Certified Health Education Specialist: How to Become a Certified Health Education Specialist

Published Sep 17, 2009

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Certified Health Education Specialist is a credential offered by the National Commission of Health Education Credentialing, Inc. to health educators. Certified Health Education Specialists provide various types of programs promoting health and wellness. The following article describes the education and training required to become a Certified Health Education Specialist.

Certified Health Education Specialist Career Summary

A Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) is an individual trained in health education who has earned credentials offered by the National Commission of Health Education Credentialing, Inc. (NCHEC), www.nchec.org. Certified Health Education Specialists work with individuals and communities to promote health, wellness and disease prevention. They educate the public on the importance of exercise, balanced nutrition, daily habits to maintain good health and related issues. Most CHES's work for healthcare, social assistance or governmental agencies where they develop programs, lectures, classes, demonstrations or marketing materials used to inform the public on these issues.

Education Required to Become a Certified Health Education Specialist

In order to become credentialed by the NCHEC as a Certified Health Education Specialist, individuals must complete a bachelor's or graduate-level program from an accredited institution with a major related to health education, such as community health education, public health education or school health education. Students must show that they have completed coursework in assessing community needs, program planning, program implementation, program administration, evaluation and research, health education resources and advocacy.

Job Training and Certifications Required to Become a Certified Health Education Specialist

Training to become an entry-level CHES is usually provided on-the-job. Some organizations, such as public health departments, might offer formal training programs. New employees might work with a mentor for a period of time in smaller organizations. Health educators who pass the exam offered by the NCHEC and meet the education requirements become certified as health education specialists. In order to maintain certification, specialists are required to earn 75 continuing education contact hours every five years.

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