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Community Health Manager Career Guide

How to Become a Community Health Manager

Community health managers spearhead health decisions in their communities. They monitor potential health threats and spread educational materials to the residents living in their area. 

Every community in the world is exposed to different health concerns. Residents living within communities place their trust in the hands of community health workers, who have intimate understandings of the needs of the residents. 

In many cases, the community health workers are the bridge between their communities and the health services in the area. Individuals who chose to become community health managers are dedicated to improving the health of their communities. 

What is a Community Health Manager?

Community health managers oversee teams of community health workers. They guide their community members through complex healthcare systems to ensure that all individuals get the support and healthcare they need to thrive. 

Individuals in their field may also be called health coaches, community health advisors, health educators, patient navigators, or public health aides. No matter their job title, these individuals all have the same goal — to make healthcare accessible to all communities. 

Although they oversee teams of community healthcare workers, they also work on the frontlines of healthcare by providing outreach programs, informational counseling, and social support. Many have degrees that prepare them for this type of role.

Community health is an essential aspect of increasing overall health access in underserved communities that may not have traditional access to medicine and healthcare services. Across all geographic borders, many communities are in desperate need of individuals who can explain and provide basic healthcare necessities. 

They lead teams in community, healthcare, government, and social services programs. Individuals who are passionate about healthcare advocacy and education often feel pulled to this position. 

What Does a Community Health Manager Do?

Community health managers may be responsible for a wide range of day-to-day activities. Depending on the needs of their communities, their responsibilities will vary. Some of the most common day-to-day expectations may include: 

  • Assessing the health needs of individuals within their community
  • Organizing community health outreaches
  • Leading community health educators in local outreaches
  • Providing a network of communication between the community and health care system
  • Allowing community access to healthcare translators
  • Developing new healthcare strategies to provide better support and resources
  • Providing access to basic healthcare services in local communities
  • Advocating for local healthcare needs
  • Participating in health promotions and health education events
  • Assisting community members with community resources and scheduling appointments
  • Overseeing addiction prevention and community health improvement programs
  • Communicating with local nurses and doctors to provide better community support

As a community health manager, you help provide your community with basic healthcare access. Unfortunately, many communities have barriers that prevent them from maintaining consistent access to healthcare, whether the barrier is poverty, language, or location. All of your day-to-day responsibilities are aimed towards improving access for your community.  

Because community needs vary, your job responsibilities will also vary as a manager. Those entering their field should be prepared to adopt responsibilities that may not be listed on their job application.

What Education Does a Community Health Manager Need?

Many community health managers have a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management, health education, or health promotion. This type of bachelor’s degree will give you a solid foundation in understanding healthcare systems and how business strategies are tied to them.

Many management positions will require candidates to have a master’s degree in health leadership or an MBA in healthcare management. These advanced degrees will expand your knowledge and understanding about the business side of healthcare, giving you greater insight into leadership, strategy, communication, finances, and more.

When searching for an educational program, you should look for a program that teaches leadership skills, such as business administration paired with health education. Programs should prepare you for real-world experiences and focus on teaching wellness, ethics, and cultural awareness.  

Best Degrees for Community Health Managers

Healthcare Management – B.S. Business Administration

You can become a healthcare industry leader:...

You can become a healthcare industry leader:...

You can become a healthcare industry leader:


Compare with B.S. Health Information Management

  • Time: 70% of graduates finish within 35 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,720 per 6-month term.

Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Health information manager
  • Community service manager
  • Clinical manager
  • Medical records manager
  • Social service manager

The online courses in this career-focused business degree program will prepare you with management-level skills and an up-to-date understanding of our healthcare delivery system.

MBA Healthcare Management

Prepare for a career leading private or public healthcare...

Prepare for a career leading private or public...

Prepare for a career leading private or public healthcare organizations.

  • Time: Graduates can finish within 12 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $4,675 per 6-month term.

Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • President and CEO
  • Vice president
  • Administrative director
  • Chief financial officer
  • Other executive-level roles

Healthcare is big business in today's complex economy.  Steer your career with this specialty MBA.

