Definition: A program that focuses on the application of psychology to the study of the behavior of individuals in the roles of teacher and learner, the nature and effects of learning environments, and the psychological effects of methods, resources, organization and non-school experience on the educational process. Includes instruction in learning theory, human growth and development, research methods, and psychological evaluation.
There are many jobs that you can purse within the area of health educators with a psychology background. Whether you work for yourself, with another psychiatrist, at a doctor’s office or hospital, government agency, non-profit organization, or in some other area, there are key functions you will perform.
The Job Details
As a health educator, your job will be to help others learn how to live healthier lives not just physically but also mentally. In this field, the focus is on combining physical health and wellness with mental well being in order to help people reach their full potential. Within this profession, you will develop and present programs, demonstrations, training workshops, conferences, classes, and school or community presentations on health and wellness. You may work closely with those in the public health field and combine your efforts to ensure physical and mental needs are being met. A health educator understands the balance between taking care of the mind and the body and how one directly impacts the other. In this job you will work to design educational materials to give out on a variety of health and wellness topics and also help to develop programs for community members.
Within the field, you may address issues such as drinking, smoking drug abuse, alcoholism, substance abuse, pain pill abuse, vaccinations, exercise programs, obesity, sexually transmitted disease, and other such health issues and concerns. Working with other agencies to address these issues is a large part of what someone in this career field does. Keeping accurate records, reports, and documentation of all plans and programs and the track record of all your clients is vital. You will also work to design and conduct evaluations, administer tests, conduct research, and run diagnostics to assess the quality and performance of any and all current health education programs that are in place and to recommend changes and new procedures where necessary.
Pay and Job Outlook
Accord to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) the median pay for someone in the health educator field was around $46,000 for 2010. The market is expected to continue the growth it has seen over recent years as the need for these psychology professionals continue to grow. Depending on whether you work alongside another professional or with a hospital, doctor’s office, or other agency, your salary can vary as will your responsibilities and hours worked each week.
Interpersonal Relationships – it is important to be able to develop and maintain positive relationships with people. You will need to be able to communicate with people, earn their trust, build their confidence, offer direction, and be there to support them. Many of these relationships will be long term.
Communicating – Aside from communicating with your clients, you will also need to effectively communicate with other members of the community. Announcements, press releases, interviews, presentations, and group meetings are common components of this type of job.
Training and Teaching – Your primary goal is to help your clients be able to identify, change, and maintain their own course. Health educators help teach people about healthy living and guide them to the point where they can take control of their own lives and do it on their own. You will need to be able to teach others how to manage their own physical and mental health.
Getting Information – It is important to be able to effectively access and maintain information. This may be done by observing, receiving, researching, talking, and gathering information from all relevant sources. It is important that this information stay organized so it can easily be accessed and referred to when the need arises.
Creative Thinking – Few things happen according to the book, so you will need to be able to think creatively and develop new approaches and ways of addressing client issues. Developing, designing, or creating new ideas, relationships, processes, routines, systems, approaches, products, and methods are part of the job of a health educator. Plans and routines will need to be customized for each individual client that you work with.
Computer Efficiency- Using computers is vital to the success of the health educator and they will be used to program, write software, record results, enter and organize data, set up functions, process information, project for the future, track progress, and stay in touch with your clients.
Clinical Psychology Jobs – Rowsclinical psychologist $30,000
Clinical Psychology Jobs – Tableclinical psychologist $30,000
Table Press not installed
Required Education Level
Most people can get into this career field with just a Bachelor’s degree. A Master’s makes it easier but it is possible to do so with only the 2-3 year bachelor program.
Bachelor of Arts
Earning a BA in psychology allows you to explore niches within psychology such as behavior, personality, research, sleep study, cultural norms, social psychology, and many other interesting
Bachelor of Science
Earning a BS in psychology will have most of its focus on covering all of basics, and the bulk of the time will be spent learning research methods and practices and theories. The BS is a better choice for those wanting a career right after graduation.
Master of Arts
With a MA degree, you will have specialty classes that can either prepare you for a doctorate or give you an overview into the area of specialization you want to pursue as a career once you graduate.
Master of Science
The MS in psychology provides a stronger focus on research and science curriculum. You can still take specialty classes for either the doctorate degree transition or to prepare you to enter the work field.
- “Careers in Psychology” American Psychological Association. (Website) . Accessed Oct 20. 2013.
- “New Research From Psychological Science.” APS (Website). Accessed Oct 20. 2013.
- “Online Psychology Degree Programs Directory.” PDO (Website). / Accessed Oct 20. 2013.
- “Health Educators.” Onet (website). Accessed Oct 20, 2013.
- “Health Educators Summary.” BLS (Website). Retrieved from . Accessed Oct 20, 2013.
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With an English Literature degree from UCLA and a passion for career counseling and publishing, Jeff has worked at CareerPath and Microsoft. He published four editions of the World Wide Yellow Pages in partnership with Barnes and Noble. He now uses that passion for managing Psychology Online Degrees.