Are health educator job opportunities growing or declining?

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Jennifer Jenkins in Terre Haute, Indiana

49 months ago

Help!! My story is just like so many on here. I also just graduated in 2009. It's been one year and I haven't found a job yet. All my searches mostly turn up nursing jobs or community health jobs that require a nursing back ground. I have no desire to do nursing. I just want to do what I went to school for. I know I will need to get my Master's in Public Health to make any type of money, but I need a job first so that way the company can contribute. I have a interview with a company called WebMd tomorrow. I will be doing telephonic assessments and health coaching for employees of different companies. It's not what I really want to do, but I know I do not have much of a choice. It's the only job that has contacted me back. I need the experience so that I can get my foot in the door. If I don't get this job I don't even know what I will do. I have also looked at many non profit organizations for jobs. The pay is always almost so low that I could not pay my bills and live off of it. They say this is the worst time for college graduates to find a job and my goodness they are right. Health education is always the first thing they cut when budgets are shrinking.

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Jennifer Jenkins in Terre Haute, Indiana

49 months ago

Help!! My story is just like so many on here. I also just graduated in 2009. It's been one year and I haven't found a job yet. All my searches mostly turn up nursing jobs or community health jobs that require a nursing back ground. I have no desire to do nursing. I just want to do what I went to school for. I know I will need to get my Master's in Public Health to make any type of money, but I need a job first so that way the company can contribute. I have a interview with a company called WebMd tomorrow. I will be doing telephonic assessments and health coaching for employees of different companies. It's not what I really want to do, but I know I do not have much of a choice. It's the only job that has contacted me back. I need the experience so that I can get my foot in the door. If I don't get this job I don't even know what I will do. I have also looked at many non profit organizations for jobs. The pay is always almost so low that I could not pay my bills and live off of it. They say this is the worst time for college graduates to find a job and my goodness they are right. Health education is always the first thing they cut when budgets are shrinking.

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Jennifer Jenkins in Terre Haute, Indiana

49 months ago

Help!! My story is just like so many on here. I also just graduated in 2009. It's been one year and I haven't found a job yet. All my searches mostly turn up nursing jobs or community health jobs that require a nursing back ground. I have no desire to do nursing. I just want to do what I went to school for. I know I will need to get my Master's in Public Health to make any type of money, but I need a job first so that way the company can contribute. I have a interview with a company called WebMd tomorrow. I will be doing telephonic assessments and health coaching for employees of different companies. It's not what I really want to do, but I know I do not have much of a choice. It's the only job that has contacted me back. I need the experience so that I can get my foot in the door. If I don't get this job I don't even know what I will do. I have also looked at many non profit organizations for jobs. The pay is always almost so low that I could not pay my bills and live off of it. They say this is the worst time for college graduates to find a job and my goodness they are right. Health education is always the first thing they cut when budgets are shrinking.

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carmen in Schenectady, New York

44 months ago

I have been thing about getting my masters in public health and social work but now I think about getting my R.N. Graduate school is very expensive but I don't know will my degree help me.

rose in Rancho Cucamonga, California said: thank you katherine. I appreciate your advice. It does seem like a good idea to pair that with something else. DO you know anything about Social work and public health and if i can go into counseling with that? I see that some schools offer a dual Masters in social work and public health? What do you think? thanks again

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AB in Grayslake, Illinois

43 months ago

Hi, Carmen (and anyone else who this may help!)-

I earned my MPH in Health Behavior/Health Education in 2007.I was lucky in that I found my first job relatively easily due to an alumni connection. That job was in the health promotion unit of a local health department. The job was boring and a lack of funding meant all of my ideas for community programs were shot down. I was reduced to passing out pamphlets at health fairs, etc! It was insulting! Also during my time in local government, severe budget cuts caused all non-union employees to be laid off for one whole week. I already was making very little money in that position, so missing a week's pay really hurt. When it comes to budget cuts, health promotion will be the first thing they get rid of.

I left that government job after only 8 months, and took a 2-year grant funded position at a local hospital. I was the project manager and health educator for a research study. The pay was a little better ($50K), but by this time I was pretty much DONE with public health. I just did not find it fulfilling, and it is very unstable. I decided to return to school and become a naturopathic physician. I am still attending naturopathic medical school and I LOVE it. I can honestly say that my public health education training has proved to be very useful in my new field.

