The health promotion sector is very varied, with a wide range of careers and roles. In Ireland, Health Promotion practitioners work in a variety of settings, including the HSE, non-governmental and community organisations, in research and academia. Health Promotion practitioners work on policy development, planning and delivery of health promotion programmes and training, building health promoting partnerships, and working to reduce health inequalities. Read more for more information on health promotion careers/training.
What sort of jobs can you get in health promotion?
There are a wide variety of health promotion roles –from working in public health and developing policy to working in the community on a variety of projects. In health promotion many government departments, agencies and the community and voluntary sectors work together to provide a collective response to health and social issues. Health promotion posts may become available in any of these sectors.
Government and public sector
Health promotion activities based on the WHO Ottawa Charter can include development of policy, planning and delivery of health promotion programmes and training, building health promoting partnerships, working to reduce health inequalities. Within the HSE and government sectors there are many health promotion posts including health promotion officers specialising in smoking cessation, drugs, alcohol, mental health, health and wellbeing, exercise coordinators and health trainers.
Voluntary and Community Sector
A variety of posts can be found in this sector including: nutrition advisors, sexual health workers, health trainers, physical activity coordinators, heart disease prevention and rehabilitation advisors, mental wellbeing specialists, drugs and alcohol workers, workplace health promotion advisors, community health project workers and more.
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.
Where can I study health promotion in Ireland?
There are several 3rd level institutions where you can study health promotion at an undergraduate and postgraduate level. In many professions it is becoming more and more recognised that practitioners should meet certain criteria in their qualifications and continuing professional development to ensure that they have the necessary knowledge and skills to carry out their duties. In the health promotion and education profession there is a voluntary Accreditation System which offers professional recognition for health promotion practitioners and accreditation of health promotion courses which meet the specified competency-based criteria. Some of these courses have been accredited by the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) and have been assessed as meeting the specified competency-based criteria set out by this organisation. The accredited courses in the Republic of Ireland include:
BSc Public Health & Health Promotion and BSc (Ord) Health Science & Physiology Sligo Institute of Technology
BA in Health Promotion Waterford Institute of Technology
Postgraduate Diploma / MA in Health Promotion National University of Ireland, Galway
There are also many other courses in Ireland that have a health promotion or public health component. For example you may be interested in studying public health, international public health physical activity and health or nutrition and health. At present these courses are not accredited (but may be in the future). If you would like to focus on a particular area these courses might be interest.
Looking for work experience/finished a HP course and looking to expand on skills
At the moment, it can be challenging to get a job in the area of health promotion but things are slowly improving and more opportunities are becoming available. In the meantime, you could look for ways to strengthen your existing CV. One of the best things to do is to get some relevant voluntary work experience. You will often find that many organisations in your area are involved in different aspects of health promotion. Maybe get in touch and see if you can get involved. Lots of projects are regularly looking out for volunteers. By getting involved you are more likely to hear about opportunities that may become available – many projects can often get short term funding for temporary posts that could eventually lead to something more permanent. In addition, by volunteering and being part of different projects, you may also get the opportunity to attend training courses and participate in CPD activities that would add to your skill base and CV. In addition the AHPI are expanding CPD opportunities so check the website for workshops that may be coming up and of interest.
Where are health promotion jobs advertised?
In Ireland most jobs are advertised on the following websites
Many charities/NGOs advertise jobs through the following sites
Jobs in the UK
If you have finished a degree, keep in touch with your lecturers. Many of them will hear about different jobs and pass on the details to students. Also the APHI website often advertises posts that we are notified about. Some local projects will advertise short term work in local newspapers and on their websites.