In the United States, the teaching profession is considered to be among the most desirable. Indeed, public school teachers receive an above average compensation which, to an average American, is just perfect. There is no wonder, then, why many want to become educators – especially health educators. So, how can you become a health educator?
A health educator, by the way, is not the same as other kinds of educators and teachers. Health educators are actually employed at hospitals, clinics, and other health centers and their primary job is to educate patients about the status of their health.
Go to college
Of course, the most basic requirement for you to qualify as a health educator, you need first to get a college degree. If you get a degree on health sciences, you will have an advantage over other applicants. Learning how to become a health educator would be futile if one does not have a college diploma. This is a harsh fact that we all must accept.
You need to get this, definitely. A certification is required by most – if not all – employers. This certification, which is more commonly known as CHES (Certified Health Educator Specialist) certification, would mean that you are qualified as a health instructor. Generally, you can get this from the university or college that you have graduated. And, of course, you can only get one if have a degree in health education, or other related courses. Depending on which state you reside, you will need to take a test or two.
Acquire graduate diploma
While getting a college degree is enough to make you qualify as a health educator, sometimes, especially in these hard competitive times, it is not enough to give you an edge. If you want to stand out among the rest, you need to move up a notch by getting a Master’s degree in health education. This is a pretty expensive course, but it is definitely worth every penny.
If you have the brains, you can actually apply for scholarships. All accredited universities and colleges have scholarships as they are mandated by law to offer those.
Attending seminars, trainings, symposiums, and workshops help you in two ways: first, it will help you enhance your skills as a health educator and update your knowledge of the different things that you should be well informed about; and, secondly, the certificates that you will get out of these seminars and trainings will give you additional points when you apply as a health educator in any hospital in any state.
The aforementioned pointers will definitely help you get a job as a health educator. However, one important thing that you should always have is the love for work. Make sure that you enjoy doing what you do; otherwise, you are going to shortchange the patients, and you are going to put yourself in a lot of trouble – legally or administratively, or both.