Is a career in health promotion right for you?

Learning how to convey essential health information to the public can lead to some great opportunities. This could be the career for you.
James Davis
James Davis
Team PostgradAustralia
Save 

Reaching people effectively is one of the cornerstones of health promotion. The larger your audience, the more that are likely to take the preventative measures you recommend. In this article, we’ll explain what a health promotion officer is, what sort of duties they take on, how they have a positive impact and who the career is best suited to. By the end, you should have a better idea of whether or not the degree and subsequent career is right for you.

What is a health promotion officer?

Health promotion officers operate in the public and private sector to address health concerns, educate the public and advise authorities. They are educators first and foremost, ensuring communities have ready access to knowledge affecting the quality of their lives. The job involves working directly within communities as much as it does mingling with lawmakers, public health institutes and media agencies.

Each health promotion officer has a different ‘slant’ to their job, where some may lean more toward an advisory role and others to community outreach. There are some commonalities to all though. They must possess a fairly broad knowledge and skill set consisting of qualitative research skills, needs assessment, ethics and communication abilities. They have to work with authorities and research bodies to find out the nature of any given health problem, discern the often-elusive cause and advise the public and government on what preventative actions can be taken.

How do health promotion officers have a positive impact?

These professionals have the ability to exact serious change in their communities, particularly in developing countries where lack of information can mean life or death. By working closely with real people at the forefront of these issues, impoverished, disadvantaged or uneducated communities have a friendly face they can turn to for help. They can act as a liaison, speaking to and for those who’d otherwise be near helpless. As a health promotion officer, you could be that person.

What kind of person is best suited to this career?

Charismatic, effective communicators are ideally suited to this role. They must not only be compassionate, but analytical and objective when it comes to seeking effective health solutions. The job often demands empathy and patience in spades. If you’re a persistent, amiable person with a passion for helping the local community, you could really enjoy becoming a health promotion officer. Conversely, if you don’t enjoy working with others, or prefer to solve problems on your own, this likely isn’t the ideal career for you. Collaboration and cooperation is at the very heart of the job.

Now you understand a little more about what this career could entail, why not take a look at some of the courses that can set you up for it? We’ve got a huge directory right here you can browse, compare and apply for at your leisure.

For the latest in postgraduate advice, courses and scholarships, sign up for free here on PostgradAustralia.