To community health workers and educators, your health is their business. They build healthy communities by educating and advocating for individuals and groups to meet their wellness needs. Community health professionals improve access to health information and care; they perform basic diagnostic procedures, attend community meetings, refer people to health services, collect information on the wellness concerns of the local community, and teach programs to address health issues. They work for hospitals, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, doctors’ offices, private businesses, and colleges. They may conduct research and develop educational programs on themes such as proper nutrition, immunizations, HIV/AIDs, stress management, or emergency preparedness. Community health workers and educators often work full time, and often travel locally to distribute materials and attend community meetings. Key qualities for these workers include communication skills, compassion, patience, and dependability. Job requirements vary, especially for the relatively new field of community health work. A related bachelor’s degree, or a Certified Health Education Specialist credential may be helpful; some health educator positions require a graduate degree.
What they do:
Promote health within a community by assisting individuals to adopt healthy behaviors. 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.
On the job, you would:
Maintain updated client records with plans, notes, appropriate forms, or related information.
Advise clients or community groups on issues related to improving general health, such as diet or exercise.
Identify or contact members of high-risk or otherwise targeted groups, such as members of minority populations, low-income populations, or pregnant women.
Arts and Humanities
Education and Training
teaching and course design
medicine and dentistry
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
talking to others
understanding people's reactions
looking for ways to help people
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
listen and understand what people say
communicate by speaking
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
use rules to solve problems
People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.
They do well at jobs that need:
You might use software like this on the job:
Data base user interface and query software
Electronic health record EHR software
bachelor's degree or associate's degree usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
You might like a career in one of these industries: