Health promotion specialist

health improvement specialist

Career outlook for health promotion specialist

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would motivate and educate people to improve their health. You’d also run campaigns to raise awareness of health issues.

You would focus on issues such as:

  • The importance of a balanced diet, and taking regular exercise
  • The dangers of smoking or excessive drinking
  • The risk of coronary heart disease and cancers
  • Mental health
  • Sexual health
  • Drug misuse

You might work with individuals on a one-to-one basis, or you may help specific groups in the population, such as older people or people with disabilities. You might be based in schools, workplaces or prisons.

As well as giving advice to people on how to make lifestyle changes, you would work on more strategic activities to promote good health.

For example, you could:

  • Work on public health campaigns such as screening and immunisation
  • Develop new ways to improve public health and influence local, regional and national policy
  • Work in partnership with the NHS, voluntary organisations, local authorities and the police
  • Research what the public knows about particular health issues
  • Produce publicity materials such as leaflets, brochures and videos
  • Organise exhibitions and events and work with the press
  • Run training courses and workshops

You’d inform and advise key people like managers in health authorities and local councils. You’d also work closely with other health professionals, such as doctors, nurses and health trainers.

Being persuasive and tactful are important for this job so you can inspire and motivate people.

Working conditions


Your main working hours are likely to be 9am to 5pm, however, regular evening or weekend sessions may also be involved when working with the community.


You would be office based, but you would also work in different locations in the community such as health centres, hospitals, offices and sports centres.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Networking
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Creative
  • Innovative
  • Researching
  • Developing a plan
  • Coaching
  • Motivating others
  • Taking responsibility

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Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on


A degree (SCQF Level 9/10) or postgraduate qualification (SCQF Level 11) in areas like health studies, health promotion or public health. Degrees in social sciences, education and sports science may also be a useful starting point for entry into this role. 

To enter a Health Studies Degree (SCQF Level 9/10) usually requires National 5 qualifications and a minimum of four or five Highers or a relevant HNC/HND.

To enter a postgraduate course (SCQF Level 11) you will usually require an honours degree in a relevant subject.

Some employers may accept an HND if you have extensive experience and/or a relevant professional qualification. A one-year top-up programme in health promotion is available for those with an appropriate foundation degree or diploma

Useful subjects

  • Maths (required by most courses)
  • Science subjects (required by most courses)
  • English

Helpful to have

Qualifications that demonstrate understanding of health and wellbeing and experience working with community, such as: 

  • Skills for Work Health Sector (SCQF Level 6)
  • Health and Social Care (SCQF Level 4/5)
  • Community Volunteer Qualifications (CVQ) or other youth award

An interest in health promotion as well as relevant work experience or work shadowing.