Career and Education Opportunities for Health Education Specialists in Worcester, Massachusetts
If you want to be a health education specialist, the Worcester, Massachusetts area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 1,910 people work as health education specialists in Massachusetts. This is expected to grow by 25% to 2,380 people 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. In general, health education specialists promote, maintain, and improve individual and community health by assisting individuals and communities to adopt healthy behaviors.
Health education specialists earn approximately $22 per hour or $46,850 yearly on average in Massachusetts. Nationally they average about $21 hourly or $44,000 per year. Incomes for health education specialists are better than in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy in Massachusetts, and better than the overall Counseling and Therapy category nationally. Jobs in this field include: health promotion specialist, public health analyst, and public health instructor.
There are thirty-nine schools of higher education in the Worcester area, including two within twenty-five miles of Worcester 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 it will take about four years to learn to be a health education specialist if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Health Education Specialist
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 Worcester 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.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Health Education Specialist Training
University of Massachusetts-Lowell - Lowell, MA
University of Massachusetts-Lowell, 1 University Ave, Lowell, MA 01854-5104. University of Massachusetts-Lowell is a large university located in Lowell, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,931 students and an admission rate of 71%. University of Massachusetts-Lowell has a bachelor's degree program in Community Health Services/Liaison/Counseling which graduated sixteen students in 2008.
Worcester State College - Worcester, MA
Worcester State College, 486 Chandler St, Worcester, MA 01602-2597. Worcester State College is a medium sized college located in Worcester, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,378 students and an admission rate of 54%. Worcester State College has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Community Health Services/Liaison/Counseling which graduated one and four students respectively in 2008.
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For more information, see the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners website.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Worcester, Massachusetts
Worcester is located in Worcester County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 175,011, which has grown by 1.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Worcester, 121, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Worcester cost $108,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, sixty-one new homes were constructed in Worcester, down from two hundred fourteen the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Worcester are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, construction, and health care. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 23.3% of Worcester residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.8%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Worcester is 9.9%, which is greater than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.
The percentage of Worcester residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Burncoat Baptist Church, United Congregational Church and Unitarian Universalist Church are among the churches located in Worcester. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.
Worcester is home to the Tatnuck Country Club and the Massachusetts Biotech Research Park as well as Ty Cobb Park and General Foley Stadium. Shopping malls in the area include Lincoln Plaza Shopping Center, Mid Town Mall and Norwich Place Shopping Center. Visitors to Worcester can choose from Days Inn, Hampton Inn and Maple Manor Hotel for temporary stays in the area.