Overall, my experience and observations have been:

1)There are very few jobs available for MPH/CHES/MSW-trained professionals. Most of my friends from grad school took longer than 1-2 years to find their first jobs!

2)A lot of the jobs that are available for health educators are very low-paying, many of them are temporary or grant-based, and yes-- many of them require nursing degrees! It took me forever to find my second job for that reason alone. Makes no sense to me.

3) I would not EVER recommend getting your MPH/MSW alone. Always have a backup.

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carmen

43 months ago

Thanks AB, Now you have me thinking. I do not know what I am going to do. I have a lot of loans from ithaca. Everything is so unstable it is very discouraging.

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Dee Dee in Little Rock, Arkansas

43 months ago

I am surprised and glad that this conversation is still continuing-so that it may bring light and continuos concern of the future of public health/community health professionals. This conversation is still here after two years ago when I sent out my initial concern into cyperspace! For those new in the field...has anyone considered health marketing with those business degrees? There are many Health Marketing businesses now that are seeking businesses of major companies country wide. Their partnerships are charged to reduce health care cost for the company and increase a healthy cuture within the worksites. They provide health education presentations, health action plans, and incentive based, quarterly physical activity programs for employees throughout the year). I think it is more like worksite wellness on a bigger scale. Just a thought.

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amshirk in Lititz, Pennsylvania

39 months ago

Sherah in Peoria, Illinois said: I feel like nursing is trying to take over many of our jobs. When are people going to understand that nursing is the opposite of health education????

Forgive me if you are getting a second response from me. I think I posted incorrectly the first time. Anyway, I just had to respond to your claim that nursing is the opposite of health education I don't want to seem rude but a large part of nursing IS health education. Whether it is being delivered to patients, family members of patients, colleagues or community members it is a large component of our profession. In nursing programs, particularly BSN programs, there is a large emphasis on Health Promotion, Community Health and Holistic Nursing. I would suggest that you do some research into the nursing profession before making what could be interpreted as an inflamatory statement. Again, I am not trying to be insulting and I do understand your frustration and anger at your situation. But please don't blame nursing for your problem.

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Katherine Clevenger-Burdell in Scottsdale, Arizona

39 months ago

I have previously commented on this issue. Although retired, I see issues in both directions. I worked in COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH and then in County Health Services, and prior to retirement in a private Medicare Advantage Plan. My M.A. is in Health Education and CHES certified. It appears to me that in the current economic situation all organizations are attempting to have one person do two jobs. In "Health Care", a nurse can do both clinical and some educational functions. Most "Health Educators" do not have the "Clinical" background so giving shots,etc. is not in their realm.

The money for Public Health has been decreasing each year for many years now so very few jobs are even around. Lay offs in all levels of government agences have been large.PUBLIC HEALTH probably will not get funding unless a true public health emergency happens such as SARS.

Nursing and Health Education can compliment each other if the money is there to pay 2 people instead of one. It is perhaps a sign of the times rather than one professional trying to eliminate the other profession.

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ladykhatie@yahoo.com in Little Rock, Arkansas

39 months ago

Interesting feedback. I get that there probably is not a "conspiracy" (for the lack of a better word) to eliminate health educators or the profession itself. However the effect of health educators experiencing a chance at an interview and ultimately gainful employment still remains.

I also think hiring a nurse per say to do the one job-which includes clinical will always trump the health educators skill set, especially if there is funding to hire a nurse, whose salary may be higher than a non-clinical professional-I get it).

With that being said-a nurse could successfully facilitate "some" educational functions. "Some" educational functions indicate that more than likely-it will not be ectensive education. I am in agreement that this is another sign of the times health care issue that intetfers with the continuity of healthcare.

Still nursing and health education are related disciplines-with a different focus; (i.e. (health education -prevention and (clinical/nursing-treatment).

Which brings me to my next point-At the end of the day the nursing profession is and probaby will be always be in high(er) demand-thus this situation still looks bleek to me.

