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Career profile Health Education Specialist

Also known as Certified Diabetes Educator, Clinical Instructor, Community Health Consultant, Education Coordinator, Health Education Coordinator, Health Education Specialist, Health Educator, Health Promotion Specialist, Public Health Educator, Public Information Officer

Health Education Specialist

Also known as Certified Diabetes Educator, Clinical Instructor, Community Health Consultant

Interests Profile
  • Social
  • Enterprising
  • Artistic
Pay Range
$33,720 - $101,890 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Education and Training
  • Administrative
Core tasks
  • Prepare and distribute health education materials, such as reports, bulletins, and visual aids, to address smoking, vaccines, and other public health concerns.
  • Develop and maintain cooperative working relationships with agencies and organizations interested in public health care.
  • Maintain databases, mailing lists, telephone networks, and other information to facilitate the functioning of health education programs.
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What does a Health Education Specialist do?

Health Education Specialists provide and manage health education programs that help individuals, families, and their communities maximize and maintain healthy lifestyles.

In addition, Health Education Specialists

  • use data to identify community needs prior to planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating programs designed to encourage healthy lifestyles, policies, and environments,
  • may link health systems, health providers, insurers, and patients to address individual and population health needs,
  • may serve as resource to assist individuals, other health professionals, or the community, and may administer fiscal resources for health education programs.

What kind of tasks does a Health Education Specialist perform regularly?

Health Education Specialists are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Prepare and distribute health education materials, such as reports, bulletins, and visual aids, to address smoking, vaccines, and other public health concerns.
  • Develop and maintain cooperative working relationships with agencies and organizations interested in public health care.
  • Maintain databases, mailing lists, telephone networks, and other information to facilitate the functioning of health education programs.
  • Document activities and record information, such as the numbers of applications completed, presentations conducted, and persons assisted.
  • Develop and present health education and promotion programs, such as training workshops, conferences, and school or community presentations.
  • Supervise professional and technical staff in implementing health programs, objectives, and goals.
  • Develop, conduct, or coordinate health needs assessments and other public health surveys.
  • Collaborate with health specialists and civic groups to determine community health needs and the availability of services and to develop goals for meeting needs.
  • Provide program information to the public by preparing and presenting press releases, conducting media campaigns, or maintaining program-related Web sites.
  • Develop operational plans and policies necessary to achieve health education objectives and services.
  • Develop and maintain health education libraries to provide resources for staff and community agencies.
  • Design and conduct evaluations and diagnostic studies to assess the quality and performance of health education programs.
  • Develop, prepare, and coordinate grant applications and grant-related activities to obtain funding for health education programs and related work.
  • Provide guidance to agencies and organizations on assessment of health education needs and on development and delivery of health education programs.
  • Design and administer training programs for new employees and continuing education for existing employees.

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

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

What is a Health Education Specialist salary?

The median salary for a Health Education Specialist is $56,500, and the average salary is $62,120. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Health Education Specialist salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Health Education Specialists earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Health Education Specialists earn less than $33,720 per year, 25% earn less than $41,870, 75% earn less than $77,300, and 90% earn less than $101,890.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Health Education Specialists is expected to change by 12.4%, and there should be roughly 7,400 open positions for Health Education Specialists every year.

Median annual salary
$56,500
Typical salary range
$33,720 - $101,890
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
12.4%

What personality traits are common among Health Education Specialists?

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 Health Education Specialist are usually higher in their Social and Enterprising interests.

Health Education Specialists 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.

Also, Health Education Specialists typically have moderate Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

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 Health Education Specialist tend to value Relationships, Independence, and Achievement.

Most importantly, Health Education Specialists 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, Health Education Specialists strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Health Education Specialists 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.

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 Health Education Specialists must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, cooperation, and dependability.

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

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

What education and training do Health Education Specialists need?

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

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

Educational degrees among Health Education Specialists

  • 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 Health Education Specialists

Health Education Specialists may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, education and training, or administrative knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Health Education Specialists 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.
Administrative
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
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.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Important Abilities needed by Health Education Specialists

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

Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
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.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

Critical Skills needed by Health Education Specialists

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.

Health Education Specialists frequently use skills like speaking, writing, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Health Education Specialists, ranked by their relative importance.

Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Writing
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
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.
Learning Strategies
Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

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.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.