Hilbert College Global Online Blog

Community Health Worker: Salary and Job Description

Written by: Hilbert College   •  Feb 13, 2024
A Community Health Worker Gives a Flu Shot to a Community Member.

Community Health Worker: Salary and Job Description

Everyone deserves to have access to high-quality health care services that can help them prevent disease and maintain optimal health. For people in some communities, however, particularly those living in rural or otherwise underserved areas, access to health care services may be scarce or nonexistent. This is one reason why community health workers are so important. Community health workers function as intermediaries between citizens, health care systems and government services, striving to ensure everyone has access to the health care services they require.

Those who have a passion for serving people in their community and are interested in management and providing public health services to those who need it may find this to be a rich and rewarding role. By pursuing a degree in psychology or a related field, individuals can hone the skills needed for long-term success in the field and to earn a competitive community health worker salary.

What Does a Community Health Worker Do? 

Community health workers are public health professionals. Their primary goal is to ensure that members of the community they serve are well-connected to all available local health services, which can include both public programs and health care facilities.

Many of a community health worker’s responsibilities involve personal contact. They must develop and maintain relationships with the people they serve, positioning themselves as helpful and trustworthy advisers. By gaining the trust of the members of their community, these public health employees can better promote local services and educate people about the different care options available to them.

Some aspects of a community health worker’s job are similar to those of a social worker. The difference is that community health workers’ caseloads tend to be more narrowly focused on people with physical and mental health concerns. For example, a community health worker may identify the need for individuals in their community to see a cardiovascular specialist, get a flu vaccine or make an appointment with a behavioral disorder counselor. They are responsible for making their clients aware of these services and helping to facilitate their treatment as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Where Do Community Health Workers Work?

In addition to being interested in the community health worker salary, individuals may also wonder about their work environments. Community health workers typically work in rural and other marginalized areas with significant public health concerns. They may be hired by hospitals, clinics, outpatient centers, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

On a day-to-day basis, community health workers spend much of their time interacting with members of the community, whether in the homes of their clients or in public spaces where they hold educational events. Community health workers also spend some time in office settings, handling documents and performing other administrative tasks.

Community Health Workers’ Education and Skill Requirements

To succeed in community health, individuals need to develop the right set of skills and core competencies. The best way to do this is by pursuing a combination of education, on-the-job training and certification.

The typical community health worker position requires a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field. Earning an advanced degree, such as a master’s degree, though not required, may lead to a more competitive community health worker salary. Some employers may also require that candidates are accredited as a certified health education specialist, a designation provided by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing.

Additionally, there are several skills that are essential to success as a community health worker. Examples include the following:

Analytical Thinking Skills

Analytical thinking skills are mandatory for community health workers, as a big part of their job is listening to client concerns and determining the health services that will prove most helpful to them. 

Communication Skills

Strong verbal and presentation skills are important for community health workers, as much of their job involves educating members of the community. Written communication skills are also relevant for documentation and record-keeping.

Interpersonal Skills

Ultimately, to thrive as a community health worker, individuals need to be able to develop trust-based relationships with members of the community. This requires a range of interpersonal skills, including empathy and reliability.

Community Health Worker Salary and Job Outlook

Those who are interested in this role will naturally have questions about the typical community health worker salary, along with the career prospects of the job.

Community health workers had a median annual salary of $46,190 as of May 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Those in the top 10% earned over $70,000 per year. The exact salary an individual in this position earns  depends on several factors, such as their level of education, years of experience, geographic location and employer. 

The job outlook for community health workers is positive. According to the BLS, employment of community health workers is projected to increase 14% between 2022 and 2032, which is much faster than the average growth projected for all positions. The BLS expects there will be about 8,000 community health worker job openings available each year during that time frame.

Prepare for Success in Community Health 

Those who have a passion for public health may thrive in the community health worker position. To gain the necessary skills for ongoing impact and success, prospective community health workers should pursue a relevant undergraduate degree. Hilbert College Global offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree program that prepares students with the knowledge and skills they’ll need to make a significant difference in their communities. Courses offered in the program focus on human behavior, research and analysis, and social psychology.

Discover how Hilbert College Global can help you start your career in community health today.

Recommended Readings

What’s the Difference Between a BA and BS in Psychology?

Clinical vs. Counseling Psychology: Which Is Right for You?

How to Become a Substance Abuse Counselor


Indeed, “6 Steps to Becoming a Community Health Worker”

Inspira Health, “What Is a Community Health Worker?”

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Role of Community Health Workers

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Community Health Workers

WebMD, “What Is a Community Health Worker?”

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