15 Community Health Worker Job Titles and Different Roles

According to a recent report in U.S. News & World Report, being a community health worker can be stressful, “which might be a turnoff to some professionals thinking about a career as a community health worker.” That’s a big challenge for employers are looking to hire CHWs.

Job description

→ Click here to download our job description template for hiring a team of community health workers [Free Guide].

You might think of a community health worker when you think about people in your community who need an extra boost. But some organizations struggle with knowing what roles to hire for and what the difference is between a CHW, say, and a peer advocate.

A CHW’s roles are wide and growing wider as more programs find out how health workers can work so well with clients, patients and people in the community who need services. For example, working with underserved families with autism spectrum disorder or helping to address food insecurity.

If you’re wondering if a CHW is right for your program or agency, read on to explore more about some common roles a community health worker fills.

Community Health Worker Job Titles

Community health worker is an umbrella term. Here are some top titles from learners at CHWTraining, with additional research from NACHW.

  1. Health promoter
  2. Promotor(a)
  3. Peer
  4. Community health representative
  5. Outreach specialist
  6. Patient or health navigator
  7. Health educator
  8. Case or care manager
  9. Health advocate or advisor
  10. Certified application counselor
  11. Community health educator
  12. Community health worker
  13. Care coordinator
  14. Community outreach coordinator
  15. Family resource coordinator

Community Health Worker Roles

That’s a list of titles you can use for your recruitment. But do you understand the roles those people fill? We can also help with that. Generally speaking, here are the roles that people with those titles work in:

  • Health Education and Promotion
  • Advocacy and Support
  • Care Coordination or Service Navigation or Both
  • Cultural Competence
  • Community Outreach
  • Data Collection and Reporting
  • Health Screenings and Referrals
  • Capacity Building

Health Education and Promotion

CHWs most commonly provide some sort of education on healthy lifestyles, disease prevention, and health promotion. They may do workshops on topics like eating well and do community outreach to raise knowledge about health-related issues. They also distribute educational materials and resources to community members, such as at a table at a health fair or during client visits.


  • Health educator
  • Promotor(a) de salud
  • Health promotor

Advocacy and Support

Those who work with clients advocate for the needs and concerns of community members within healthcare systems and other social services. This can be wide-ranging advocacy that spans individual (such as working as a liaison between clients and healthcare providers) and systems (contacting legislators to change policies).

Overall, they help clients work through complex healthcare and social service systems.


  • Health advocate
  • Peer advocate

Care Coordination or Service Navigation or Both

A CHW might help a person find and access medical and non-medical services. Some community health representatives (CHRs) who work for American Indian and Alaska Native communities will even provide some animal care duties.

Tasks include coordinating healthcare services, appointments, and follow-ups. They also commonly help with medication adherence and chronic disease management.


  • Care coordinator
  • Service navigator
  • Family resource coordinator

Cultural Competence

Not all health care teams have the best cultural competence, so CHWs are helpful for delivering culturally sensitive and appropriate health education and information.

As members of the community where they work (read more about where CHWs work), they can be a bridge cultural and language barriers between clients and healthcare providers. They can also promote cultural competence among healthcare professionals so they have a better understanding of clients.


  • Community health worker
  • DEI lead (more senior)
  • Culture leader

Community Outreach

A top role of a CHW is to identify and reach out to underserved and vulnerable populations. They can do outreach in a variety of ways—virtually and in person—to help connect people with services.

Part of outreach is to build relationships with community members and organizations. And, of course, promote health and wellness initiatives within the community, so the program you created reaches the people it was intended to reach.


  • Outreach specialist
  • Community outreach associate
  • Family support worker

Data Collection and Reporting

Many large public health programs use CHWs to help collect and report health data to inform program planning and policies. They can also help to monitor and evaluate the impact of health interventions. They might help by doing things like looking up data or  doing surveys.


  • Community health worker
  • Community health needs assistant
  • Survey interviewer

Health Screenings and Referrals

CHWs are extremely helpful when it comes to basic health screenings. They can do anything from a blood pressure check to getting women in for their breast cancer screening. They can even help refer people to appropriate healthcare services based on their screening results.


  • Patient navigator
  • Prevention educator
  • Health navigator

CHW Core Competencies

Find out all about what the CHW Core Competencies are, CHW roles, CHW careers, how to cross-train your staff, and how to get state certifications for the CHWs on your team

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