Health education careers are critical to healthy communities. Health education and health sciences professions directly impact the well-being of populations while working as a school nurse, health educator, or wellness coordinator for a corporation or public facility.
A career in health science can follow many paths. Those working in this field have the opportunity to educate their communities on mental health issues and substance abuse. They maintain general health practices by organizing fitness initiatives in businesses. They collect data and discuss wellness concerns with different communities. Here are some of the possible career paths in this field:
Corporate Wellness Program Coordinator
Wellness program coordinators develop, launch and track the success of health initiatives designed to encourage fitness and improve the overall well-being of a company’s employees. Corporate wellness coordinators earn a median salary of just over $45,000.
A corporate wellness coordinator may be an entry-level position, but employers prefer some experience in health programs, human resources or management. Applicants need a bachelor’s degree in health education or a health science. Some candidates pursue a master’s, which can increase career opportunities and salary.
From this position, many coordinators advance to become program directors or managers. Many companies employ wellness program coordinators, including Google, Motley Fool and Zappos.
Public Health and Wellness Coordinator
Public health and wellness coordinators typically work in the education system and public health facilities, but they also work at other government-based medical establishments such as Veterans Administration hospitals and military health clinics.
Their duties are very similar to those of a corporate wellness coordinator; the main difference comes down to whom the programs target. For instance, those working in an elementary school might develop initiatives designed to teach kids healthy eating habits.
Public wellness coordinators earn salaries at a median of $43,000. While the pay is less in this field, employees working for the public often enjoy better benefits packages.
Most companies require one to three years of experience in the field for this position in addition to a bachelor’s degree in a wellness-related field or public health. Organizations with a public wellness coordinator include the House and Senate of the U.S. Congress and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Health Promotion Specialist
A health promotion specialist takes a prominent role in health policy development and initiatives in addition to working with individuals to improve their health. These professionals assess the needs of the community and involve influencers to help make changes.
In a corporate environment, a health promotion specialist usually reports to a company-wide health and well-being executive. This position supports the development and maintenance of a corporation’s health and wellness culture.
The health promotion specialist is not considered an entry-level position as it’s often a policy-impacting position. Three to five years of experience is a minimum requirement in addition to a bachelor’s in health education or a health sciences specialty. Those with a master’s degree are preferred and tend to advance in this track.
Though the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not have specific numbers on this position, it has been reported on several job webpages that the median salary is around $40,000. Some top organizations with this position include GE and the Art Institute of Chicago.
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Health Educator and Community Health Educator
Health educators work in hospitals, wellness centers or at the health department. Often, this position is called a community health educator. As the job title suggests, the primary duty for those in this role is to educate patients, employees and communities on health concerns including mental health, reproductive health, substance abuse and domestic violence, among others.
This role covers a wide array of tasks from assessing the needs of the community served through research and data collection. They then develop programs and offer tools tailored to those needs, such as education programs, intervention efforts and insurance counseling. Some of the goals include preventing illness and evaluating the effectiveness of existing health programs.
The median pay is around $45,000 for the role, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is not usually an entry-level role, and most employers expect candidates to have three to five years of experience. A bachelor’s degree in nursing, health education or health sciences is required, and some organizations prefer a master’s degree for this role.
Medical Communication Strategist
A medical communication strategist is an emerging health science career in the technology field. Those in this role develop written medical and scientific content aimed at clients of a corporation, which is usually pharmaceutical companies. They serve as liaisons between creative teams and scientific and technical teams.
Strategists interpret scientific content and analyze it, then they develop digital content around the information, including briefs, whitepapers, sales documents and other communication materials.
Similar technical writing and communication positions have median salaries of $70,000. In addition to a four-year degree in health sciences or education, the role requires several years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and with digital communications. Companies that employ medical communications strategists include Pfizer, Allergan and MEDZONE.
Start Your Health Education Career
The best health educators earn degrees from the best institutions. The fully online B.S. in Health Sciences at West Virginia State University is accredited by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) and prepares graduates for careers in health education and other health-related fields.
Our program provides you with a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between social factors and health. Through coursework in statistics, nutrition, sociology, health assessment and more, you’ll learn to apply relevant theories and develop education programs that address the health needs of target populations.