For many, helping others is a calling that can’t be ignored. Knowing that you’re making a positive impact on the lives of others is important to a huge number of people, and with that in mind it isn’t hard to see why choosing to pursue a career in the health field continues to be popular. Add to that the fact that health careers offer high salaries, good job growth potential, and numerous other professional benefits, and it becomes clear that it’s a field you may want to consider entering yourself.
It’s also important to note that those who don’t want to become nurses or doctors and provide direct health care to a patient still have options in the field. One option worth considering is to enter the field of health education and health promotion. This area of focus allows you to improve the public health through education rather than hands on care, and could be exactly what you’re looking for in a job. Keep reading to learn more about careers in health education and health promotion.
What Is a Health Education Health Promotion Expert?
A health education or health promotion expert is someone who has spent time mastering a wide range of knowledge in the health field and who works to educate the public about health initiatives, healthy living, and more. They will find work in a variety of different facilities, but their primary focus will always be on the promotion of good health practices in order to improve the overall health of the public.
Potential job duties you’ll likely have to be responsible for if you become a health education or health promotion expert include the following.
- Assess the health and wellness needs of a population
- Identify risk areas or areas where health issues are predominate
- Work to develop educational programs, events, and literature that help to teach the public about the health issues they’re facing and how to overcome them.
- Counsel groups or individuals about different health issues and how to manage them
- Supervise staff who work on any educational program designed by you
- Monitor and evaluate the overall effectiveness of the different programs put in place to boost public health
- Determine any modifications to programs that may need to be introduced, and take the time needed to introduce them
- Collect samples for study
- Meet with public health officials to help develop projects, resources, and other efforts to boost public health
- And more
The specific job duties will vary based on where you work, what sector of public health you’re employed in, and more. In general, the focus is on providing quality education to those who need it in an effort to improve their health and well-being.
Nature of the Work
The work will vary, but in general you’ll be in a public sector position that involves a large amount of office work. Some time may be spent in meetings or seminars, and some may be spent in classrooms delivering educational materials to the public, but this is primarily an office-based job. You’ll spend time working on your own as well as conferring with others in the field about different options for dealing with disease, and may even end up traveling to some degree – many health educators travel to schools, community events, and more.
You’ll need to not only work to develop new programs and initiatives, but also pay attention and monitor the progress of existing programs in order to make sure that they’re working properly.
Education and Training
In order to become a health educator or health promotion expert you’ll need to hold at least a bachelor’s degree. Specific requirements will vary from employer to employer, but in general you’ll likely have to complete an internship following coursework. Along with education in a classroom setting, most employers have a strong preference for those who have a history of on the job experience and training. Health educators may also need to become Certified Health Education Specialists.
The average salary for health education and health promotion experts is $41,830 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job growth is excellent, with the demand for these specialists expected to rise by 21 percent over the next ten years. This makes the career path one of the fastest growing in the nation.