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Dee Dee in Little Rock, Arkansas

39 months ago

Perhaps there was a misunderstanding indeed. I never blamed nursing as the problem, nor is nursing the "opposite" of the health education, however the focus of both fields take on a specific academic agenda and skill set. My probem? I am a little confused by that statement as well-I believe the entire subject matter of health educators not being considered for the very jobs or careers that they were specifically trained for is professional problem which effects many.

You may have misinterpreted my message in the previous post. I am gainfully employed-(a blessing-especially today -in my field of Public Health as a Health Promotion Coordinator for a for-profilt company). My quest is to support, promote, and to bring forth light to help the profession of Helath Education will continue.

It is also my hope that in the future my messages as well as other concerned fellow professionals will not be interpreted as a direct attacks on the nursing field or nurses in general. That is not the case-nor is it the of either. It is a systems problem. I got it. Blaming the "priviliged" or the victim either way would not serve as a positive.

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txnurstud in Desoto, Texas

39 months ago

Wow, I cannot believe this post has been going on for the last 4 years; however, I have truly enjoyed all of the GREAT information shared from both Health Education professionals and clinicians.

For those Master degree Healthcare professionals, who does not have a position in health promotion or health education and who reside in either Texas or Oklahoma (or who are relocating to Texas or Oklahoma soon), the Navy is offering an AWESOME opportunity.

You (master degrees...either MPH or MHA or MBA with healthcare emphasis) can go into the Navy as a Medical Services Officers (either active duty or reserves). Below is the process:

Master degree (Healthcare related) Officers Program
-Interview Process (includes initial interview with Recruiter, physical, submission of ALL college transcripts, character references, employment/military branch references, resume, Medical Admin Officers interviews)...this will be collected and packaged as a Scroll
-Submit scroll to Congress for approval of the position...meet every other month for Officers
-Once approved by Congress
-Commissioned as an Medical Services Officer into the Navy (paid as a O2 ranking (Officer 2)) and job title would be Medical Healthcare Administrator
-Attend Navy Medical Officer Training program (either OCS - 6 wks or ODS - 2 wks)
-Submit 3 preferences on locations...(you will be assigned to major hospitals throughout the navy or Marine Hospital Bases)

If you are interested in this opportunity and you either live in Texas or Oklahoma (or will be relocating to Texas or Oklahoma soon), please contact Chief Marcel Blanfort at: marcel.blanfort@navy.mil

You can let him know that you received this information on this post and he will know exactly who referred you and/or you can reference my username: txnurstud in Desoto, TX.

I wish you all the best in exploring this opportunity because I have started the process and am extremely excited to have this opportunity available to me.

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RoseRico in Los Angeles, California

37 months ago

Wow...I am glad to know that I wasn't making my own crazy theory up. I have a BA in psychology with a focus on community health. I've worked at a School base health center since I was 16 then took a 5 year break to finish my degree and return from a deployment. Just about a year and half ago I was lucky enough to find a job as a SBHC Program Coordinator (aka clinic manager) for a new clinic site. I don't make much money because it's a non profit (38k) so I know I have to go back to school.

I got accepted last year for an MPH program but decided to postpone it to this year but throughout the year I realized that MPH degree would only help me get a job like the one I already have and would increase my pay by 5k max which I should get anyways by the time I finish MPH school. I realized that where the money is in nursing and as much as I love health education and prevention the market for this field is does not pay much and they are mostly grant based so they are temporary like 2 to 5 years.

What should I do? Start the MPH program now then go do the nursing?

Or should I just wait to take 1 to 2 years of pre-reqs to get into the RN program?

By the way im 27 and I have to work for sure right now because I am supporting my mother so taking time off to go to school right now is not an option.

Please advice this confused but passionate girl from LA...

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hhh569 in Schenectady, New York

37 months ago

I would continue to work and take my prequistes for nursing. You can get your mph later

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Eliza G I in Huntington Beach, California

37 months ago

How about in California? does anyone know if health education is growing in California or not? doesn't seem like though...

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Teena in Brooklyn, New York

34 months ago

Well as an RN, I could see how to many people a nurse's role would not be health promotion but treatment. Although just like most professions as time progresses they change. The typical role of the RN or LPN is quite different from the nurse of the 1900s, 1960s, 1980s, 1990s, and so on. Health care is for ever changing and developing and therefore the role of nurse has changed along with the education provided to become an RN. The title of RN can mean so many things now and has become so diverse I believe this is why we can fill so many roles. For examples you can be a Nurse Practitioner, Holistic Nurse, you can be an administrator, work in Nursing informatics,or choose to work for a pharmaceutical company. You can be a educator, a nurse anesthetist, research, the list can go on and on . And so for this reason I believe nurses stand out, are education is no longer based on treatment alone( We don't just give shots and clean up messes). We are taught to look at all facets of healthcare fiscal,health care delivery,advocacy , and beyond. We encompass all disciplines in our profession. We are taught not just to care for the patient but the whole family. So while it is good on a whole to just educate people on prevention, the reality is that many of the populations health education is needed most. Needs more then prevention techniques alone. You are only dealing with one aspect of patient healthcare ,while the Nurse can handle the whole continuum.

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silver21 in Austin, Texas

34 months ago

So, Teena, do you think that public health educators are useless so long as there are nurses around? I'm not trying to be snide, it's a serious question.

I'm pursuing a bachelor's in health education (with plans to get a master's after), but I'm also a CNA. Not an RN by far, but I'm hoping the experience will get me in the door after I graduate and become CHES certified. All I need to support my family and live well (in Houston, and we live a fairly simple life) is $40k/year; hopefully I can earn that much with my degrees. Isn't it sad when you have to hope you'll make 40 grand a year with a college education? Anyhow, I digress...

I thought about doing an ADN program, but I just don't want to spend time getting a nursing degree. I don't want to be a nurse, I want to be a health educator and I feel that they are two totally different things. Another hope of mine: that this trend toward wanting nurses for everything under the sun subsides, even if just a little bit, by the time I graduate.

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AB in Streamwood, Illinois

34 months ago

Teena-

I think your post was very insightful; you raised some valuable points that I hadn't thought of. I think that, while nurses with strong health educator skills are of great value in communities or settings with inadequate medical care, many MPH-type positions are not related to direct health services. For example, I came across many job postings for office-based positions that did not involve direct medical/clinical care (or advanced medical knowledge) of any type. These positions strictly involved qualitative data collection, statistical analysis with SAS or SPSS, writing grants and reports, developing survey instruments, etc. - all skills that my MPH adequately supplied me with. I didn't see where clinical nursing skills fit with those job duties, yet several employers wanted candidates to possess a nursing degree.

Again, I definitely appreciate the broad, holistic scope of nursing, but I do see a problem when non-medical positions require health educators to have medical skills.

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Jennifer in Terre Haute, Indiana

34 months ago

I graduated in 2009 and am CHES certified. I have had no luck at all in finding a job. I'm going to get my CNA certificate if that tells you anything.

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Liz U. in Saint Louis, Missouri

32 months ago

Sherah in Peoria, Illinois said: I agree with both of you. I only have my Bachelor's degree in health education and have also noticed the unfortunate shift that many health educator jobs are going to nurses. What gets me so angry is that nurses do not know about prevention. Their curriculum is treatment. Fortunately, I do work at a county health department that requires a health educator to have a bachelors in community health to have this job. That is the only major you can have, which is nice. Also, I know to be able to have your CHES, you have to have a bachelors in community health. This gives me some peace of mind. I think the places that are hiring nurses for OUR jobs are place like hospitals. They like the 2 for 1. This is frustrating to me. This is why we have so many unhealthy people in our country. The qualified individuals are not getting the jobs they rightfully deserve and public health needs to be taken more seriously!!!!

I am sorry that it sounds like you are frustrated with your employment situation. I did want to let you know though, that some nurses do have a great background in prevention, true, not a lot of them, but I and others who have that are people who believe in prevention rather than waiting until one is ill. I am an RN but studied holistic health and health education and taught, and became an RN 7 years ago. It's true being an RN does open some doors, but not others, A lot of jobs require RN's to have masters now.

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tawana gibbs in Little Rock, Arkansas

32 months ago

Hello everyone I have been following this post for a while now because I knew my time would Eb coming. As of right now, I need all the insight I can get. I graduated in May with my Bachelor of Science degree with an Emphasis on Community Health Promotions. I am now at a stand still bc I don't know what I actually want to do with it. I have enrolled at the university of Phoenix there Masters of Health Administration program. I really don't want to go through this progrm if it is going to be a waste of time and money and after I'm done. if anyone has any advice on what could help. me out I would greatly appreciate I am at the point now, where I'm getting a little frustrated bc its hard to find a job in the field, either they want u to have experience or have a nursing background.
Thanks in advance

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mana7102

30 months ago

I think that is what upsets me the most. My education wasn't cheap or free. I went into this field because I used to do the job of a health educator without the pay or the training so I thought I would get the degree and get paid for all of my hard work. Now I am faced with no job prospects and a boat load of debt. I spoke with a recruiter for a major hospital in Florida and she asked me if I had considered nursing. I've looked into it but I don't have another $60,000 and 4 years to invest in schooling.

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Katherine Clevenger-Burdell in Scottsdale, Arizona

30 months ago

The entire atmosphere around health I believe to be up in the air. The "Affordable Care Act", i.e., "ObamaCare" could have made a difference in health education and jobs for health educators; however, if the whole things goes down and the economy remains at almost a standstill, jobs will remain difficult to get.

From the employer point of view, I have only $$ and I need $$$$$ to hire both a health educator and a nurse, I will hire the nurse has a bit of prevention background and make the nurse do both jobs.

Good luck to all.

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Elizabeth in Conroe, Texas

26 months ago

I am glad I found this online. I am a current student and I am deciding to see if I should enroll into both the MPH AND MSSW after reading this it was kind of heart breaking. I really dont want to attend graduate school and not be able to locate a job. Can someone please help me before I enroll. Should I go for my MSSW in mental health or for the dual program MSSW/MPH? I will be enrolling this Fall. Please help!

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Marie Leger in Lake Grove, New York

26 months ago

Elizabeth,

Do the joint program and strategically prepare to do the core of the mental health courses first. Talk to an advisor to see what it will cost you if you change your mind and just do the MSSW.

I have a joint MA in international development and International MPH. I worked oversease and found a good marriage of both degrees, but now I am in the states and rely on the MPH ( international or not) to carry me through as an adjunct faculty.

Whatever your decision, good luck.

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Rachel Marsh in Wichita, Kansas

26 months ago

I am seriously considering going back and getting a ASN. I have a BSEd in Community Health (that got me nowhere). I am always having to explain what that degree is and what I am qualified to do. I also have a MEd in Exercise Physiology (which no one is hiring for in my area). Nursing has always been in my mind as a "security job". In the Wichita area the Health Educator jobs want a nursing degree too, so I feel that if I want to be competitive in this job market returning to school, again, is my only option. I also feel that to make the money that I feel I deserve with my education and experience that nursing is my only window. How sad.

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Rachel Marsh in Wichita, Kansas

26 months ago

txnurstud in Desoto, Texas said: Wow, I cannot believe this post has been going on for the last 4 years; however, I have truly enjoyed all of the GREAT information shared from both Health Education professionals and clinicians.

For those Master degree Healthcare professionals, who does not have a position in health promotion or health education and who reside in either Texas or Oklahoma (or who are relocating to Texas or Oklahoma soon), the Navy is offering an AWESOME opportunity.

You (master degrees...either MPH or MHA or MBA with healthcare emphasis) can go into the Navy as a Medical Services Officers (either active duty or reserves). Below is the process:

Master degree (Healthcare related) Officers Program
-Interview Process (includes initial interview with Recruiter, physical, submission of ALL college transcripts, character references, employment/military branch references, resume, Medical Admin Officers interviews)...this will be collected and packaged as a Scroll
-Submit scroll to Congress for approval of the position...meet every other month for Officers
-Once approved by Congress
-Commissioned as an Medical Services Officer into the Navy (paid as a O2 ranking (Officer 2)) and job title would be Medical Healthcare Administrator
-Attend Navy Medical Officer Training program (either OCS - 6 wks or ODS - 2 wks)
-Submit 3 preferences on locations...(you will be assigned to major hospitals throughout the navy or Marine Hospital Bases)

If you are interested in this opportunity and you either live in Texas or Oklahoma (or will be relocating to Texas or Oklahoma soon), please contact Chief Marcel Blanfort at: marcel.blanfort@navy.mil

Why only TX or OK? I live in KS and have considered this. Is there loan forgiveness involved?

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Laura in Saint Louis, Missouri

21 months ago

I hate to be the messenger of bad news, but jobs as health educators are scarce. If you do happen to find one, they are often very low paying (around 30k in St. Louis, MO)and may not be exactly what you thought it would be like. I, too, graduated with a BS in Community Health and got my CHES. My former classmates with jobs either 1. are working multiple part time jobs without benefits 2. got a business minor in college and got their foot in the door with that background 3. went back to school for something else (often nursing)4. Are working for a temp agency or the horrible 5. Are unemployed. I do have a select few friends who found jobs that they love, which is fantastic. However, the odds were against them. I was reluctant to make this post since I am very passionate about public health and and know many people who make a lot of sacrifices for the field, but anyone trying to figure out what to major in/ get their masters in deserves to know the honest truth.
I, fortunately, found my way to a masters program in Occupational Therapy and I couldn't be happier. Your job, everyday, is to enable people be to complete their activities of daily living. Clients range from newborn babies in the NICU to the eldest of the elderly. The clients have any combination of physical, developmental, and cognitive deficits that may be acute or chronic. The field takes a rather holistic approach in helping people do the things they want to do (ex. driving, holding their baby, doing the dishes) that often involves components of health education. There is even such thing as community practice of OT in which you work with clients in places like homeless shelters. It also does not hurt that the pay is around 60-70k and is on many lists of one of the best jobs to have. I am not saying this profession is for every community health minded person. However, I feel so fortunate to have found this profession, and I hope this post may introduce OT to someone else who would love it as much as I do.

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michael in Albuquerque, New Mexico

21 months ago

I find it hard to believe that jobs for health educators are scarce. I am considering pursuing the doctorate in health education. I would think with all the health issues that confront Americans (and elsewhere) that we need people to focus on prevention. Tell me that I would not be making a mistake to undertake such a program. Thanks!
Michael

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hhh569 in schenectady, New York

21 months ago

I would not get a degree in health education. The jobs are limiting and education is too expensive not to get a job

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michael in Albuquerque, New Mexico

21 months ago

hhh569 in schenectady, New York said: I would not get a degree in health education. The jobs are limiting and education is too expensive not to get a job

Is your degree in health ed? If so-is it at the bachelors or masters level? Have you had problems in seeking a health educator position?

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michael in Albuquerque, New Mexico

21 months ago

If you have received an MPH in Health Ed, a bachelors-how many people have had immense difficulty in getting a job as a Health Educator? It seems to be in view of our current economy which overall is pretty dismal, a lot of medically-oriented professions are not doing well for quite some time. For example, I have noted that even optometry grads are finding it hard to ger full-time work. Imagine being 200K in debt and all you can find is a part-time opportunity. I guess there are no easy answers.

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michael in Albuquerque, New Mexico

21 months ago

Rachel Marsh in Wichita, Kansas said:

RACHEL-ARE YOU WORKING AS A HEALTH EDUCATOR RIGHT NOW?

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michael in Albuquerque, New Mexico

21 months ago

I did a check of Health Educator jobs on the Indeed site and it seems that there are jobs all over the country. Are we being overly negative here or are these jobs non-existent?

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michael in Albuquerque, New Mexico

21 months ago

Rachel Marsh in Wichita, Kansas said: I am seriously considering going back and getting a ASN. I have a BSEd in Community Health (that got me nowhere). I am always having to explain what that degree is and what I am qualified to do. I also have a MEd in Exercise Physiology (which no one is hiring for in my area). Nursing has always been in my mind as a "security job". In the Wichita area the Health Educator jobs want a nursing degree too, so I feel that if I want to be competitive in this job market returning to school, again, is my only option. I also feel that to make the money that I feel I deserve with my education and experience that nursing is my only window. How sad.

It does seem based upon my Indeed job review that there still are jobs in health ed that DO NOT require a nursing degree.

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michael in Albuquerque, New Mexico

21 months ago

silver21 in Austin, Texas said: So, Teena, do you think that public health educators are useless so long as there are nurses around? I'm not trying to be snide, it's a serious question.

