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Career and Education Opportunities for Health Education Specialists in Jacksonville, Florida

There are many career and education opportunities for health education specialists in the Jacksonville, Florida area. About 2,250 people are currently employed as health education specialists in Florida. By 2016, this is expected to grow 33% to about 2,990 people employed. This is better than the national trend for health education specialists, which sees this job pool growing by about 18.1% over the next eight years. Health education specialists generally promote, maintain, and improve individual and community health by assisting individuals and communities to adopt healthy behaviors.

A person working as a health education specialist can expect to earn about $21 hourly or $43,830 yearly on average in Florida and about $21 hourly or $44,000 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for health education specialists are better than earnings in the general category of Counseling and Therapy in Florida and better than general Counseling and Therapy category earnings nationally. People working as health education specialists can fill a number of jobs, such as: certified diabetes educator, family services consultant, and public health instructor.

There are thirty-three schools of higher education in the Jacksonville area, including one within twenty-five miles of Jacksonville where you can get a degree to start your career as a health education specialist. Health education specialists usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years studying to be a health education specialist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Health Education Specialist

Health Education Specialist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, health education specialists promote, maintain, and improve individual and community health by assisting individuals and communities to adopt healthy behaviors. They also collect and analyze data to identify community needs prior to planning, implementing, and evaluating programs designed to encourage healthy lifestyles, policies and environments.

Health education specialists document efforts and record data, such as the numbers of applications completed and persons assisted. They also design and present health education and promotion programs, such as training workshops and school or community presentations. Equally important, health education specialists have to design and maintain cooperative working relationships with agencies and organizations interested in public health care. Finally, health education specialists ready and distribute health education materials and visual aids such as films and posters.

Every day, health education specialists are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for health education specialists to maintain databases and other data to enable the functioning of health education programs. They are often called upon to design operational plans and policies needed to attain health education objectives and services. They also collaborate with health specialists and civic groups to establish community health needs and the availability of services and to evolve goals for meeting needs. They are sometimes expected to design or direct health needs assessments and other public health surveys. Somewhat less frequently, health education specialists are also expected to design and direct grant applications and grant-related efforts to obtain funding for health education programs and related work.

They also have to be able to layout and conduct evaluations and diagnostic studies to gauge the quality and performance of health education programs and supervise professional and technical staff in implementing health programs and goals. And finally, they sometimes have to collaborate with health specialists and civic groups to establish community health needs and the availability of services and to evolve goals for meeting needs.

Like many other jobs, health education specialists must have exceptional integrity and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Jacksonville include:

  • Career Advisor. Counsel individuals and provide group educational and vocational guidance services.
  • Marriage and Family Therapist. Diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, whether cognitive, or behavioral, within the context of marriage and family systems. Apply psychotherapeutic and family systems theories and techniques in the delivery of professional services to individuals, couples, and families for the purpose of treating such diagnosed nervous and mental disorders.
  • Mental Health Counselor. Counsel with emphasis on prevention. Work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental health. May help individuals deal with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; suicide; stress management; problems with self-esteem; and issues associated with aging and mental and emotional health.
  • Rehabilitation Counselor. Counsel individuals to maximize the independence and employability of persons coping with personal, social, and vocational difficulties that result from birth defects, illness, or the stress of daily life. Coordinate activities for residents of care and treatment facilities. Assess client needs and design and implement rehabilitation programs that may include personal and vocational counseling, training, and job placement.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Health Education Specialist Training

University of Florida - Gainesville, FL

University of Florida, 355 Tigert Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611-3115. University of Florida is a large university located in Gainesville, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 51,475 students and an admission rate of 41%. University of Florida has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Community Health Services/Liaison/Counseling which graduated seventy-four and six students respectively in 2008.


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LOCATION INFORMATION: Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida photo by Digon3

Jacksonville is located in Duval County, Florida. It has a population of over 807,815, which has grown by 9.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Jacksonville, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Jacksonville are valued at $173,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 2,592 new homes were built in Jacksonville, down from 3,449 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Jacksonville are health care, finance and insurance, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 21.1% of Jacksonville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Jacksonville is 10.9%, which is less than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Jacksonville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.2%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Church of God-West Jacksonville, Church of Good Shepherd and Church of Our Savior are among the churches located in Jacksonville. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Jacksonville is home to the Pearl Plaza and the Lane Center as well as Memorial Park and James Park. Shopping centers in the area include 5 Points West Shopping Center, Lone Star Road Shopping Center and Normandy Mall. Visitors to Jacksonville can choose from Civista Inn, Best Western Baldwin Inn and City Center Motel for temporary stays in the area.