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Career Profile: Community Health Workers

Promote health within a community by assisting individuals to adopt healthy behaviors. Serve as an advocate for the health needs of individuals by assisting community residents in effectively communicating with healthcare providers or social service agencies. Act as liaison or advocate and implement programs that promote, maintain, and improve individual and overall community health. May deliver health-related preventive services such as blood pressure, glaucoma, and hearing screenings. May collect data to help identify community health needs.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 64,100 people employed as community health workers in the United States. The median annual salary is $42,000. Entry level employees earn approximately $28,010 per year and senior employees earn approximately $70,790 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Interpret, translate, or provide cultural mediation related to health services or information for community members.
  • Monitor nutrition of children, elderly, or other high-risk groups.
  • Advise clients or community groups to ensure parental understanding of the importance of childhood immunizations and how to access immunization services.
  • Develop plans or formal contracts for individuals, families, or community groups to improve overall health.
  • Provide feedback to health service providers regarding improving service accessibility or acceptability.
  • Teach classes or otherwise disseminate medical or dental health information to school groups, community groups, or targeted families or individuals, in a manner consistent with cultural norms.
  • Advise clients or community groups on issues related to sanitation or hygiene, such as flossing or hand washing.
  • Collect information from individuals to compile vital statistics about the general health of community members.
  • Assist families to apply for social services, including Medicaid or Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
  • Advise clients or community groups on issues related to social or intellectual development, such as education, childcare, or problem solving.
  • Provide basic health services, such as first aid.
  • Refer community members to needed health services.
  • Attend community meetings or health fairs to understand community issues or build relationships with community members.
  • Perform basic diagnostic procedures, such as blood pressure screening, breast cancer screening, or communicable disease screening.
  • Advise clients or community groups on issues related to diagnostic screenings, such as breast cancer screening, pap smears, glaucoma tests, or diabetes screenings.
  • Advise clients or community groups on issues related to risk or prevention of conditions, such as lead poisoning, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), prenatal substance abuse, or domestic violence.
  • Administer immunizations or other basic preventive treatments.
  • Identify the particular health care needs of individuals in a community or target area.
  • Advise clients or community groups on issues related to self-care, such as diabetes management.
  • Conduct home visits for pregnant women, newborn infants, or other high-risk individuals to monitor their progress or assess their needs.
  • Transport or accompany clients to scheduled health appointments or referral sites.
  • Advocate for individual or community health needs with government agencies or health service providers.
  • Teach appropriate parenting behaviors to individuals or families.
  • Report incidences of child or elder abuse, neglect, or threats of harm to authorities, as required.
  • Identify or contact members of high-risk or otherwise targeted groups, such as members of minority populations, low-income populations, or pregnant women.
  • Contact clients in person, by phone, or in writing to ensure they have completed required or recommended actions.
  • Distribute flyers, brochures, or other informational or educational documents to inform members of a targeted community.
  • Maintain updated client records with plans, notes, appropriate forms, or related information.
  • Advise clients or community groups on issues related to improving general health, such as diet or exercise.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
64,100
Annual Openings:
8,600
Increase in Openings by 2030:
21%
Annual Salary Range:
$28,010 - $70,790
Education Requirements:
High school diploma