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Career and Education Opportunities for Health Education Specialists in Chicago, Illinois

For those living in the Chicago, Illinois area, there are many career and education opportunities for health education specialists. There are currently 1,540 working health education specialists in Illinois; this should grow 25% to 1,930 working health education specialists in the state by 2016. 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.

The income of a health education specialist is about $21 hourly or $45,000 per year on average in Illinois. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $21 hourly or $44,000 yearly on average. Incomes for health education specialists are better than in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy in Illinois, and better than the overall Counseling and Therapy category nationally. People working as health education specialists can fill a number of jobs, such as: public health specialist, community educator, and area coordinator.

There are six schools within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can study to be a health education specialist, among 180 schools of higher education total in the Chicago area. 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 Chicago 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.
  • Religious Activities Director. Direct and coordinate activities of a denominational group to meet religious needs of students. Plan, direct, or coordinate church school programs designed to promote religious education among church membership. May provide counseling and guidance relative to marital, health, and religious problems.
  • Substance Abuse Specialist. Counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders. May counsel individuals, families, or groups or engage in prevention programs.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Health Education Specialist Training

Northeastern Illinois University - Chicago, IL

Northeastern Illinois University, 5500 N Saint Louis Ave, Chicago, IL 60625-4699. Northeastern Illinois University is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,193 students and an admission rate of 71%. Northeastern Illinois University has a bachelor's degree program in Community Health Services/Liaison/Counseling.

Chicago State University - Chicago, IL

Chicago State University, 9501 S. King Drive, Chicago, IL 60628-1598. Chicago State University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,820 students and an admission rate of 61%. Chicago State University has a bachelor's degree program in Public Health Education and Promotion which graduated seven students in 2008.

Trinity International University - Deerfield, IL

Trinity International University, 2065 Half Day Rd, Deerfield, IL 60015-1283. Trinity International University is a small university located in Deerfield, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,654 students and an admission rate of 63%. Trinity International University has a master's degree program in Bioethics/Medical Ethics which graduated twenty-three students in 2008.

Saint Xavier University - Chicago, IL

Saint Xavier University, 3700 W 103rd St, Chicago, IL 60655. Saint Xavier University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,307 students and an admission rate of 71%. Saint Xavier University has a master's degree program in Community Health Services/Liaison/Counseling.

Rush University - Chicago, IL

Rush University, 600 S. Paulina St. STE 440, Chicago, IL 60612. Rush University is a small university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,764 students. Rush University has a master's degree and a post-master's certificate program in Bioethics/Medical Ethics.

Loyola University Chicago - Chicago, IL

Loyola University Chicago, 820 N. Michigan, Chicago, IL 60611-9810. Loyola University Chicago is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,670 students and an admission rate of 74%. Loyola University Chicago has a master's degree program in Bioethics/Medical Ethics.

CERTIFICATIONS

AmSAT Certified Teacher: Certified Alexander Technique Teachers have completed a 3 year, 1600 hour course at an AmSAT certified teacher training center.

For more information, see the American Society for the Alexander Technique website.

International Board Certified Lactation Consultant: An IBCLE or International Board Certified Lactation Consultant is a specialist that has taken and.

For more information, see the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.