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Career profile Community Health Worker

Also known as Apprise Counselor, Community Health Outreach Worker, Community Health Program Coordinator, Community Health Program Representative (Community Health Program Rep), Community Health Promoter, Community Health Worker (CHW), Community Nutrition Educator, HIV CTS Specialist (Human Immunodeficiency Virus Counseling and Testing Services Specialist)

Community Health Worker

Also known as Apprise Counselor, Community Health Outreach Worker, Community Health Program Coordinator

Interests Profile
  • Social
  • Investigative
  • Enterprising
Pay Range
$28,010 - $70,790 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
  • Social Perceptiveness
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Education and Training
  • Administration and Management
Core tasks
  • Perform basic diagnostic procedures, such as blood pressure screening, breast cancer screening, or communicable disease screening.
  • Maintain updated client records with plans, notes, appropriate forms, or related information.
  • Advise clients or community groups on issues related to social or intellectual development, such as education, childcare, or problem solving.
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What does a Community Health Worker do?

Community Health Workers promote health within a community by assisting individuals to adopt healthy behaviors.

In addition, Community Health Workers

  • serve as an advocate for the health needs of individuals by assisting community residents in effectively communicating with healthcare providers or social service agencies,
  • act as liaison or advocate and implement programs that promote, maintain, and improve individual and overall community health,
  • may deliver health-related preventive services such as blood pressure, glaucoma, and hearing screenings,
  • may collect data to help identify community health needs.

What kind of tasks does a Community Health Worker perform regularly?

Community Health Workers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Maintain updated client records with plans, notes, appropriate forms, or related information.
  • Advise clients or community groups on issues related to social or intellectual development, such as education, childcare, or problem solving.
  • Identify or contact members of high-risk or otherwise targeted groups, such as members of minority populations, low-income populations, or pregnant women.
  • Distribute flyers, brochures, or other informational or educational documents to inform members of a targeted community.
  • Contact clients in person, by phone, or in writing to ensure they have completed required or recommended actions.
  • Refer community members to needed health services.
  • Attend community meetings or health fairs to understand community issues or build relationships with community members.

The above responsibilities are specific to Community Health Workers. More generally, Community Health Workers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Communicating with People Outside the Organization
Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

What is a Community Health Worker salary?

The median salary for a Community Health Worker is $42,000, and the average salary is $46,000. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Community Health Worker salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Community Health Workers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Community Health Workers earn less than $28,010 per year, 25% earn less than $33,960, 75% earn less than $54,320, and 90% earn less than $70,790.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Community Health Workers is expected to change by 21.1%, and there should be roughly 8,600 open positions for Community Health Workers every year.

Median annual salary
$42,000
Typical salary range
$28,010 - $70,790
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
21.1%

What personality traits are common among Community Health Workers?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Community Health Worker are usually higher in their Social interests.

Community Health Workers typically have very strong Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Community Health Worker tend to value Relationships, Achievement, and Independence.

Most importantly, Community Health Workers very strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Community Health Workers very strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Lastly, Community Health Workers very strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Community Health Workers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, integrity, and cooperation.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Community Health Workers, ranked by importance:

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

What education and training do Community Health Workers need?

Many Community Health Workers will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Community Health Workers usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Community Health Workers

  • 2.1% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 11.3% completed high school or secondary school
  • 16.2% completed some college coursework
  • 9.2% earned a Associate's degree
  • 37.2% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 20.2% earned a Master's degree
  • 3.7% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Community Health Workers

Community Health Workers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, education and training, or administration and management knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Community Health Workers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Psychology
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Important Abilities needed by Community Health Workers

Community Health Workers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Community Health Workers need abilities such as oral comprehension, oral expression, and written comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Community Health Workers, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.

Critical Skills needed by Community Health Workers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Community Health Workers frequently use skills like active listening, speaking, and social perceptiveness to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Community Health Workers, ranked by their relative importance.

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Writing
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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