A health education specialist promotes healthy living and disease prevention. At a minimum, this career path requires a bachelor's degree, but many health education specialists have master's degrees, as well. This is a great career for someone with a passion for health and fitness who also enjoys teaching, demonstrating and working with a variety of people.
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Health education specialists are significant for the work they do--encouraging healthy living through education. They work to help people understand the factors that cause disease and injury, so they can prevent them in the future. They offer information about healthy diets and regular exercise. They also create healthy screenings for at-risk communities.
Health education specialists generally work for government agencies, schools, non-profit and medical facilities.
Those who work in government positions often focus on public health issues, creating materials, presentations and educational campaigns.
Within schools, they work with students to offer information on everything from breast cancer screenings to smoking to safe sex to drugs and alcohol.
In non-profit, health educators develop campaigns for the public on various health issues, whether on one specific health issue or a broad range.
And in medical clinics, health education specialists work closely with patients and families to offer education on the patient's particular health issues.
Health education specialists must have a bachelor's degree in health education and many go on to earn master's degrees to advance in their fields. Other training for this role includes continuing education courses and workshops in the field. In addition, some health education specialists earn a Certified Health Education Specialist certification through the National Commission of Health Education Credentialing, Inc.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook for 2010-11, health education is a career field that's growing faster than average. This growth will continue to be fuelled by the increasing cost of health care and need for more education on health issues, which has been proven to reduce medical costs.
The benefits of this career include a pretty standard 40-hour work week with few nights and weekends (unless employed in a hospital setting) as well as an average salary of £28,600 in 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With the rising need for health care, this career path continues to grow and offer new job opportunities.
People who work in this field also have the satisfaction of helping to change and improve lives through health education, nutrition and exercise plans that can reduce the incidence of disease and injury in communities.
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