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Working As a Health Educator

  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $41,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Health Educator Do

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, health educators, and other healthcare and social service 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.


Health educators typically do the following:

  • Assess the health needs of the people and communities they serve
  • Develop programs 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

The duties of health educators, also known as health education specialists, vary with their work settings. Most work in healthcare facilities, colleges, public health departments, nonprofits, and private businesses. Those who teach health classes in middle and high schools are considered teachers. For more information, see the profiles on middle school teachers and high school teachers.

In healthcare facilities, health educators may work one-on-one with patients or with their families. They teach patients about their diagnoses and about any necessary treatments or procedures. They may be called patient navigators because they help consumers find out about their health insurance options and direct people to outside resources, such as support groups or home health agencies. They lead hospital efforts in developing and administering surveys to identify major health issues and concerns of the surrounding communities and developing programs to meet those needs. Health educators also help organize health screenings, such as blood pressure checks, and health classes on topics such as installing a car seat correctly. They also create programs to train medical staff to interact more effectively with patients. For example, they may teach doctors how to explain complicated procedures to patients in simple language.

In colleges, health educators create programs and materials on topics that affect young adults, such as smoking and alcohol use. They may train students to be peer educators and supervise the students’ delivery of health information in person or through social media. Health educators also advocate for campuswide policies to promote health.

In public health departments, health educators administer public health campaigns on topics such as emergency preparedness, immunizations, proper nutrition, or stress management. They develop materials to be used by other public health officials. During emergencies, they may provide safety information to the public and the media. Some health educators work with other professionals to create public policies that support healthy behaviors and environments. They may also oversee grants and grant-funded programs to improve the health of the public. Some participate in statewide and local committees dealing with topics such as aging.

In nonprofits (including community health organizations), health educators create programs and materials about health issues faced by the community that they serve. They help organizations obtain funding and other resources. They may educate policymakers about ways to improve public health and work on securing grant funding for programs to promote health and disease awareness. Many nonprofits focus on a particular disease or audience, so health educators in these organizations limit programs to that specific topic or audience. For example, a health educator may design a program to teach people with diabetes how to better manage their condition or a program for teen mothers on how to care for their newborns.

In private businesses, health educators identify common health problems among employees and create programs to improve health. They work with management to develop incentives for employees to adopt healthy behaviors, such as losing weight or controlling cholesterol. Health educators recommend changes in the workplace to improve employee health, such as creating smoke-free areas.

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.

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How To Become A Health Educator

Health educators need a bachelor’s degree. Some employers may require the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential. Community health workers typically have at least a high school diploma and must complete a brief period of on-the-job training. Some states have certification programs for community health workers.


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.

Some health educator positions require a master’s or doctoral degree. Graduate programs are commonly in community health education, school health education, public health education, or health promotion. A variety of undergraduate majors may be acceptable for entry to a master’s degree program.

Community health workers typically have a high school diploma, although some jobs may require postsecondary education. Education programs may lead to a 1-year certificate or a 2-year associate’s degree and cover topics such as wellness, ethics, and cultural awareness, among others.


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.

Other Experience

Community health workers usually have some knowledge of a specific community, population, medical condition, or disability. The ability to speak a foreign language may be helpful.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

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. To obtain certification, candidates must pass an exam that is aimed at entry-level health educators who have completed at least a bachelor’s degree. To maintain their certification, they must complete 75 hours of continuing education every 5 years. There is also the Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) credential for health educators with advanced education and experience.

Most states do not require community health workers to become certified, however voluntary certification exists or is being considered or developed in a number of states. Requirements vary but may include completing an approved training program. For more information, contact your state’s board of health, nursing, or human services.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Health educators collect and analyze data in order to evaluate programs and to determine the needs of the people they serve.

Instructional skills. Health educators and community health workers should be comfortable with public speaking so that they can lead programs, teach classes, and facilitate discussion with clients and families.

Interpersonal skills. Health educators and community health workers interact with many people from a variety of backgrounds. They must be good listeners and be culturally sensitive to respond to the needs of the people they serve.

Problem-solving skills. Health educators and community health workers must think creatively about how to improve the health of the community through health education programs. In addition, they may need to solve problems that arise in planning programs, such as changes to their budget or resistance from the community they are serving.

Writing skills. Health educators and community health workers develop written materials to convey health-related information. Health educators also write proposals to develop programs and apply for funding.

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Health Educator Career Paths

Health Educator
Program Coordinator Consultant Project Manager
Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Consultant Case Manager
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Team Leader Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor Case Manager
Medical Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Instructor Adjunct Professor
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor Nursing Director
Clinical Services Director
11 Yearsyrs
Consultant Founder Board Member
Advisory Board Member
5 Yearsyrs
Instructor Administrator Registered Nurse Case Manager
Director Of Health Services
10 Yearsyrs
Instructor Administrator Registered Nurse Supervisor
Wellness Director
7 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Clinical Supervisor Nursing Director
Health Director
9 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Adjunct Faculty Clinician
Clinical Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Adjunct Professor Education Consultant
Educational Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Faculty Nurse Educator Occupational Health Nurse
Health Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Administrator Registered Nurse Case Manager
Health Care Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Education Coordinator Educational Programs Coordinator
Education Program Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Home Health Nurse Legal Nurse Consultant Quality Improvement Coordinator
Quality Improvement Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Wellness Coordinator Health Coach
Wellness Program Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Coach Health Coach
Wellness Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Diabetes Educator 3.6 years
Health Educator 3.0 years
Community Educator 2.4 years
Health Coach 2.1 years
Nutrition Educator 2.0 years
Health Promoter 1.8 years
Peer Educator 1.5 years
Top Careers Before Health Educator
Internship 17.3%
Volunteer 8.5%
Teacher 4.4%
Educator 3.6%
Counselor 3.3%
Instructor 3.2%
Top Careers After Health Educator
Internship 9.4%
Volunteer 7.2%
Educator 4.9%
Consultant 4.7%
Teacher 4.5%
Instructor 3.9%
Manager 3.2%
Director 2.9%

Do you work as a Health Educator?

Average Yearly Salary
Show Salaries
Min 10%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Highest Paying City
Baltimore, MD
Highest Paying State
Avg Experience Level
2.6 years
How much does a Health Educator make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Health Educator in the United States is $41,592 per year or $20 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $27,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $61,000.

Real Health Educator Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Health Educator, Global Pediatric Services Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Boston, MA May 13, 2016 $93,226
Health Educator Chinese Hospital Association San Francisco, CA Sep 14, 2016 $90,000 -
Health Educators Sky Blue Holdings LLC San Diego, CA Mar 12, 2015 $83,480
Health Educator, KI Energy KI Fitness America, Inc. Clinton, NJ Sep 21, 2016 $83,480
Manager Health Educator Prime Healthcare Management, Inc. Ontario, CA Sep 21, 2016 $83,271
Health Educators Foothill Health Center San Jose, CA Jul 27, 2015 $83,200
Health Educator Advanced Contracting Solutions, LLC New York, NY Jan 08, 2016 $68,871
Health Educator Life and Discovery, Inc. Frederick, MD Sep 14, 2015 $66,805
Performance Improvement Specialist & Health Educator American Home Care Express Inc. Lincolnwood, IL Oct 01, 2015 $65,219
Health Educator (Patient Advocate) Premier Staffing Services of New York, Inc. Valhalla, NY Oct 05, 2016 $65,000
Health Educator-WIC Program Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation Bethel, AK Oct 01, 2015 $65,000 -
Health Educator United Staffing Registry Inc. NY Jul 26, 2015 $62,047 -
Health Educator Natural Acupuncture & Wellness PC New York, NY Jan 09, 2016 $45,914
Health Educator Infection Control Preventist Big Sandy Medical Center, Inc. Big Sandy, MT Mar 15, 2015 $45,288
Health and Sports Educator Elita, Inc. Houston, TX Jan 03, 2016 $45,000
Health Educator Evergreen Medical Clinic, P.C. New York, NY Nov 19, 2015 $45,000
Health Educator Triple J International Dba Diamond Health Care Ser Industry, CA Jul 23, 2015 $45,000
Bilingual Health Educator Latino Community Development Agency Oklahoma City, OK Mar 25, 2016 $44,975
Health Educator Latino Community Development Agency Oklahoma City, OK Jan 23, 2015 $44,975
Health Educator RREM, Inc. Chicago, IL Aug 21, 2015 $43,827
Health Educator Korean Community Services, Inc. Buena Park, CA Jul 10, 2016 $38,834
Health Educator Unified Care Providers, Inc. Irvine, CA Mar 08, 2016 $38,834
Health Educator New England Sports Academy Westwood, MA Oct 01, 2015 $38,376
Health Educator Cybermed Corporation East Brunswick, NJ Mar 11, 2016 $38,129 -
Health Educator Archangel Home Health, Inc. Downey, CA May 01, 2015 $37,835
Health Educator TMS Medical Associates of New York, PLLC New York, NY Sep 25, 2016 $37,566
Health Educator Purpose Driven Home Health LLC Bakersfield, CA Sep 11, 2015 $37,128
Dental Health Educator R.E. Holdings, LLC Waterbury, CT Aug 25, 2015 $37,000

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Top Skills for A Health Educator

  1. Community Outreach
  2. Health Curriculum
  3. Weight Loss
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assisted with health education and promotional activities in public schools and scheduled community outreach clinics in coordination with the medical providers.
  • Develop and implement health curriculum and workshops addressing diseases and health concerns for professionals and individuals.
  • Provided weight management support through weekly education classes and telephone follow-up to patients in a medically supervised weight loss program.
  • Plan, coordinate, market and conduct evidence-based programs and communication activities aimed at health improvement and disease prevention.
  • Collaborated with other Tribal Programs in the development of a culturally appropriate diabetes prevention curriculum for k-12th grade reservation schools.


Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Health Educators

  1. West Virginia
  2. Georgia
  3. Maryland
  4. Delaware
  5. South Carolina
  6. Oklahoma
  7. Kentucky
  8. Pennsylvania
  9. Rhode Island
  10. South Dakota
  • (30 jobs)
  • (185 jobs)
  • (93 jobs)
  • (16 jobs)
  • (143 jobs)
  • (28 jobs)
  • (36 jobs)
  • (214 jobs)
  • (13 jobs)
  • (11 jobs)

Health Educator Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 9,196 Health Educator resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Health Educator Resume

View Resume Examples

Health Educator Demographics










Hispanic or Latino


Black or African American





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Foreign Languages Spoken








































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Health Educator Education


University of Phoenix


Walden University


San Francisco State University


New York University


University of California - Berkeley


University of Illinois at Chicago


Capella University


Liberty University


George Washington University


Boston University


San Diego State University


Loma Linda University


San Jose State University


Temple University


Emory University


University of Florida


Ball State University


Florida International University


University of North Carolina at Greensboro


University of South Florida

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Public Health


Health Education








Public Health Education




Public Relations


Health Sciences And Services


Health Care Administration


Social Work




Health And Wellness


Food And Nutrition






Human Services


Counseling Psychology


Elementary Education



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What Is It Like To Work As A Health Educator



May 26, 2019 on Zippia

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Health Educator.. Show More

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Helping other people who can't help themself.. Show More

What do you NOT like?

Not teaming up because I trust team work is always the best to acquire knowledge and provide good result... Show More

Top Health Educator Employers

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Jobs From Top Health Educator Employers

Health Educator Videos

A Day in the Life - Health Educator

What is a Health Educator?

The Curious Business of a Health Educator: Lara Lauzon at TEDxUVic

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