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A Day in the Life of a Health Education Specialist

The day-to-day operations of a health education specialist can vary depending on their job title, work environment, and whether or not they’re client facing. However, there are a few duties and concepts that every health education specialist will touch on every day, such as:

  • The Eight areas of Responsibility
  • Community outreach
  • Educating
  • Networking
  • Dealing with COVID-19-related challenges

The Eight Areas of Responsibility

The Eight Areas of Responsibility contain a comprehensive set of competencies that define the role of a health education specialist. Each role within the field will touch on all of these areas day to day, no matter the job title. It’s important for health education specialists to be familiar with all of these competencies, and expert knowledge of these areas is required if they want to earn a certification. The eight areas of responsibility include:

  • Assessment of Needs and Capacity
  • Planning
  • Implementation
  • Evaluation and Research
  • Advocacy
  • Communication
  • Leadership and Management
  • Ethics and Professionalism

Community Outreach

Regardless of their job title within the health education field, health education specialists will have some kind of contact with the community they’re working in. Whether that’s one-on-one with a patient or reaching out to an entire community to help with their needs, health education specialists are always in and among. This area is where the competencies of communication, advocacy, assessment of needs, and are vital to the success of the communities they’re involved with. See how fellow CHES®, Dolores McGrath, interacts with her community each day in the health education field in our blog.


This may seem a little obvious, but health education specialists spend a lot of their time educating others. However, this can look very different depending on the role. For someone who acts as the face of an organization, this may look like giving presentations or doing TV interviews. For someone who’s a bit more behind the scenes, this may look like doing the research for a presenter or writing an informational blog for their website. Health education can take many different forms within the field, but these specialists are dedicating a large portion of their day-to-day operations to education.


Health education specialists often spend time developing their careers through networking with others in their field. This can include inter-agency collaboration or partnerships, or linking up with school districts to provide students with education or resources. Through networking, professionals can offer each other assistance and support, while establishing long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships. Networking can happen any time and anywhere — sometimes, you can make a connection when you least expect it. Places health education specialists can network include:

  • Conferences
  • Study groups
  • In the office
  • Client meetings
  • Press events
  • Interviews

Dealing with COVID-19-Related Challenges

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, it has become increasingly evident how important and impactful health education specialists are. It is a diverse role, and one that is continually evolving every week as new roadblocks arise. 

For many, the impacts of COVID-19 have caused significant challenges in their day-to-day work as health education specialists. From not being able to physically see patients to struggling to find necessary medical equipment for hospitals, these workers have had to problem-solve in ways they never imagined. A few ways they have adapted to the challenges brought on by the pandemic include:

  • Televisits
  • Reallocating job responsibilities
  • Transferring resources online
  • Trainings in emergency response
  • Increased public health knowledge campaigns
  • Reorganizing previously functioning delivery systems

Read how fellow CHES®, Colleen Hendon, deals with COVID-related challenges in her career in health education.

Let NCHEC Help You Become Certified Today

The mission of NCHEC is to enhance the professional practice of Health Education by promoting and sustaining a credentialed body of Health Education Specialists. To meet this mission, NCHEC certifies health education specialists, promotes professional development, and strengthens professional preparation and practice. Interested in learning more about obtaining your credentials or opportunities for continuing education? View our detailed presentation about certification or contact us today!

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Posted by Melissa Opp at 11:33

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