If you have a passion for the environment then a career as an environmental health advocate could be for you. Environmental health advocates are public health officials who work with the community and agencies to identify and educate their constituents about health related issues. They typically partner with health care professionals to establish safe and best practices regarding personal and public health practices. Their work scope includes:
Environmentally related diseases such as food borne illnesses
Emerging threats such as West Nile virus
Complex health related issues that may cause widespread fear or debate
Environmental health advocates work a standard 40-hour work week within an office environment. They typically spend their time looking at reports and analyzing data. They also work closely with marketing and communications professionals to craft messages for health related information that needs to be disseminated to the public. These health advocates may also spend their time travelling to conferences and meetings to present their findings and educated different groups of people.
Environmental health advocates work for local, state, and federal government agencies, consulting firms, and non-profit agencies.
Most health care advocates have at least a four-year bachelor’s degree in a science or communications related field. Good communication and presentation skills are a must since many advocates make public presentations to people.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the career field of health care advocates is expected to increase faster than most other career fields. The demand is fueled by organizations making it a top priority to educate their audiences about health related issues.
Public health concerns are now a major part of the human consciousness more than ever before. People want to know what is in the environment, in their food, and what potential health threats that may harm them. This means that agencies must be able to have someone respond to the questions and concerns of the country and community.
Health care advocates earn an average salary of $50,000 per year. The average salary varies greatly by industry, employer, location, and years of experience. There are several professional associations that people may wish to join to learn detailed information and make themselves more employable. The professional associations include:
National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council (EHAC)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
National Environmental Health Association (NEHA)
American Public Health Association (APHA)
Students interested in this career can find educational opportunities online or on campus, making it an option for traditional and non-traditional students.