Health educators work with individuals, organizations and communities to bring about behavioral and environmental changes that foster good health. They apply theories and principles of behavioral and social sciences to design, organize, implement, communicate and evaluate the effects of education programs and strategies related to health behaviors of individuals, families, organizations and communities.
• assess the health needs of an individual or group by collecting and analyzing information about health status, social and cultural environments, needs and interests
and available resources.
• provide individual health counseling and referrals.
• research, design and present health education programs to increase knowledge,
modify attitudes and adopt healthy behaviors.
• develop educational curricula for a variety of settings and learners.
• facilitate discussion and decision making within groups.
• serve as a resource for health information and consultant for those requesting
assistance in solving health-related problems.
Health educators may specialize according to a health concern, illness or work setting:
• Community public health educators focus on public health issues.
• School and college health educators teach health education courses.
• Patient and family health educators work primarily with other health care
professionals in hospitals, clinics and health maintenance organizations (HMO).
• Work site health educators and wellness directors plan and manage on-the-job health promotion programs.
Health educators may work alone, with groups of clients, or with other health and human service professionals in health departments, community organizations, corporations, hospitals, schools and government agencies.
Average Salary Range
$26,000 – $40,000
Students interested in becoming health educators should take the most challenging school courses available in English, science, speech and math. They should seek accredited undergraduate (bachelor’s degree) and graduate level programs in health education and public health.
Certified health education specialists also must pass a written exam. Special licensing is required for health educators who become classroom teachers
American Public Health Association
800 I St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 777-2742 (APHA)
American Association for Health Education
1900 Association Drive
Reston, VA 20191-1599
1-800-213-7193 or (703) 476-3437
Society for Public Health Education
750 First St., N.E., Suite 910
Washington, D.C. 20002-4242