I'm pursuing a bachelor's in health education (with plans to get a master's after), but I'm also a CNA . Not an RN by far, but I'm hoping the experience will get me in the door after I graduate and become CHES certified. All I need to support my family and live well (in Houston, and we live a fairly simple life) is $40k/year; hopefully I can earn that much with my degrees. Isn't it sad when you have to hope you'll make 40 grand a year with a college education ? Anyhow, I digress...

I thought about doing an ADN program, but I just don't want to spend time getting a nursing degree. I don't want to be a nurse, I want to be a health educator and I feel that they are two totally different things. Another hope of mine: that this trend toward wanting nurses for everything under the sun subsides, even if just a little bit, by the time I graduate.

So Silver this post was written nearly a year ago-Are you pursuiing a health ed degree or what?

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Bluetea in Texas

21 months ago

michael in Albuquerque, New Mexico said: It does seem based upon my Indeed job review that there still are jobs in health ed that DO NOT require a nursing degree.

My niece is a medical biller and says that many admin type health educator jobs will be lost in the next few years. Most will be lost to automation or off-shoring. Just sayin'

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michael in Albuquerque, New Mexico

21 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said: My niece is a medical biller and says that many admin type health educator jobs will be lost in the next few years. Most will be lost to automation or off-shoring. Just sayin'

They are outsourcing medical billing and coding functions but I do not agree with your niece's pronouncement. I know because I am credentialized as a certified professional coder.

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silver21 in Austin, Texas

21 months ago

michael in Albuquerque, New Mexico said: So Silver this post was written nearly a year ago-Are you pursuiing a health ed degree or what?

No, I'm not. I changed my major to psychology, will go on to get a master's in clinical mental health counseling, and then get licensed in TX as a counselor. At least with that career I'd eventually have the opportunity to work for myself. In Texas, employers do tend to want you to be an RN or PA to qualify for many health education jobs. Although, why anyone would go through all the training and expense to become an RN or PA and take such a low paying position, I don't know.

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michael in Albuquerque, New Mexico

21 months ago

But are you doing this for the fact that you love mental health better than health ed or the money. I am not judging-just trying to ascertain where you are at. Nothing is right or wrong unless you think it is wrong. People should not really do something because of the money solely. But money is important and we always have bills to pay. As far as I'm concerned-the only one that are getting rich in health care are the docs-MD/DO's, DDS's,etc. But someone needs to do health ed.

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Rachel Marsh in Wichita, Kansas

21 months ago

michael in Albuquerque, New Mexico said: RACHEL-ARE YOU WORKING AS A HEALTH EDUCATOR RIGHT NOW?

I am working in research right now.

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michael in Albuquerque, New Mexico

21 months ago

Rachel Marsh in Wichita, Kansas said: I am working in research right now.

Research in health ed?

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Rachel Marsh in Wichita, Kansas

21 months ago

michael in Albuquerque, New Mexico said: Research in health ed?

I am working as a counselor on a walking therapy research study. We are studying Peripheral Arterial Disease in the African American community here. In answer to your question, yes it is health ed, but it is grant funded, limited term, etc.. What do you want to do with your doctorate?

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silver21 in Austin, Texas

21 months ago

michael in Albuquerque, New Mexico said: But are you doing this for the fact that you love mental health better than health ed or the money. I am not judging-just trying to ascertain where you are at. Nothing is right or wrong unless you think it is wrong. People should not really do something because of the money solely. But money is important and we always have bills to pay. As far as I'm concerned-the only one that are getting rich in health care are the docs-MD/DO's, DDS's,etc. But someone needs to do health ed.

Both. Why would I spend money on 2 degrees that would be difficult to put to use, not to mention time getting certified? If I were to do anything purely for money, I would've become a PA. Counselors/therapists don't get paid tons of money in TX, but I know it will be much easier to make a living as one here as opposed to being a health educator.

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Linda Davis in Jackson, Mississippi

20 months ago

I would strongly recommend that no one pursue a degree on any level in public health or health education or health promotion. My reason is simple. Public health jobs are few and rare and often pays very little. Furthermore, there is a trend towards hiring RNs and RDs to do our work. This is particularly true within the VA system. I have written many emails to VA recruiters explaining that they are seeking clinical professionals to do public health work (primary prevention). Most recruiters in public health are either nurses or registered dietiticians whose personal preferences are to hire what they know. It seems that everyone has agreed that these two professionals can do it all, including our jobs. Further, public health schools and professional organizations have done a pathetic job of educating employers about public health professions and how they can meet their needs. I extremely regret getting a MPH. If I had to do it again, I would become a RD. Finally, public health is a confusing and unknown term to many; it's simply too damn general and abstract for employers to appreciate.

