Health educators promote positive, healthy lifestyles in their communities. They spread information regarding health and responsible management of genetic disorders, and sometimes are involved in raising awareness of genetic disorders among the public.
The Human Genome Project has generated a massive amount of information about human genomics and genetics. Health educators help make this information accessible to healthcare professionals, policy makers, fellow educators, and the general public. They provide a better understanding of genomic and genetic findings and how they influence individual and community health.
Health educators promote and improve community well-being by helping individuals adopt healthy attitudes and behavior. They also collect and analyze data critical to planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating programs to encourage healthy lifestyles, policies, and environments.
The demand for health educators is projected to increase considerably as the result of a growing emphasis on preventative healthcare.
Working Conditions & Context
Heath educators can work locally or focus on a larger region. They can work for public health departments, national corporations, school systems, or for community or volunteer organizations. Most health educators address groups in person, so public speaking skills are a necessity.
It is important to be able to take genetic and other medical information and explain it in a manner that can be understood by the average person. Health educators discuss genetic disorders and genomic research with both everyday people and health professionals, so it is important to know how to address each group effectively.
A typical Salary Range for this career is $34,978 - $67,480 annually.
The Median Income for this career is about $51,149 annually.
Students interested in health education should take a variety of courses, including biology, English, public speaking, behavioral science, social science, and health. Many universities offer degrees in health education, so that major should be selected, with other classes supplementing that curriculum.
Basic positions may be available with only a Bachelor's degree, but typically at least a Master's degree will be required for positions with greater responsibility.
Certification & Licensing:
Voluntary credentialing as a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) is available from the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC).
The American Association for Health Education
The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing
** More than a minimum degree may be required for some careers.