it comes to a certain disease or illness, health advocates have an involved role. They seek to understand the ins and outs of given diseases or illnesses, and also work as educators on various topics. This is an important role to the general public, and to government agencies. They develop protocol and guidelines on how to deal with such health issues. With the push for healthier living across the board, health advocates become very important as more companies are turning to these services for promotion and education. Health advocates determine creative ways to build awareness around various subject matters, and often deal with the public at events.
It is required for all health advocates to possess a bachelor’s degree. It is helpful if their degree is in biology, chemistry, or other scientific area, however, it is not required. Having coursework in any of these areas is helpful. Additionally, any experience within communications prepares the individual for this role, since this is a main focus of the job.
Health advocates must keep their skills and knowledge current, therefore, ongoing education is often encouraged. This is particularly important if they are working to build awareness on a given disease or illness. They can attend seminars or workshops pertaining to specific areas to better prepare themselves. When it comes to learning about the best practices for healthy living and proper ways to promote healthy lifestyles, health advocates take additional training opportunities on these topics. Health advocates should keep current with trends and guidelines, so additional training may be necessary.
How to Get Hired
The best way to get hired as a health advocate is to demonstrate experience. When entering into the field, having a degree or coursework in an appropriate area helps. Additionally, an internship within the healthcare industry adds to their credibility and likelihood of getting hired. As health advocates advance in their careers, it is necessary to demonstrate experience gained in all areas.
Health advocates need to demonstrate what initiatives they have created, and how they built awareness in previous positions. Since this is a public role, health advocates should have no trouble demonstrating experience. This experience is what employers look for when hiring for this position. The more experience they have, the better their chances of getting hired.
Job Prospects, Employment Outlook, and Career Development
As the push for healthier living continues, so does job growth for health advocates. Adding to potential job openings is the experience gained by health advocates working in various environments ranging from government agencies, cities, nonprofit agencies, and consulting firms. Since more employers are requiring the expertise of health advocates, this increases job growth.
The career path looks promising for health advocates. Being able to demonstrate experience is a surefire way to getting hired. As more people become educated on healthy living, there will be more jobs available for health advocates.
The typical work environment for health advocates varies by employer. They generally keep an office for research and communication purposes, but also work within healthcare facilities as part of their responsibilities. As they keep abreast of current trends, new potential threats, and various ways to promote guidelines, they travel to different sites or to different educational opportunities, such as workshops. They generally work a standard work week in terms of the hours they keep, but these vary if there is a potential health threat or something requiring immediate attention.
Salary and Benefits
Although the typical salary for a health advocate is around $50,000 per year, this varies widely. The salary range is anywhere from $45,000 to $110,000 a year on the high end. This not only depends on experience, but the health advocate’s environment and employer. The more responsibilities they maintain, the higher their salary is expected. Generally health advocates receive a 401(k), medical coverage, paid vacation and sick days from their employer.
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