For community health workers, your health is their business. These professionals devote their careers to building healthy communities by advocating for individuals and groups to meet their wellness needs. Community health workers and educators improve access to health information and care in many ways; they perform basic diagnostic procedures, attend community meetings, advise on and refer people to health services, collect information on the wellness concerns of the local community, develop programs to combat health issues, and much more. Community health workers may work for hospitals, nonprofit organizations, government, doctors’ offices, private businesses, or colleges. Depending on their geographic location and sector, community health workers and educators may do research and develop educational materials or programs surrounding themes such as proper nutrition, immunizations, HIV/AIDs, stress management, or emergency preparedness, among many other topics. While community health workers almost always have an office, many of them spend the majority of their time in the field, distributing flyers, carrying out health awareness campaigns, and attending community meetings. Community health workers often work full-time. If you want to educate people about the importance and availability of healthcare services and work directly with people to address barriers to care, then you may want to become a community health worker or educator. As a relatively new profession, requirements to enter the field are not very consistent. A bachelor’s degree, or a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential may be helpful. Some states have their own certification programs for community health workers. To excel as a community health worker or educator, you must be an excellent writer and oral communicator, compassionate, patient, and dependable. The wellness of individuals and communities can be significantly improved through the effort and dedication of community health professionals.
What they do:
Assist individuals and communities to adopt healthy behaviors. Conduct outreach for medical personnel or health organizations to implement programs in the community that promote, maintain, and improve individual and community health. May provide information on available resources, provide social support and informal counseling, advocate for individuals and community health needs, and provide services such as first aid and blood pressure screening. 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
Desktop publishing 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: