The work environment for this occupation is typically an office, regardless of the
organization. However, health educators may spend much of their time away from the
office planning and attending programs, meeting with community organizers, speaking
with patients, or teaching classes. They generally work 40 hours per week, but they
may work evenings and weekends in order to attend programs, events, and meetings.
Health Educators Employment Outlook and Opportunities
The employment settings for this job include medical care settings, colleges and
universities, schools, public health departments, nonprofits organizations, and
private businesses. Most health educators work in State and local government or
in healthcare and social assistance. However, a small percentage works in grant-making
services and social advocacy organizations.
This job is expected to expand by 26% by 2016 due to the rising cost of healthcare
and increased recognition of the need for qualified health educators.
How Much Does a Health Educator make - Health Educator Salaries and Wages
The base salary range for this occupation is from $36,769 to $68,086. The average
hourly wage, according to 2007 national averages, is $20.63. Benefits for the average
health educator, according to the national United States averages, include: base
salary is $51,699 (70.8%), bonus is $103 (0.1%), Social Security is $3,963 (5.4%),
401k/403b is $1,865 (2.6%), Disability is $518 (0.7%), healthcare is $5,722 (7.8%),
pension is $2,383 (3.3%), and time off is $6,774 (9.3%).
How to Become a Health Educator
Education for Health Educators
A Bachelor's degree is usually required for an entry level health educator position.
Some positions may require a Master's degree, which is often required for advancement.
Some employers may prefer applicants who are Certified Health Education Specialists.
People considering becoming health educators will find courses in psychology, human
development, and a foreign language helpful. Furthermore, experience through internships
or volunteer work can make the applicant more appealing to employers. Many students
work towards a Master's degree in health education after majoring in nursing or
Health educators can become a Certified Health Education Specialist, which is a
credential that is offered by the National Commission of Health Education Credentialing,
Inc. This certification is given upon passage of an examination on the basic areas
of responsibility for a health educator. To maintain certification, health educators
must complete 75 hours of approved continuing education courses or seminars over
a period of five years.
People aspiring to become health educators must be comfortable working with both
individuals and large groups. They must be good communicators and feel comfortable
speaking in public in order to teach classes and give presentations. Furthermore,
health educators must be sensitive to cultural differences and open to working with
people of diverse backgrounds. A sense of creativity is also necessary for health
educators in order for them to create new programs and materials that will appeal
to and inform the public.
To advance in this career, a graduate degree is required. A health educator may
advance to become an executive director, supervisor, or senior health educator.
Some health educators work towards a Doctoral degree in health education to enter
research positions or become professors of health education.
Health Educators Resources
National Commission for Health Education Credentialing,
American Association for Health Education