Health education specialists are essential to any public and private health education program and perform a variety of versatile roles which equip, empower, educate, and motivate individuals to live happier, healthier lives.
In health departments, in universities, in private entities, and more, health education specialists are working to ensure those in their communities receive access to the resources they need to accomplish their health and wellness goals.
1. We are investigators.
The first step in determining which programs can benefit a particular community is to do the research. Individuals in the public health education sector, particularly those working for public health departments and those working to promote and manage mental health education programs, should first evaluate the results of research studies which can help inform which programs will be most beneficial.
Certified health education specialists working to create programs in their communities may conduct firsthand research by speaking with individuals in their community to understand their needs, or they may be working alongside other healthcare providers and specialists to evaluate studies which can indicate how new programs can benefit their communities.
2. We are motivators.
Teamwork makes the dream work, and when you have individuals who are passionate about the work they do helping to build up their patients and community, you’ll see a difference in the results.
Our goal as certified health education specialists is to create public health education programs which inspire individuals to become the best versions of themselves. How does this play out in the community? In a variety of ways. Free or low-cost health education programs that provide assistance with weight loss, prenatal care, and even alcohol, drug, and tobacco cessation programs, health education specialists are responsible for creating, implementing, and coordinating a variety of beneficial initiatives.
The role of a certified health education specialist may also allow them to support victims of domestic abuse, write articles for respected journals regarding new research and trends in the health and wellness industry, provide assistance to new moms facing obstacles with breastfeeding, and more.
GUIDE TO HEALTH EDUCATION CAREERS
3. We are teachers.
You’ll find that individuals in the health education community are passionate about what they do. They aim to make the world a healthier place one individual at a time. Many health education specialists have a natural desire to teach others, and their passion for this may be manifested in a variety of ways, such as:
- Educating new moms on breastfeeding techniques
- Educating the public on the dangers of tobacco use
- Working with school districts to create and maintain cafeteria menus and health programs which promote healthy eating and exercise habits among students
- Working as a health coach with patients who are interested in losing weight, creating a nutrition plan, etc.
- Promoting health education in schools by teaching at a post-secondary education level while working with universities to create health programs for students and staff
4. We are advocates.
Health education specialists are advocates who believe in their work and their communities. They work diligently to help educate and inspire others to be the best versions of themselves in both their private and professional lives. Many individuals working in health education careers are instrumental in working to evaluate the needs of a community, advocate for essential programming which can benefit their community, and work to implement these programs which can impact thousands upon thousands.
5. We are superheroes.
Simply put, health education specialists are superheroes who work daily to inspire others. We want to see each and every individual reach their fullest potential, and it begins here, with our daily work of inspiring, advocating, teaching, and encouraging others.
INFOGRAPHIC: What are Health Education Specialists? →
How to Become a Health Educator
Are you interested in a career that allows you to inspire others? Do you have a passion for health and wellness? Consider pursuing a career as a health educator. Your first step is to obtain a degree in a field related to health education. Most private and public universities offer some equivalent of health education programs which can help you prepare for a career as a health education specialist.
How to Become a Certified Health Education Specialist
If you’ve already pursued a degree in a health education field, you may also consider becoming a certified health education specialist through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC). NCHEC credentialing offers an opportunity for health education specialists to demonstrate an understanding of a variety of health education roles.
READ MORE: 7 Responsibilities and Competencies of a Certified Health Education Specialist
Watch the full video about job roles for Certified and Master-Certified Health Education Specialists.