Senior Health Educator

Senior Health Educator Careers

Educators are one of the most valuable resources on the job market, but many teachers face budget cuts and lower salaries that force them to look into other lines of work.  Public health careers can offer a viable solution for these professionals since this sector has opening in a number of specialties.  The position of senior health educator is just one such options.

Public health jobs span a number of disciplines that all help to generate community health and wellness.  The job of senior health educator can improve the quality of life for many individuals, and may also offer you a well paying job that offers great satisfaction.

What Is A Senior Health Educator?

Senior health educators conduct lessons, interactive workshops, and lectures with the elderly population in order to inform them about health concerns and lifestyle changes that may improve wellness and quality of life.  These educators address topics that are specific to this population, and also tailor lessons to individuals and groups within the community.  Educational models will address current chronic and acute issues, as well as concerns that may develop over time.  Senior health educators will also provide resources for seeking treatment and help, and will be present to answer questions on any of the topics that are discussed.

As a senior health educator, you would have the following tasks as a part of your work:

  •   Conducting workshops and lectures on health concerns for elderly populations.
  •   Interviewing clients and assessing needs to structure your lessons specifically.
  •   Developing resource and awareness strategies for your intended population.
  •   Writing reports about progress and outcomes.
  •   Conducting individual sessions for specific health education

Characteristics

The following professional skills can also aid you in your employment as a senior health educator:

  •   Professionalism:  You will need to be able to conduct yourself in a professional and ethical manner, which includes respecting cultural differences and population diversity.
  •   Interpersonal skills:  You will want to be able to connect with your students and gain trust in order to foster sharing and learning.
  •   Observation:  This job may also require that you outline observational changes that occur over the course of your lessons.
  •   Organization:  You will need to keep track of a number of lesson plans and educational focuses for your different groups.

Nature Of The Work

As a senior health educator, you may be conducting lessons in community centers and hospitals.  You may also be on site in long term care, assisted living, and adult day care facilities.  You would need to travel to several sites over the course of the week and teach in different facilities on different days.

You will also be required to perform some administrative duties, such as lesson planning, creating handouts and resource materials, and recording general observations on your clients.  If your position is a part of an outreach or initiative program, you would also need to write progress reports that document the impact of your efforts.

Education And Training

In order to work as a senior health educator you will need at least a four year Bachelor’s degree, although a Master’s in education can increase your pay scale.  Your background should include education, social services, biology, or other subjects related to health and wellness.  Teaching experience is appreciated, but it is not a requirement for all employers. 

Your educator certification should be current.  This requires that you pass the CHES exam to be able to teach.  In order to maintain the certification, you will need to attend continuing education courses for credit hours.

Entry level positions for senior health educators start around $37,000, but this may be higher if you have a graduate degree.   The median range salary for this position is around $45,000 per year, and the top 10% make nearly $90,000 annually.  This can provide good incentive to enter into this line of work.

Senior health educators can also expect considerable job expansion over the next ten years.  Current projections indicate a 21% increase over current employment numbers.  This translates to the creation of roughly 22,000 jobs in this field, and that includes entry level and advancement positions.  Between the competitive pay, industry growth, and the fact that you are actively participating in the welfare of your community, the career path of senior health educator appears to be an attractive job option.   


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