Community health workers: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more
Community health workers have an in-depth knowledge of the communities they serve. Within their community, they identify health-related issues, collect data, and discuss health concerns with the people they serve. For example, they may help eligible residents of a neighborhood enroll in programs such as Medicaid or Medicare and explain the benefits that these programs offer. Community health workers address any barriers to care and provide referrals for such needs as food, housing, education, and mental health services
Community health workers share information with health educators and healthcare providers so that health educators can create new programs or adjust existing programs or events to better suit the needs of the community. Community health workers also advocate for the health needs of community members. In addition, they conduct outreach to engage community residents, assist residents with health system navigation, and to improve care coordination.
- Education Required
- Health educators need at least a bachelors 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 Alzheimers 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.)
- 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
Careers for Health Educators and Community Health Workers
- Certified diabetes educators
- Certified health education specialists
- Community health advisors
- Community health advocates
- Community health education coordinators
- Community health representatives
- 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