Press Release

Demand for Diabetes Educators Set to Increase Sharply

Survey: New Roles for Diabetes Educators Along With Increases in Recognition by Private Insurers and Medicare Will Create Career Opportunities


For Release: August 3, 2011

Contact: Diana Pihos, 312.601.4864, dpihos@aadenet.org, or David Harrison, david@harrisoncommunications.net, 410.843.3869

As the diabetes epidemic worsens, the demand for diabetes educators is projected to increase by at least 60 percent between now and 2025, according to a study being released today by the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE). This number will increase exponentially if more individuals – such as those with pre-diabetes – become eligible for diabetes education.

Other key findings from the survey indicate that the job market for diabetes educators will be robust:

  • The range of work settings for diabetes educators will broaden, and will include not only the traditional hospital outpatient and physician office positions, but also non-traditional settings, such as industry sales positions, retail clinics, management consulting, medical weight management and other specialty clinics, community health centers, home health and long term care facilities, and workplace wellness programs.
  • A growing body of literature supporting the cost effectiveness of diabetes education and the trend towards greater integration in health care will persuade healthcare systems, including private insurance and Medicare to view diabetes education more favorably.
  • The demand for both higher and lower level diabetes educators will increase. Higher level diabetes educators (those providing clinical instruction) will increasingly serve as program managers and coordinators, be asked to help design technology interfaces that will allow more services to be delivered outside the current paradigm of place and time, and educate and train other health care professionals on diabetes education and best practices. The need for lower level educators, such as community health workers, will also continue to grow. 
  • The research also validated that holding a credential (e.g., BC-ADM or CDE) is valued by employers. 

“The research confirms that diabetes education is a growing and vitally important health care specialty,” said Lana Vukovljak, Chief Executive Officer of AADE. “Diabetes education, in addition to being a public health benefit, is a proven way to reduce health care costs.”

The survey was conducted by Dobson DaVanzo & Associates, LLC, to investigate workforce challenges and opportunities for diabetes educators. The goal was to understand how various systems of care integration and clinical organization are shaping the roles of diabetes educators, as well as the types of skills and abilities that will be required for diabetes educators of the future as their roles change.

The study was comprised of several research components, such as a literature review, a systematic search of employment websites to examine job postings for diabetes educators, a claims analysis using Medicare claims from the years 2006-2009, and the development of a quantitative workforce model of the supply and demand for educators through the year 2025 under several scenarios. 

About AADE:
Founded in 1973, AADE is a multi-disciplinary professional membership organization dedicated to improving diabetes care through education. With more than 12,000 professional members including physicians, nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, and others, AADE has a vast network of practitioners involved in the daily treatment of diabetes patients. Collectively, our alliances, member practitioner networks, and academic partners uniquely position AADE at the locus of change for the future treatment of diabetes. To learn more go to: www.diabeteseducator.org .