Health Educator Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Health Educators, or Public Health Instructors, are responsible for informing people about their own health and wellness and connecting them with resources for maintaining their health in the future. Their duties include teaching workshops, collecting data about community health problems and assisting community members enrolling in public health programs.

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Health Educator Duties and Responsibilities

A Health Educator primary duty is meeting with patients or clients and explaining which wellness resources are available to them. They can then move forward with creating a customized wellness plan to improve their health. Other duties and responsibilities for a Health Educator include:

  • Meet with people to assess their health needs
  • Teach people about behaviors, such as lifestyle changes, that can improve their health
  • Explain what treatment options are available to patients
  • Outline what the treatment process would look like
  • Serve as an ongoing resource for patients and/or clients
  • Explore treatment plans based on factors like a person’s budget, schedule and health goals

What Does a Health Educator Do?

Health Educators can work for the government, non-profits and healthcare providers to help spread information about various public health issues. They tend to focus on issues that can impact most adults such as nutrition, family planning and sexual health, fitness, cancer screenings, vaccinations, hygiene and preventing the spread of infectious disease. Health Educators can perform community outreach by visiting schools, nursing homes, prisons and workplaces. They give out free educational materials on different topics and discuss health concerns with attendees. Health Educators can also prepare people for medical treatment by explaining the steps of a procedure.

Health Educator Skills and Qualifications

Since health education is a customer-facing job, you need candidates with people skills. Look for things like public speaking, interpersonal communication and empathy on resumes. Other key skills and qualifications you might include are:

  • Time management skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • The ability to work independently
  • Teaching skills
  • Organization skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • An understanding of the healthcare industry
  • An understanding of local healthcare systems

Health Educator Salary Expectations

$43,000 per year—an estimate based on data we’ve compiled from over 360 employees, job advertisements and similar sources. Pay can fluctuate, though, depending on whether you’re hiring for a part- or full-time role and factors like the education and experience requirements for Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Health Educator Education and Training Requirements

Health Educators must meet several education requirements. At the very least, candidates should have a bachelor’s degree. If you’re hiring a community health worker, however, applicants may only have a high school diploma and some on the job training. Some candidates may have a master’s and you may consider substituting for an associate’s degree or some college hours plus relevant real-world experience. Health Educators should also obtain the Certified Health Education Specialist credential.

Health Educator Experience Requirements

Health Educators can start at the entry-level. In fact, some people may begin in this role with an associate’s degree and the proper certifications and build real-world experience from there. However, if you’re hiring a mid-level worker or want someone with a solid base of experience, look for candidates who’ve worked for two or more years as Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications. You might also narrow your search to people with experience at the same scale and with the same target demographic as your business.

Job Description Samples for Similar Positions

Health education is a unique field, so you might not find everything you need with only this list of specific skills and qualifications. Expand your search to look at similar positions. This will give you a better idea of the responsibilities, experience level and other factors you might include in your posting. A few similar roles to check out are:

Frequently asked questions about Health Educators

 

What is the difference between a Health Educator and a Health Teacher?

Health Educators work with community groups while Health Teachers work at schools. Health Teachers are licensed Teachers who teach school children about age-appropriate health topics according to their state’s curriculum. Health Teachers may also teach other subjects at a public school, while Health Educators specifically focus on health and wellness lessons. Health Educators may travel around and present on various health topics to people of all ages. They can collaborate with Health Teachers to share information with kids and teens and demonstrate how to take care of their bodies.

 

What are the traits of a good Health Educator?

Health Educators should be honest, direct and clear when discussing health issues. They are not squeamish or easily embarrassed when talking about subjects like sexual health and bodily functions. Successful Health Educators are highly empathetic and work to help people improve their own wellbeing. They are aware of the various resources in their community and advocate for the spread of accurate, empowering health and wellness information. Good Health Educators are compelling presenters and have great public speaking skills that keep their workshop attendees engaged when learning about new topics. They practice discretion when discussing someone’s personal medical history.

 

What should you look for on a Health Educator's resume?

Health Educators should have some sort of formal training and background in healthcare or medicine. They should have experience with researching complex subjects and creating reports that are easy to understand. When hiring a Health Educator, look for someone who has worked with the public before, particularly in an administrative or customer service capacity. This shows that they have the aptitude to conduct group lessons and give excellent one-on-one advice and support.

 

What are the daily duties of a Health Educator?

Health Educators may spend a typical day researching various health issues, creating flyers and pamphlets and distributing them in public locations. They reach out to healthcare providers on behalf of community members to gain more information and advocate for others to get the care they need. Health Educators attend conferences to learn more about specific issues and discover new techniques for shaping health policy.

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