Community Health Workers
Approximately 65,000 community health workers are employed in the United States. They typically work for community-based organizations (including religious and civic groups, as well as community health centers), but a growing number of hospitals and health care systems are hiring CHWs because studies have shown that their work reduces health care costs and improves community health.
Many CHWs obtain their first jobs in the field via word of mouth or networking contacts in their community. Others may be interested in social work/services and/or community health, and are already working at a community organization as a volunteer, in a part-time job, or in a related full-time position. Still others may be attending a public health program at a community college and learn about openings via career fairs, resources provided by their school’s career services office, or through community health fairs. Some community health workers learn about job openings by visiting the Web sites of organizations that employ CHWs or by visiting community health organizations in their neighborhoods to inquire about available positions.
A community health worker with several years of experience can advance to become a community health program manager, who oversees community health outreach for an entire organization. Some CHWs pursue additional education to become health educators, community health nurses, public health consultants, and even physicians.
Tips for Entry
Visit https://www.apha.org/Professional-Development/Public-Health-CareerMart/Careers-in-Public-Health-Newsletter to read the Careers in Public Health newsletter.
Visit https://careers.apha.org/jobseekers, https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/community-health-jobs, and https://www.usajobs.gov for job listings.
Volunteer at social service organizations and agencies in your community to obtain experience working with people who need assistance obtaining health care and social services.