Health Trainer Jobs
Health trainer jobs… did you know?
When you hear the words ‘health trainer’ you might think of someone who helps you get fit and toned, but that isn’t actually what the job is about at all. What you’re thinking of is a personal sports trainer!
So what’s the difference between a sports trainer and a health trainer? Well, for a start, when did a sports trainer ever look at the importance of safe sex or the best ways of breastfeeding as part of someone’s personal health plan?
Health trainers help people think about their general lifestyles. Together, they agree on achievable action plans with the goal of improving the client’s health. They also look at ways to change behaviour to improve health. This could include:
- Regular exercise and better nutrition (no surprises there)
- Reducing the amount of alcohol drunk on a regular basis
- Safe sex
- Stopping smoking
This is a public health role and you will often work with people from disadvantaged backgrounds, such homeless people or the traveller community. You could also be working with people who have drug or alcohol addiction problems.
Being healthy is not just for rich celebrities who can afford health fads and personal gyms. Good health is for everyone, and some people need a little extra help to start thinking in a healthy way.
Health trainer job trends
How much money can you make as a health trainer?
£16,750 – £28,500 (UK average)
Recent labour market information says you can earn on average between £16,750 and £28,500 a year as a health trainer in the UK.
Your starting salary can vary because of factors like level of experience, training, or location. Your salary will increase over time as you build skills, knowledge and experience.
What entry qualifications and training do you need?
School, college and training
You don’t need a degree to become a health trainer. In fact, there are no formal entry requirements, so you could get started as a school leaver. However, it’s a very good idea to study for the City and Guilds level 3 Certificate for Health Trainers. This is nationally recognised training that should help you successfully apply for health trainer roles.
The Certificate for health trainers covers things like:
• Helping people make healthier food choices
• Helping people diet, exercise and stop smoking
• Addressing people's behaviour towards health
• Motivating people to change.
You’ll study for this nationally recognised Certificate as a trainee health trainer, because you have to be in full-time employment to do the training. Once you’ve got your Certificate, you can work as a full health trainer.
DID YOU KNOW? In some cases, the cost of your training might be funded by your employers! In some cases Government funding may also be available.
If you want to study for a range of healthcare roles, you can complete either an apprenticeship or advanced apprenticeship in healthcare. This gives you the opportunity to earn a salary working in healthcare while getting structured learning that leads to an industry-recognised qualification.
The NHS runs traineeships, apprenticeships and cadet schemes.
NHS apprenticeships are on offer at four levels:
- Intermediate (Level 2 – equivalent to five GCSES (9-4/A*-C)
- Advanced (Level 3 – equivalent to two A-levels)
- Higher (Levels 4-7 – equivalent to foundation degree or above)
- Degree apprenticeship (Levels 6-7 – equivalent to a degree)
There are some entry requirements for NHS apprenticeships. For example, to successfully apply for an Advanced Level Apprenticeship you may need four or five GCSEs or their equivalents, sometimes in particular subjects.
To start a higher apprenticeship with the NHS you may need a Level 3 qualification or enough healthcare-related experience to show you have the skills and knowledge to apply.
Visit NHS Healthcare Careers to see the range of healthcare apprenticeships on offer.
With time and experience you could go on to become a team leader or a senior health improvement specialist.
You could also move into careers that are related to community development or promoting good health for all.
What experience do you need for health trainer jobs?
It can help you decide if this is the right career for you if you have previously done work experience in a healthcare environment.
Any work experience where you have demonstrated your healthcare skills can help your application. Visit the NHS Work Experience website to find healthcare work experience opportunities in your area.
Examples of relevant work experience include:
- Work shadowing (even if it’s just for a day)
- Work placements in a company
- Year-long industry placements on a sandwich degree course
It can be also help to have experience or qualifications (or both) in areas like nutrition, weight management, encouraging healthy lifestyles, instructing on exercise or using a gym.
Volunteering and extra-curricular activities
Volunteering is a very caring thing to do because you are choosing to give up your time to help other people. Employers may be impressed to see volunteering on your CV, and any volunteering experience related to healthcare is especially useful. Maybe you have volunteered to help vulnerable people like the homeless? It’s all good experience, whatever aspect of healthcare/community volunteering you do. For example, if you volunteer with the elderly, that could help you become a specialised falls prevention health trainer.
You can volunteer to be trained as a health trainer champion (HTC). HTCs are volunteers who have done Level 2 health improvement training with the Royal Society of Public Health. As an HTC you can gain relevant volunteering experience by assisting health trainers in their work.
What skills do you need for health trainer jobs?
What life and work skills do you need to make a great psychological wellbeing practitioner?
Useful skills to highlight when applying for a position include:
- Great communication skills and listening skills – health is a sensitive area, especially if someone is struggling to change learned habits around addiction, so you need to be able to motivate others and inspire trust
- Teamworking skills – part of your job will be forming good working relationships with organisations
- Good organisation skills will help you plan your action plans with clients and help them know what they should aim to achieve and by when
- Good problem solving skills – you’ll need to decide how best to apply your health knowledge to a client’s individual needs
Vocational qualifications and work experience will help you build these skills over time.
You can start to build these skills right now when you sign up with Youth Employment UK to get free Young Professional training.
What does a health trainer do?
Your day-to-day job responsibilities could include:
- Working one-to-one or with groups
- Working with clients referred to you (e.g. by health professionals) or clients that have referred themselves
- Working with hard-to-reach groups like the homeless or those living with addiction
- Helping people to see where and how their behaviours could be affecting their health
- Helping people to create a health plan of action
- Helping people learn more about how to improve their health and wellbeing
- Signposting to other agencies and professionals (this means helping your clients know about other people who can help them).
Your first steps into health trainer jobs
Health trainer jobs are advertised under different job titles. When you’re looking on job boards, look for the following types of job:
- Trainee health trainer
- Health and social care trainer
- Health and wellbeing personal trainer
- Health care trainer
Useful organisations and links
So what are you waiting for? Grab your future.