Community health workers strive to create a better, healthier environment for their community. They educate others about the significance of healthcare services and assist community members with applying for programs. They also conduct research in hopes of establishing new health resources within the community.

Job Responsibilities of a Community Health Worker

A community health worker maintains an understanding of their community’s health needs. They collaborate with other members of their community about health concerns and educate them of the importance of healthcare services. They discuss the availability of various health services and promote access to them, and they may assist residents with applying for programs such as Medicaid or Medicare. Sometimes, community health workers conduct research and collect data to present to health educators or healthcare providers in order to create new programs. In addition, they may provide informal social support and counseling to others.

Typically, community health workers are employed full time. However, they may have to work nights and weekends in order to attend meetings or programs. Much of their time is spent in the field, communicating with their community and hosting events.

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Community Health Worker Salary Details

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the median annual salary for community health workers was $38,370 as of May 2017. Wages depend on the industry in which one works. Community health workers in hospitals earned a median salary of $46,350 per year, while those employed at outpatient care centers earned $35,370 a year. In addition, employment is predicted to grow 18 percent through 2026, according to the BLS.

Education Requirements for a Community Health Worker

In order to become a community health worker, a high school diploma is necessary. However, a bachelor’s degree is sometimes required by employers. Typically, community health workers receive on-the-job training for specific skills related to their jobs. While certifications are not required, they are optional, and some states are even considering requiring them.

Southeastern University’s online human services degree provides students with the skills necessary to make a difference in the lives they serve within their communities. Students learn how to provide others with the connections to aid and assistance they need. Upon graduation, they can work in community organizations, homeless shelters or clinics.