What Is a Community Health Worker?
With great knowledge about the community in which they serve, a community health worker identifies health concerns and informs community members about available services. They collect information and share data with healthcare providers and health educators in order to help develop programs that will benefit their community.
What Does a Community Health Worker Do?
Community health workers are responsible for working with a community and healthcare professionals to determine ways to improve the health of others. They communicate with those in a community about health concerns, and they inform others on the availability and importance of healthcare services. Additionally, a community health worker may provide some counseling and social assistance. They might also conduct research and collect data and report their findings to healthcare providers and health educators.
Typically, community health workers work full time, and working during nights and weekends may be required for attending meetings and programs. Much of their time is spent interacting with community members, researching and holding programs.
How Much Do Community Health Workers Earn?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, community health workers earned a median annual salary of $38,370 as of May 2017. Salaries vary some depending on the organization at which a community health worker is employed. For example, those employed at hospitals earned a median wage of $46,350, while those at outpatient care centers earned a median salary of $35,370. Through 2026, employment for the career is expected to grow 18 percent.
How Do I Become a Community Health Worker?
To become a community health worker, employers prefer that candidates have a post-secondary education, such as a bachelor’s degree. Generally, community health workers complete some on-the-job training, and they may have knowledge about a particular community, disability or medical condition. While no states currently require certification for a community health worker, voluntary certifications are available.
The online Bachelor of Arts in Addictions and Mental Health Treatment program from Alvernia University provides you with all of the knowledge necessary to succeed in a career as a community health worker. Through the program, you’ll explore topics such as addiction, mental illness, counseling, legal issues and more. The convenient online format of the program allows you to earn your degree at your own pace.