Compare online business degrees

This program is not the only online business degree WGU offers that is designed to create leaders in the field of healthcare. Compare our health leadership degrees by clicking the button below.

Compare Similar Degrees

Master of Health Leadership

A master's focused on managing comprehensive, value-based care,...

A master's focused on managing comprehensive,...

A master's focused on managing comprehensive, value-based care, directly in line with innovations in health and healthcare.

  • Time: 78% of grads finish within 24 months. 
  • Tuition and fees: $4,385 per 6-month term.

Examples of careers and jobs this degree will prepare you for:

  • Managed care executive
  • Director of integrated care management
  • Health center manager/clinic manager
  • Director of integrated facilities

Your rich experience in a health-related field can mean more when you bring a master's level of understanding to the problems that organizations need to solve.

Compare degrees
This program is not the only degree WGU offers designed to create leaders in the field of healthcare. Compare our health leadership degrees by clicking the button below.

Compare Similar Degrees

Next Start Date

Start the 1st of any month—as soon as you complete enrollment!

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Our Online University Degree Programs Start on the First of Every Month, All Year Long

No need to wait for spring or fall semester. It's back-to-school time at WGU year-round. Get started by talking to an Enrollment Counselor today, and you'll be on your way to realizing your dream of a bachelor's or master's degree—sooner than you might think!

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There are many degree options to choose from. Compare them to find the best fit for you.

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What Skills Does a Community Health Manager Need?

Community health managers are highly skilled individuals who are passionate about providing healthcare to underserved communities. Some valuable skills for this position include: 

  • Cultural competence: You will need cultural competence to understand the various backgrounds of the individuals you will be serving. 
  • Communication skills: Communication is a vital aspect of the position. You will communicate with patients and community health workers daily. 
  • Computer skills: As a manager, you will need to organize and analyze data on a computer. 
  • Empathy: Health workers must have empathy to best serve their patients. 
  • Clinical skills: You will need to understand how clinics work, both inside and outside of strict healthcare settings. 

Those interested in community health should also have problem-solving and leadership skills to help them lead programs and guide individuals and families. Additionally, those who are bilingual will be able to reach a wider audience within their communities. 

How Much Does a Community Health Manager Make?

$42,000

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the annual salary of community health workers is $42,000 per year. The top 10% earn more than $70,790 per year, and the lowest 10% earn less than $28,010 per year. Individuals specializing in health education earn an average of $56,500 per year. Glassdoor lists that the average base pay for community health managers is $66,972 per year, with a high of $84,000 and a low of $59,000.  The average salary will vary depending on your education, level of experience, and location.

What Is the Projected Job Growth?

13%

The job outlook for community health workers is expected to grow by 13%, according to the BLS. By 2029, the BLS projects more than 17,000 new opportunities to open up in communities around the country. As governments and social service providers focus on reaching underserved communities, the demand for community health workers and managers will increase. Additionally, outside factors such as climate change may affect the layout of public health and make it necessary for community health workers to play more active roles in their areas. 

Where Do Community Health Managers Work?

Onsite

Community health managers work in community-based wellness facilities. While in these facilities, they improve the health outcomes of community residents. The most common facilities for them to work in include: 

Schools: As part of a school network, you will be responsible for preparing education materials for students and spreading health awareness. 

Government agencies: In a government agency, you will organize free healthcare events in your community that allow residents to have better access to information. 

Nonprofit agencies: Many health managers will work with nonprofit agencies to provide fast, targeted healthcare programs for communities. 

Within each of these programs, you will lead programs that teach about cancer, diabetes, STDs, HIV, obesity, nutrition, and fitness. 

Employees must have regular access to the HR office and the officers inside, to help address any questions, concerns with other employees, and inter-company opportunities. Responsibilities like employee interviewing, onboarding, and training mean it’s often easier for HR officers to work in their employer’s office, often alongside any other human resources department employees.

Interested in Becoming a Community Health Manager?

Learn more about degree programs that can prepare you for this exciting career.

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