What sort of specialist health promotion jobs are available?
- Organisational: helping organisations to be more health promoting: e.g. schools, hospitals, workplaces etc.
- Strategy development: developing a strategic approach to improving health and ensuring local, regional and national policies that can affect public health do so in a health promoting way;
- Community development: developing communities to be more health promoting;
- Personal development – develop personal emotional and social skills and abilities of lay and professional people in order for them to maximise their own health and build health promoting capacity
- Health information: developing ways of providing appropriate and accurate information about people’s health, about social and behavioural factors that can affect their health and what can be done to improve health;
- Project management: managing specific health promoting projects in order to ensure they are ethical, effective and efficiently delivered.
Posts may be specified as ‘health promotion’ or carry a variety of titles related to the level of operation, or the specific content of the post. The term ‘health promotion’ is used throughout this section but in recent years the term has been used less frequently in some countries. In England, for example, a range of roles and jobs which would previously have been labelled as health promotion have been re-badged. Opportunities to promote and improve health are many and varied. Anyone searching for a job in health promotion (or experience in the field) should not limit themselves to those posts which specifically state health promotion in the title. (The case studies in Career Pathways give a flavour of the range of job titles that people have held). Many skills in common will be required by the various job titles. A good sense of the skill set associated with health promotion can be gained from looking at the Pan European Accredited Framework for Health Promotion by following the ‘Accreditation ‘option at the drop down menu at: http://www.iuhpe.org
Where are jobs located?
Until recently in all four UK countries health promotion was commissioned in the context of public health. Since 2013, public health in England has transferred back to local authorities. A new body Public Health England was created and each council area has a Health and Wellbeing Board. Health promotion activities, within the public health area, can include development of policy, planning and delivery of specific health promotion programmes, building health promoting partnerships, helping to deliver on the agenda for reducing health inequalities, developing and delivering training, providing specialist advice and resources to other agencies etc. In England some health promotion posts will continue in hospitals and primary care.
Prior to the 2013 change in England and also in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, there were a variety of health promotion posts in local authorities e.g. smoking cessation specialists; exercise coordinators; health trainers, work and health advisors; health and wellbeing coordinators etc. Most of these posts are now likely to fall under public health but while the process of change is still ongoing they may continue to exist within other parts of local authorities. There are also posts that are organised jointly between health and local authorities.
Voluntary and Community Sector
A variety of posts can be found in this sector including: nutrition advisors, sexual health workers, health trainers, walking for health coordinators, heart disease prevention and rehabilitation advisors, mental wellbeing specialists, drugs and alcohol workers, workplace health promotion advisors, community health project workers and more.
Schools may have teachers with responsibility for Personal, Social and Health (PSHE). For those with appropriate knowledge and experience there are also lecturing posts within further and higher education.
For those with postgraduate health promotion qualifications there are some suitable research posts.
Fitness, exercise, leisure, wellness positions etc.
What qualifications are needed for health promotion jobs?
Is it possible to get health promotion jobs with only a first degree?
Can I get a health promotion post if I do not have a degree?
What are suitable first degrees for acceptance on postgraduate health promotion and MPH training courses?
Where are health promotion posts advertised?
- The national as well as local press carry advertisements. The Guardian newspaper and the Health Service Journal are a good starting point.
- There are also websites: http://www.jobs.nhs.uk (health authority posts) and www.local.gov.uk (local authority) or the websites of specific local authorities; websites of specific voluntary bodies and health topic areas. The official graduate website ‘Prospects’ also carries useful guidance on health promotion careers. http://ww2.prospects.ac.uk. There are also the websites of the national agencies in Scotland, Walesand Northern Ireland.