Health Education Specialists

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Also known as:
Certified Diabetes Educator, Certified Health Education Specialist, Community Health Education Coordinator, Diabetes Educator, Health Education Specialist, Health Educator, Public Health Educator, CHW, Community Health Advisor, Community Health Representative

ABOUT HEALTH EDUCATION SPECIALIST CAREERS
Video transcript

People with good health often take it for granted. But a healthy lifestyle is something that most people need to work at. And that's where health educators come in. They help people learn to take responsibility for their own well-being. Either one-on-one or in groups, these professionals meet with clients and assess their needs. Then they develop a program or approach to address those needs. This can range from teaching about making better food choices to explaining how to cope with a specific illness.

They may prepare and distribute health education materials such as reports, bulletins, films, videotapes, posters, and photographs. Excellent inter-personal skills are essential. You must be able to explain complex concepts in ways that are easy for the average person to grasp. In addition it's important to put clients at ease. Many people are reluctant to discuss very personal health issues. A friendly and compassionate is helpful.

To become a health educator, you need to have a thorough understanding of the issues you handle. Many people in this field have a master's degree. This is a growing profession, with opportunities in government, educational institutions, and private companies. As our country continues to move towards putting more focus on preventing illness, health educators will play a vital role in helping people live longer - and better.

SNAPSHOT
Provide and manage health education programs that help individuals, families, and their communities maximize and maintain healthy lifestyles. Use data to identify community needs prior to planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating programs designed to encourage healthy lifestyles, policies, and environments. May link health systems, health providers, insurers, and patients to address individual and population health needs. May serve as resource to assist individuals, other health professionals, or the community, and may administer fiscal resources for health education programs.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
MED
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Design and administer training programs for new employees and continuing education for existing employees.

Collaborate with health specialists and civic groups to determine community health needs and the availability of services and to develop goals for meeting needs.

Design and conduct evaluations and diagnostic studies to assess the quality and performance of health education programs.

Develop operational plans and policies necessary to achieve health education objectives and services.

Develop and maintain health education libraries to provide resources for staff and community agencies.

Develop and present health education and promotion programs, such as training workshops, conferences, and school or community presentations.

Supervise professional and technical staff in implementing health programs, objectives, and goals.

Maintain databases, mailing lists, telephone networks, and other information to facilitate the functioning of health education programs.

Document activities and record information, such as the numbers of applications completed, presentations conducted, and persons assisted.

Prepare and distribute health education materials, such as reports, bulletins, and visual aids, to address smoking, vaccines, and other public health concerns.

Develop and maintain cooperative working relationships with agencies and organizations interested in public health care.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Training and Teaching Others Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Sociology and Anthropology Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
TOP SKILLS
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Learning Strategies Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.