Community Health Workers

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About the Job

Assist individuals and communities to adopt healthy behaviors. Conduct outreach for medical personnel or health organizations to implement programs in the community that promote, maintain, and improve individual and community health. May provide information on available resources, provide social support and informal counseling, advocate for individuals and community health needs, and provide services such as first aid and blood pressure screening. May collect data to help identify community health needs.

It is also Called

  • Public Health Worker
  • Public Health Outreach Worker
  • Peer Health Promoter
  • Lay Health Advocate
  • HIV CTS Specialist (Human Immunodeficiency Virus Counseling and Testing Services Specialist)
  • Health Outreach Worker
  • Health Navigator
  • Health Advocate
  • Community Nutrition Educator
  • Community Health Worker (CHW)
View All

What They Do

  • Provide feedback to health service providers regarding improving service accessibility or acceptability.
  • Develop plans or formal contracts for individuals, families, or community groups to improve overall health.
  • Advise clients or community groups to ensure parental understanding of the importance of childhood immunizations and how to access immunization services.
  • Monitor nutrition of children, elderly, or other high-risk groups.
  • Interpret, translate, or provide cultural mediation related to health services or information for community members.
  • Provide basic health services, such as first aid.
  • Advise clients or community groups on issues related to social or intellectual development, such as education, childcare, or problem solving.
  • Assist families to apply for social services, including Medicaid or Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
  • Collect information from individuals to compile vital statistics about the general health of community members.
  • Advise clients or community groups on issues related to sanitation or hygiene, such as flossing or hand washing.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: SIE.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Social interests, but also prefer Investigative and Enterprising environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Achievement and Independence in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $41,350 with most people making between $25,620 and $61,250

Outlook

1.44%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 1,250 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 1,430 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 18 openings due to growth and about 22 replacement openings for approximately 40 total annual openings.

Industries that Employ this Occupation

Industry breakdown is not available for this occupation



Pennsylvania Department of Education