Health promotion specialists, also known as health
education specialists, aim to educate people to live
healthy lives. They work in hospitals, schools and
workplaces, with entire communities or individuals to
improve the health and well-being of the population. The
nature of the work can include raising awareness of
such things as the importance of a balanced diet, taking
regular exercise, and the dangers of smoking or
excessive drinking. Other areas of priority may include
reducing the incidence of coronary heart disease and
cancers, and educating the community on mental health,
sexual health, and drug misuse.
Health promotion specialists can be involved in a variety of activities to promote good health, including:
The working hours are typically 9am to 5pm, although you may have to work evenings and weekends. The job often involves working with a range of organisations and you may occasionally need to travel outside your local region.
As a health promotion specialist you would normally be office-based. However, due to the partnership approach of the work, you would spend much of the working day training or visiting other organisations.
To be a health promotion specialist you need:
There are relatively few health education specialists, probably less than 1,000 in the country, and most opportunities are in large towns and cities. National Health Service authorities and trusts, local authorities or voluntary organisations may employ health promotion specialists.
Career development is not very structured and health promotion specialists tend to enter employment at a senior level and remain at that level for some time. Health promotion units tend to be small and prospects may be limited unless you are prepared to move to another part of the country for job opportunities.
The profession is changing, and the public health function is being strengthened as the occupational standards for the profession are reviewed. It is possible to move into public health and there is some overlap with other occupations in this area.
Competition for posts is strong and increasing.
If you would like to know anything about Health Promotion that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
Skills for Health
Tel: 0117 922 1155
Tel: 0131 536 5500
Health Professions Wales
101 St Mary St
029 2026 1400
Health Promotion Agency for Northern Ireland
18 Ormeau Avenue
Tel: 028 9031 1611