Health Educators and Community Health Workers: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more

Education Required
Health educators need at least a bachelor’s degree in health education or health promotion. Students learn theories and methods of health behavior and health education and gain the knowledge and skills they will need to develop health education materials and programs. Most programs include an internship.
Training Required
Community health workers typically complete a brief period of on-the-job training. Training often covers core competencies, such as communication or outreach skills, and information about the specific health topics that they will be focusing on. For example, community health workers who work with Alzheimer’s patients may learn about how to communicate effectively with patients dealing with dementia.
Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 16% (Much faster than average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
Licenses/Certifications
Some employers require health educators to obtain the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential, which is offered by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. 
Median pay: How much do Health Educators and Community Health Workers make?
$44,390 Annual Salary
$21.34 per hour

Health educators teach people about behaviors that promote wellness. They develop and implement strategies to improve the health of individuals and communities. Community health workers provide a link between the community and healthcare professionals. They develop and implement strategies to improve the health of individuals and communities. They collect data and discuss health concerns with members of specific populations or communities. Although the two occupations often work together, responsibilities of health educators and community health workers are distinct.

Duties

Health educators typically do the following:

  • Assess the health needs of the people and communities they serve
  • Develop programs, materials, and events to teach people about health topics
  • Teach people how to manage existing health conditions
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of programs and educational materials
  • Help people find health services or information
  • Provide training programs for community health workers or other health professionals
  • Supervise staff who implement health education programs
  • Collect and analyze data to learn about a particular community and improve programs and services
  • Advocate for improved health resources and policies that promote health

Community health workers typically do the following:

  • Discuss health concerns with community members
  • Educate people about the importance and availability of healthcare services, such as cancer screenings
  • Collect data
  • Report findings to health educators and other healthcare providers
  • Provide informal counseling and social support
  • Conduct outreach programs
  • Facilitate access to the healthcare services
  • Advocate for individual and community needs

Careers for Health Educators and Community Health Workers

  • CHWs
  • Certified diabetes educators
  • Certified health education specialists
  • Community health advisors
  • Community health advocates
  • Community health education coordinators
  • Community health representatives
  • Community health workers
  • Community outreach workers
  • Diabetes educators
  • Health education specialists
  • Health educators
  • Lay health advisors
  • Lay health advocates
  • Lay health educators
  • Patient educators
  • Peer health advisors
  • Peer health promoters
  • Public health educators

Similar Careers