With the advent of Obamacare and an increasing focus on preventive health care, community health coordinators are emerging as a hot career for those interested in improving the health outcomes of people in various communities. Community Health Coordinators usually have multiple responsibilities and this type of job requires a very agile and flexible individual who is trained to work with a variety of diverse populations. Here is a quick overview of what it takes to become a community health coordinator.

What Exactly Does a Community Health Coordinator Do?

Community Health Coordinators are principally responsible for creating and managing community-based wellness and health programs. These programs are designed to address a variety of health issues and improve the health outcomes for residents of certain areas of a city or state. Community Health Coordinators work in schools, government agencies, nonprofit agencies and other institutions that are at the forefront of providing clinical and preventive healthcare services to various populations. Community Health Coordinators study ways of how to develop culturally and socially relevant health education workshops and seminars to inform community residents about certain diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, STDs, etc. They also use education workshops and other forms of programming to change individual behaviors. Coordinators will also have other responsibilities such as finding and securing grant money to sustain their programs, implement program evaluation systems, management nutrition and fitness programming, etc.

How Do I Become a Community Health Coordinator?

In order to become a community health coordinator, you will definitely need to attend an accredited undergraduate program in either community health, health education, health promotion or some form of biological sciences. Most community health coordinators end up going back to school to receive a master’s degree in public health, healthcare administration or epidemiology. After graduating from school, most community health coordinators will try to become certified health education specialists and will specialize in a particular disease or population in which they seek to target. This could mean you could become a community health coordinator that specializes in childhood obesity prevention or a sexual health educator. There are many routes you can take in this exciting field.

What are the Typical Salaries for a Community Health Coordinator?

Although salary will vary based on city, state, agency and size of the organization, the average community health coordinator will start off making around $15 to $20 an hour. According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012, Community Health Coordinators and Educators made over $20 an hour which comes out to around $40,000 a year. As you build up more experience and go into more program management-related roles, salaries will increase dramatically, especially if you end up working for a major agency such as a state department of health or the federal government.

In the end, there are so many routes you can take in this exciting field. Whether you want to do more of the evaluation side or the programming side, there are multiple opportunities for those looking to work as a community health coordinator.