Career Choice: Health Educator

Career Choice: Health Educator
  • Type: Career Type
  • Opening Intro -

    Encouraging people to eat right can lead to healthier and longer lives.

    First Lady Michelle Obama has made child nutrition her cause, using her position as the wife of the president of the United States to encourage families to eat right.

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A health educator also encourages people to embrace healthy eating habits, by evaluating and implementing programs that lead to improved nutrition. A bachelor’s degree is generally required for this position, with some employers requiring previous experience, such as an internship. A master’s degree is advantageous, as this advanced work allows the educator to teach at the college level.

Education

Count on having at least a bachelor’s degree to work as a health educator. Courses in human development, nutrition, psychology in addition to foreign language skills are helpful. You must be comfortable in working with people and have a desire to help them to eat wisely. To work in school or community health systems, you will most likely need a master’s degree in public health, education, science or the arts. Pursue credentials as a Certified Health Education Specialist from the National Commission of Health Education Credentialing, Inc. to give yourself an advantage.

view current position in health education

Salary

The mean annual wage for health educators as of May 2010 was $50,270 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries ranged from $26,730 to $81,430, with a median salary of $45,830. Those in the middle 50 percent earned from $34,240 to$62,670.

Employment

Of the 58,150 health educators identified by the BLS in 2010, approximately 1 in 6 worked for general medical and surgical hospitals, earning $58,850 per year on average. Local governments averaged $46,820, while individual and family services offered $38,430. Outpatient care services and grantmaking and giving services each employed more than 3,000 health educators, paying $41,940 and $50,050, respectively. Top pay came through the federal government with health educators averaging $96,040 per year.

Location

Pay for health educators varied greatly across the nation reports the BLS, with the highest mean wages found in Washington, D.C., at $85,140. Adjacent Maryland, at $77,560, led the states followed by Georgia at $70,280. Rhode Island and Nevada occupied the next two spots, with mean wages of $65,130 and $61,960, respectively. On the other end of the spectrum, with mean wages well below the national average were Arkansas, Wyoming and Montana, with pay averaging $38,340, $38,360 and $39,700, respectively.

Forecast

Perhaps Mrs. Obama’s campaign or healthier eating habits is paying off as the BLS has forecast 18 percent growth for health educators through 2018, a rate that is much higher than the average for all jobs. You’ll have a better chance in procuring employment if you complete an internship or volunteer assignment. A graduate degree can help open doors to select positions.

References

O-Net Online: Summary Report for: 21-1091.00 – Health Educators

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: 21-1091 Health Educators

 
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Last update on 2019-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Categories: Career Planning