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Linda Davis in Jackson, Mississippi

20 months ago

michael in Albuquerque, New Mexico said: So Silver this post was written nearly a year ago-Are you pursuiing a health ed degree or what?

I've got news for you. That CHES is pretty much worthless in this market. Again, employers aren't requiring CHES rather RN and RD to fill health education, health promotion and health coaching jobs. I see it all the time regarding private and public employers.

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Michael in Albuquerque, New Mexico

20 months ago

Linda Davis in Jackson, Mississippi said: I've got news for you. That CHES is pretty much worthless in this market. Again, employers aren't requiring CHES rather RN and RD to fill health education , health promotion and health coaching jobs. I see it all the time regarding private and public employers.

Maybe that is the market in Mississippi? I may be very well pursuing a doctorate in health ed because I just find the subject fascinating. I am extremely interested in Health Literacy and I feel that I might be able to do a lot of great research in that area. I have stated this before. An awful lot of health care professionals are complaining-especially the newbies-that are going into fields for the first time-that they cannot get an entry level job. I think being a RN is great and so is an RD. But what about the student who does not like chemistry or dealing with direct patient care. Health Ed may be a better fit. This may sound too "Polly-annahish" but I really believe if you do what you love and feel what is right in your heart-the jobs and the money will follow. We still have 12 million unemployed in America and until the economy gets really better-everybody's hurting. People do need to pay the bills but they also have to be true to their heart. My 2 cents.

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Michael in Albuquerque, New Mexico

20 months ago

Also-there have to be some Health Ed grads and CHES folks that are getting great jobs and working??

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Michael in Albuquerque, New Mexico

20 months ago

Dee Dee in Little Rock, Arkansas said: I am surprised and glad that this conversation is still continuing-so that it may bring light and continuos concern of the future of public health / community health professionals. This conversation is still here after two years ago when I sent out my initial concern into cyperspace! For those new in the field...has anyone considered health marketing with those business degrees? There are many Health Marketing businesses now that are seeking businesses of major companies country wide. Their partnerships are charged to reduce health care cost for the company and increase a healthy cuture within the worksites. They provide health education presentations, health action plans, and incentive based, quarterly physical activity programs for employees throughout the year). I think it is more like worksite wellness on a bigger scale. Just a thought.

I also have an MBA, Dee Dee.

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Tibfib in Bronx, New York

18 months ago

Jennifer Jenkins in Terre Haute, Indiana said: Help!! My story is just like so many on here. I also just graduated in 2009. It's been one year and I haven't found a job yet. All my searches mostly turn up nursing jobs or community health jobs that require a nursing back ground. I have no desire to do nursing. I just want to do what I went to school for. I know I will need to get my Master's in Public Health to make any type of money, but I need a job first so that way the company can contribute. I have a interview with a company called WebMd tomorrow. I will be doing telephonic assessments and health coaching for employees of different companies. It's not what I really want to do, but I know I do not have much of a choice. It's the only job that has contacted me back. I need the experience so that I can get my foot in the door. If I don't get this job I don't even know what I will do. I have also looked at many non profit organizations for jobs. The pay is always almost so low that I could not pay my bills and live off of it. They say this is the worst time for college graduates to find a job and my goodness they are right. Health education is always the first thing they cut when budgets are shrinking.

I definitely understand your situation. I received my Masters degree in Health Education and Promotion. To this very day I have yet to find a health educator job. Lucky for me I have been in the radiology field for for over 15 years. I love the concept of promoting a healthy lifestyle to individuals in need. Everytime I apply one of the main criteria is having a nursing degree. It is extremely hard to get a nursing degree and honestly new nursing graduates are not hired as health educators right away. It would be like I was starting all over again when it comes to becoming a nurse. I feel defeated like I wasted my time and money on a Masters degree that I can not even utilize. I am now looking to obtain my CHES. I wish everyone luck.

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