What is a Health Educator?

Health educators teach people about behaviours that promote wellness. They develop programs and materials to encourage people to make healthy decisions. Health educators work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, non-profit organizations, government, doctors’ offices, and private business, and colleges. They generally work full time.

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What does a Health Educator do?

Health educators typically do the following:

  • Assess the needs of the people they serve
  • Develop programs and events to teach people about health topics
  • Create and distribute health-related posters, pamphlets, and other educational materials
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of programs and materials
  • Help people find health services or information
  • Supervise staff who implement health education programs
  • Collect and analyze data to learn about their audience and improve programs
  • Advocate for improved health resources and policies.

The duties of health educators vary based on where they work. Most work in health care facilities, colleges, public health departments, nonprofits, and private businesses. Health educators who teach health classes in middle and high schools are considered teachers.

What does it take to be a Health Educator?

Entry-level positions for health educators require a bachelor’s degree in health education or health promotion. These programs teach students theories and methods of health education and help students gain the knowledge and skills to develop health education materials and programs. Most programs include an internship.

Courses in psychology, human development, and a foreign language can be attractive to employers. Some positions, such as those in the federal government or in public health agencies, require a master’s degree. Graduate programs are commonly called community health education, school health education, public health education, or health promotion. Entering a master’s degree program requires a bachelor’s degree, but a variety of undergraduate majors are acceptable.

What is the workplace of a Health Educator like?

Health educators held about 63,400 jobs in 2010. They work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, non-profit organizations, government, doctors’ offices, private business, and colleges. Although most health educators work in an office, they may spend a lot of time away from the office to carry out programs or attend meetings.

How much does a Health Educator earn?

The median annual wage of health educators was $45,830 in May 2010. (The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.) The lowest 10% earned less than $26,730, and the top 10% earned more than $81,430.

Learn more about being a Health Educator