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What Is an Outreach Specialist and How to Become One


What Is an Outreach Specialist?

An outreach specialist is a social service professional who works directly with the community to promote health and wellness. As an outreach specialist, your job duties involve identifying community needs, developing wellness programs and initiatives, and tracking progress. The position often combines administrative responsibilities with field work, like interacting directly with the public. To pursue a career as an outreach specialist, you typically need a bachelor’s or master’s degree in health administration, public health, or a related field, as well as relevant work experience. Additional qualifications include strong interpersonal skills and critical thinking abilities.

How to Become an Outreach Specialist

An outreach specialist provides a vital service to the community by promoting health and wellness principles to the public. Qualifications for this career include a bachelor’s degree in health administration, health education, or a similar field. Some employers prefer job candidates with an advanced degree or certification from the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing. There are continuing education requirements for this accreditation. Other necessary conditions vary by state. Strong interpersonal and communication skills are critical components for this career path. Excellent writing skills are also vital for drafting wellness program documentation and performing administrative tasks. You get on-the-job training before taking on your caseload.

Outreach Specialist Job Description Sample

With this Outreach Specialist job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Outreach Specialist role.

Job Summary

We are seeking a motivated individual to join our community development organization as an Outreach Specialist. As part of our outreach team, you will work directly with vulnerable and underserved communities, identifying their material issues and assisting their efforts at self-organization, resistance, and education. This is a relationship-focused position, requiring you to have strong interpersonal skills, the ability to empathize with people of greatly varied experiences, and an appreciation for community-centered solutions. Our ideal candidate has lived experience in the communities we serve, as well as a bachelor's degree or higher in social services or a related field. However, experience and community involvement can substitute for education in many cases.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Identify and foster relationships with existing community leaders and organizers
  • Support ongoing community programs with logistical and material coordination
  • Recognize emerging issues and leaders, and create frameworks for community organizers
  • Develop and lead educational programs designed to improve community leadership capacity

Requirements and Qualifications

  • Lived experience in the communities we serve
  • Bachelor's degree in social services (preferred)
  • Strong interpersonal and communications skills
  • Experience facilitating large groups and seminars
  • Ability to foster emerging leadership