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Health Promotion Officer Profile


Introduction

This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as a Heath Promotion Officer. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as a Heath Promotion Officer 
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Heath Promotion Work Information


Finding Suitable Work

This website features a volume of Job vacancies advertised on behalf of a number of different employers and specialist recruiters that post vacancies on a regular basis so you can start your search for work right here:-

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Working Duties Expected

Health promotion specialists, also known as health education specialists, help and educate people to live healthy lives. They work with whole communities, as well as individuals, to improve the health and well-being of the population. The nature of the work can include raising the publics awareness of such things as the importance of a balanced diet, taking regular exercise, and the dangers of smoking or excessive drinking.

Health promotion specialists may be involved in a range of activities to promote good health including:

  • working in partnership with a range of organisations, such as the NHS, voluntary organisations, local authorities and the police
  • working on public health campaigns such as screening and immunisation
  • research into how much the public knows about particular health issues
  • writing leaflets and brochures, and producing other resources such as posters and videos
  • organising, exhibitions and events
  • running training courses and workshops (for example on mental health, accident prevention, cancers, heart disease)
  • working with the press and TV.


Health promotion specialists may work on specific health campaigns, such as giving up smoking, or their role may be to provide information and advice to key people, eg managers in health authorities and local councils. Alternatively the work may involve working with other health professionals, such as doctors and nurses whose work includes health promotion.

Hours and Environment

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.

Skills and Interests

To be a health promotion specialist you need:

  • an understanding of health and how to improve it, including increasing understanding of public health issues
  • good verbal and written communication skills
  • good organisational skills
  • good time management and project management skills
  • to be able to network with a range of different organisations (public, private and voluntary)
  • to keep up-to-date about the latest research findings in health, and also on national and local government policies relating to community health promotion
  • good research and analytical skills
  • to be self-motivated.


Entry

Many people come into this occupation after working in a related field such as medicine, health care, community work, education, social work, social research or the media. Most will already have a degree in subjects such as healthcare, social science, psychology, education or media subjects. It is also possible to enter with a degree in other subjects.

There are first degrees in health promotion or health studies, both full-time and part-time, at a number of institutions. For a degree you will need GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3) or equivalent qualifications, plus two A levels/three H grades or AS equivalents.

For details of qualification equivalents see:

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
Scottish Qualifications Authority
An Access to Higher Education qualification may also be accepted for entry to certain courses. If experienced in a related field, you may be able to gain recognition of skills through Accredited Prior Learning (APL). Please check with colleges or universities for exact entry requirements.

Many employers look for postgraduate qualifications - these are available in a number of universities both full- and part-time, and you would need a first degree to get on the course. These lead to an MA, MSc or MPH in health education and promotion. However, course titles may not always fully reflect the content of the course so it is best to get detailed information from the prospectus of the institution concerned.

Training

Although higher qualifications are commonly looked for, you can also train on the job by taking part-time and short courses. These include certificates and diplomas in health promotion. There is a Certificate in Health Promotion offered by the Open University, which is at a similar level to the final year of an honours degree.

The Society of Health Education and Health Promotion Specialists (SHEPS) can provide a list of all courses recognised by the society.

NHS employees, at all levels, may be able to access learning and development opportunities through the NHSU, the new corporate university for the NHS. For details see: www.nhsu.nhs.uk or contact U-i: the NHSU advice line for learning in health and social care.

Opportunities

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 units 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 they 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.

Annual Income

The annual income section is intended as a guideline only.
The income of health promotion specialists varies depending on where they work and the organisation they work for.

The starting salary for health promotion specialists would be about £18,000 a year.
An experienced person would earn around £25,000.
Senior staff would earn £30,000 or more.

Further information

NHSU
11th Floor Reception
88 Wood Street
London
EC2V 7RS
Tel: 0800 555 550
www.nhsu.nhs.uk

U-i (NHSU advice and career planning line)
Tel: 08000 150 850

Society of Health Education and Health Promotion Specialists (SHEPS)
64 Terreglas Avenue
Glasgow
G41 4LX
Tel: 0141 423 2952

NHS Careers
PO Box 376
Bristol
BS99 3EY
Tel: 0845 606 0655
www.nhscareers.nhs.uk

Health Development Agency
Holborn Gate
330 High Holborn
London
WC1V 7BA
Tel: 020 7430 0850
www.hda-online.org.uk

Health Education Board for Scotland(HEBS)
Woodburn House
Canaan Lane
Edinburgh
EH10 4SG
Tel: 0131 536 5500
www.hebs.scot.nhs.uk

Health Promotion Wales
Ffynnon-Las
Ty Glas Avenue
Llanishen
Cardiff
CF4 5DZ
www.hpw.org.uk

Health Promotion Agency for Northern Ireland
18 Ormeau Avenue
Belfast
BT2 8HS
Tel: 028 9031 1611
www.healthpromotionagency.org.uk

Other Useful Heath Promotion Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Heath Promotion job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Heath Promotion Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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