As the focus on wellness and prevention increases, the need for more qualified, bilingual health educators in Western Massachusetts is expected to grow.
Health educators help people gain the knowledge and skills they need to prevent illnesses and develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Keep people healthier by educating them about wellness and preventative care
- Help people manage illness by teaching them about their diagnosis and how it may affect their lifestyle
- Identify community health needs through data collection and analysis
- Train other health care professionals in ways to better interact with patients
Employment opportunities can be found in:
- Non-profit organizations
- Doctors’ offices
- Private business
Education and training requirements
Health educators are not required to be licensed. If, however, a health educator teaches in a public school, he or she will be required to meet the Massachusetts teacher licensing requirements.
The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing sponsors the voluntary Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential, available to entry-level health educators who have at least a bachelor’s degree and pass a certification exam. This organization also offers the advanced level Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) credential.
Health educators are also expected to have:
- An accurate understanding of the healthcare needs of the communities that they serve
- Up-to-date knowledge of their local and regional healthcare systems
- Strong cultural competence skills
Western MA Fast Facts
- Workers in Pioneer Valley: 220
- Education Requirements: Masters Degree
- Entry Level Wage: $19/hour
- Experienced Wage: $32/hour
- Learn More at: VCN.org
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