What is a Health Educator?

A Health Educator is a specialized type of Teacher. Also known as: Public Health Educator, Health Promotion Specialist, Health Education Coordinator, Health Consultant, Community Health Educator.

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

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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.

How to become 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.

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