How to Become a Health Educator

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Contributor, Benzinga
May 21, 2020

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Interested in educating others on ways to lead healthier lifestyles? A career as a health educator may be a good fit. You can earn a living doing meaningful work and make a difference in the communities you serve. 

Benzinga is here to show you how to become a health educator. 

Health Educator Overview

What will be your core duties as a health educator? How’s the compensation? Is there a demand for health educators? Do you need a college degree? These are all valid questions to ask before deciding to pursue a career as a health educator. 

Job Description

In this role, you will impart health and wellness knowledge to individuals in the communities you serve. This is done by evaluating the health needs of these communities, creating educational resources, analyzing the material's effectiveness and managing other health education staff who facilitate programs. Health educators also help individuals in these communities access healthcare resources and advocate for more viable health policies and resources.

This career allows you to work in many sectors. Health educators land roles in businesses, colleges, health departments and facilities, middle schools, high schools and nonprofit entities. 

Your roles and responsibilities will vary by where you’re employed, but you can expect to work 40 hours per week. Some evening and weekend hours may be required to host programs. 

Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for health educators was $55,220 in May 2019. Here are the salary averages for the top industries who employ health educators: 

  • Government: $57,410
  • Hospitals: $64,680
  • Individual and family services: $42,710 
  • Outpatient care centers: $52,360
  • Religious, civic, grantmaking and professional organizations: $49,340

Education Requirements

You will need a bachelor’s degree in health education or health promotion to qualify for this role. It’s also ideal if you complete an internship that gives you real-world experience. 

Consider obtaining the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential if you really want to impress employers.

A master’s degree in community health education, health promotion, public health education or school health education is ideal if you want to impress employers. 

Job Outlook

The demand for health educators is expected to grow by 10% through 2028, notes This is 5% more than the average projected growth rate for all occupations.  

Steps to Becoming a Health Educator 

Here’s a simple step-by-step process you can follow to become a health educator. 

1. Enroll in a Bachelor’s Degree Program 

When evaluating bachelor’s degree programs, confirm that the college or university is accredited. Also, be mindful of the course offerings and confirm they align with your career goals.

You also want a bachelor’s degree program that features accomplished faculty and high job placement rates for recent graduates. Dig into the online resources to learn more about how the instructors serve students and where alumni are now employed. 

Already have college credits? Look for schools that offer degree completion programs for aspiring health educators? This will save you loads of time and money as you work toward earning your degree. 

Most importantly, review the cost of attendance for your top selections. Institutions with steep tuition and fees should be eliminated from your list. It’s not sensible to spend several thousands more to achieve the same end results. 

2. Complete an Internship 

An internship allows you to work in the field and learn from other educators who have extensive experience. You can ask about best practices, tips for success, common challenges and mistakes to avoid as a practicing health educator. This also gives you a competitive advantage when applying for jobs because the employer will know that you can execute the duties the job calls for. 

3. Sharpen Your Skills with an Online Course 

Online courses allow you to level up your skills without spending a fortune. There are options for all skill levels and at varying price points and you can work through the material when it’s convenient for you. 

4. Get Certified 

The CHES credential offered by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing mandates that you pass an exam. You must also complete 75 hours of continuing education every 5 years to keep your credentials. 

Best Universities for Becoming a Health Educator 

Here are the top online degree programs for aspiring health educators. 

1. University of Louisiana – Lafayette

The University of Louisiana offers an online Bachelor of Science in kinesiology with a health promotion and wellness concentration. The program will equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to pass the CHES exam on the first attempt. You will study health and sexuality, nutrition for fitness and sports, anatomy and physiology, occupational health and safety, stress management and more. Students also complete an internship in health promotion and wellness. 

2. Eastern Oregon University

Planning to earn a master’s degree in health education? Consider an online Bachelor of Arts or Science in human and health performance from Eastern Oregon University Online. The curriculum covers the mechanics of the human body and both psychological and physiological processes that facilitate health and movement. You can also take advantage of internship opportunities, capstone experiences and community partnerships to gain hands-on experiences while enrolled in the program. 

These online courses are an excellent way to expand your health and wellness knowledge. 

1. Become an Expert in Health and Wellness

Source: Udemy

Become an Expert in Health and Wellness teaches you the basics of achieving optimal wellness in a way that’s easy to understand. You will learn how to create wellness plans, fitness and nutrition programs. There are also lessons on eliminating human toxins from the body, enhancing fitness regimens and minimizing stress.

The class includes 8 lectures condensed into 1 hour of on-demand video and 1 downloadable resource. You will also receive a certification of completion when you reach the finish line. 

It’s co-instructed by Greg Haitz, health expert and coach, and Daniel Lonquist, wellness doctor. The enrollment fee is only $19.99 and grants you lifetime access to the course material. 

2. Internationally Accredited Diploma in Health and Wellness 

Source: Udemy

Offered by Fabulous Body, this Udemy bestseller is another ideal way to supplement what you’re learning in the classroom. It covers the 5 key bio markets to get tested on, mental and emotional health, spiritual health, physical health and more. 

Register today to unlock 3 hours of on-demand video lectures, 6 articles, 2 downloadable resources and 1 practice test. You can get started for only $69.99 and the course is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the material. 

Facilitator Akash Sehrawat is a board-certified holistic health practitioner. He’s also the founder of the wellness company Fabulous Body. 

Prepare for a Career as a Health Educator 

If you’re ready to make your career goal a reality, check out our top recommendations. Evaluate the online degree programs and courses to find the most suitable option and get to work. With persistent and strategic networking, you will be well on your way to landing a rewarding role as a health educator. 

Southern New Hampshire University Online

SNHU Online Offers:

  1. Flexible schedules
  2. Affordable tuition
  3. Online tutoring
  4. Access to electronic research materials
  5. Specialized academic advising
  6. Supportive online community