The health educator’s career outlook is positive, and anyone who is planning to earn a degree and certification in this area of expertise should have plenty of job opportunities. Health educators teach people about healthy behaviors, promote wellness and show people how to reduce their risk of illness, injury, and disease. Understanding the career outlook for a health educator allows a person to make a sound decision about their career path.
Health educator jobs are available at many different types of places. The most growth in these jobs is expected to be at employers such as local and state governmental agencies. For example, counties and large cities often have an area agency on aging. Public health departments also employ health educators. Large corporations may employ health educators as part of their employee health services. Hospitals and health clinics also have health educators on their teams.
Reasons for Growth
Preventing disease, illness and injury costs less and is less invasive to the patient than treating a disease or injury after it occurs. Governmental agencies and employers aim to improve the health of the population by educating people about healthy lifestyle changes and behaviors that can be done to lower their risk of certain chronic conditions. For example, public health departments often have diabetes education classes to teach people about healthy food choices, exercise, and quitting smoking to lower their risk of getting type 2 diabetes or suffering from complications of the disease.
Projected Number of Jobs and Rate of Growth
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall health educator job outlook has a 16 percent growth rate between 2016 and 2026. The growth will include about 8,900 new positions for health educators and an additional 10,400 jobs for community health workers. Most of these new jobs will be in governmental agencies, non-profit hospitals, health clinics, and large corporations. Additional job opportunities will be available at community centers, small health clinics, schools, nonprofit organizations, and counseling centers. Some private medical practices, wellness centers, and charitable foundations may also hire health educators for patient contact as well as grant writing services.
How to Enhance Job Prospects as a Health Educator
A person who wants to work as a health educator will have the best chances of getting a job if they understand the culture of the community they want to serve. Being bilingual or fluent in multiple languages is also helpful, especially for those who want to work in urban environments or at public health departments or large medical centers. A person could also enhance their job outlook by getting a Community Health Education Specialist certification or a Master of Public Health degree.
Health educators will have many locations and work environments to consider when searching for jobs for the next eight to ten years. Those who hold a master’s degree or have some experience in the medical or education fields may have additional job opportunities, as will those who speak two or more languages. The health educator’s career outlook is a positive one that makes this field of expertise a good choice for people who want to help others and have a passion for health and wellness.