As a health trainer, you would advise people about healthier lifestyle choices in order to improve their general health and wellbeing.
Your work within the community could focus on issues such as:
You would encourage people to understand and adapt their behaviour by providing information and practical support on a one-to-one basis, as well as in groups. Your work to improve the health of the community could also include:
You would typically work between 16 and 30 hours a week, as part-time positions are more common than full-time. Your hours may occasionally include evenings or weekends, in order to run group workshops and meetings.
Health trainers can earn between £15,600 and £18,600 a year. Supervisors can earn between £21,000 and £27,500.
Many health trainer jobs are offered on a part-time basis, so earnings would be a portion of full-time rates (known as 'pro rata' payment). This means that actual annual income may be less than above.
As a Health Trainer you will be based in community settings, such as GP practices, community leisure centres and occasionally outdoors.
You will find most job opportunities with local NHS primary care trusts (PCTs), and some with local authorities. For job vacancies you should contact your local PCT (see NHS Choices website for a list), check the jobcentre, local and national press, and NHS Jobs website.
To become a health trainer, you will need:
Knowledge of the health issues facing the community.
Good communication skills in English (and for some jobs, a second community language).
Experience (paid or voluntary) of working with local community groups.
For advice on voluntary opportunities, you can contact the voluntary services coordinator or manager at your local NHS Trust.
Some employers will prefer you to have GCSE grade C in English, and you may also be asked for an NVQ Level 3 or equivalent qualification.
You could have an advantage when looking for work if you have qualifications or work experience in an area such as:
- Personal training
- Fitness instructing
- Nutritional therapy or dietetics
Once you are working as a health trainer, you will receive on-the-job training from your employer. This can vary depending on the focus of your duties, but will usually include:
- Health and safety
- Communication skills
- Time management
You may also be encouraged to study for a City & Guilds Level 3 Certificate for Health Trainers, which covers:
You could also work towards NVQ levels 2, 3 and 4 in Community Development Work.
As an ambulance technician you would respond to accident and emergency calls, as well as a range of planned and unplanned non-emergency cases. You would usually work in a team, providing support to a paramedic during the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of patients at the scene of an incident and during hospital transfers.
You may use life saving skills as part of your day-to-day work.
A health trainer needs:
With experience you could progress to team supervisor, or senior health improvement specialist. For these roles, you may need a public health related degree or postgraduate qualification.
You could also move into related careers in health promotion or community development.
For more information on a range of careers within public health, check the PHORCaST website (part of a UK-wide initiative funded by the Department of Health).
Skills for Health, Goldsmiths House,
Broad Plain, Bristol BS2 0JP
Tel: 0117 922 1155
PO Box 376, Bristol BS99 3EY
Tel: 0345 60 60 655
Additional resources for job seekers and those already in a job.