What's the Salary of a Hospital's Clinical Education Coordinator?

Explore the career requirements for clinical education coordinators in hospitals. Get the facts about salary, job duties, training and education requirements to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering College Administration & Leadership degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Clinical Education Coordinator at a Hospital?

Clinical education coordinators, sometimes called health educators or patient navigators, who work at hospitals educate patients about medical issues. They meet directly with patients and their families to help explain the treatment they are receiving and to direct them to relevant resources, like support groups or outpatient centers. In addition, they develop and implement broader programs aimed at the general public, in order to raise community awareness about health issues and advertise hospital events like blood drives and vaccination campaigns. Clinical education coordinators gather information to determine the health needs of communities and promote the health and wellness of hospital patients.

The table below outlines the salary and general requirements for a career as a hospital's clinical education coordinator.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree, master's or doctoral degree required by some employers
Education Field of Study Health education, health promotion, community health education, school health education
Key Responsibilities Design health education workshops, classes and presentations, establish relationships between the hospital and community organizations, explain individual patients' diagnoses, keep track of community resources available to help provide referrals to social services agencies
Certification Certification may be required or preferred by some employers
Job Growth (2014-2024) 12% (for health educators)*
Median Salary (2015) $51,960* (for health educators)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Do Clinical Education Coordinators Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), health educators made a median salary of $51,960 in 2015 (www.bls.gov). Surgical and medical hospitals employed the majority of professionals in this field, paying an average of $62,230 that year. The BLS further stated that less than one percent of health educators worked at specialty hospitals, such as cardiac or women's health service institutions, but earned the highest average salary of all hospital-based health educators, at $72,960 per year.

What Education Will I Need?

If you'd like to become a clinical education coordinator at a hospital, the BLS reported that you'll need at least a bachelor's degree in health education. Some jobs, particularly those in the public health arena or management, typically require a master's degree. If you'd like to teach in postsecondary institutions or conduct independent research, you'll usually require a doctoral degree. Though uncommon, you can find online degree programs or coursework at all three levels.

As you work toward obtaining your bachelor's degree, you'll typically take classes in health education methods, CPR and first aid, anatomy, physiology, exercise science, nutrition and community health. If you pursue a Master of Public Health or similar degree, your curriculum might include courses in epidemiology, health policy and statistics, public health program planning and public health care management. Doctoral programs--such as a Doctor of Health Education, Doctor of Public Health and Doctor of Philosophy in Health Education--often allow you to focus your studies in such areas as child and adolescent health promotion, postsecondary teaching or community health education.

What Are Some Job Duties?

As a clinical education coordinator at a hospital, you'll design health education workshops, classes, presentations and health screening programs for patients and family members or community groups, as well as establish relationships between the hospital and community organizations. As a hospital employee, you might be required to explain an individual patient's diagnosis, the need for certain medical procedures or how to manage their medical conditions. Additionally, you'll need to be aware of community resources to be able to provide referrals to social services and home health agencies.

You might offer health and wellness information to various groups on such topics as self-examinations for cancer, binge drinking, sexually transmitted diseases and the importance of good nutrition, depending on the needs of your local community. In addition to providing public teaching, you might need to create and dispense informational pamphlets, posters and videos and evaluate the effectiveness of the programs you put into place.

Do I Need to Be Certified?

Though it can be preferred by hospitals, certification is typically voluntary and available through the National Commission of Health Education Credentialing. You can qualify to take the examination and become a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) if you've earned or are within three months of acquiring a bachelor's degree in health education. You'll need to renew your certification annually and recertify every five years with either 75 hours of continuing education or by retaking the certification examination (www.nchec.org). The BLS stated that some states require certification in order to work in public health departments.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Instead of working at a hospital, you could get a job as a health educator in a different setting. For instance, at a for-profit business, you could design and implement incentive programs to encourage employees to make healthy lifestyle choices. You need to have a bachelor's degree to get this job. Another occupation that involves helping people improve their health is a job as a dietitian. These professionals design meal plans for individuals and groups in order to help them achieve particular health goals, such as weight loss, disease management or general wellness. To become a dietitian, you need to have a bachelor's degree; some states also require licensure.

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