What Do Community Health Workers Do?
Community health workers assist individuals and communities to adopt healthy behaviors. They also conduct outreach for medical personnel or health organizations to implement programs in the community that promote, maintain, and improve individual and community health. Community health workers provide information on available resources, provide social support and informal counseling, and advocate for individuals and community health needs. Additionally, they may collect data to help identify community health needs.
Where Do Community Health Workers Work?
Many community health workers work in health facilities, providing case management, client education, interpretive services, follow-up care, and patient navigation. Others are employed by government agencies and non-profit groups to provide community organization, health education, insurance enrollment, and preventive care services in the field.
Although their roles vary depending on locale and cultural setting, they are most often found working in underprivileged, marginalized communities where people may have limited resources: lack of access to quality health care; lack of means to pay for health care; do not speak English fluently; or have diverse cultural beliefs, values, and behaviors.
What Do Community Health Workers Earn?
In 2016, Payscale.com reported that the median annual income for community health workers nationwide was $36,236. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the median income for community health workers in New York State at $39,3700 (entry-level: $28,880, experienced: $51,990) in 2017.
Supply and Demand
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014 there were approximately 2,900 community health workers in New York. Throughout the United States, the community health worker field is growing, both in interest and demand, especially in health care and community wellness. Community health workers are also being used to improve chronic disease management programs, health insurance enrollment, immunization drives, HIV/AIDS treatment, access to mental health services, and maternal-child health interventions.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the demand for community health workers will increase by 22.3% in New York from 2014-2024—less than the nationwide increase of 14.9%. For more information on projections of community health workers by New York State labor regions, click here.
Educational Program Requirements
Educational requirements for community health workers vary by location and roles.
New York Licensure Requirements
No license is needed to work as a community health worker in the state of New York.
Community health workers may receive training, but this training does not culminate in the awarding of a certificate.
Education Programs in New York (subject to change)
|Community Health Worker Network (NYC)
|Community Health Worker Network of Buffalo
515 Main Street
Buffalo, New York 14203
|LaGuardia Community College
31-10 Thomson Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101
|Make the Road New York (Brooklyn)
301 Grove Street
Brooklyn, New York 11237
|Make the Road New York (Queens)
92-10 Roosevelt Avenue
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
|Make the Road New York (Staten Island)
161 Port Richmond Avenue
Staten Island, New York 10302
|Make the Road New York (Long Island)
1090 Suffolk Avenue
Brentwood, New York 11717
|Schenectady County Community College
78 Washington Avenue
Schenectady, New York 12305