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Public health specialists come from a wide range of backgrounds, including medical. Public health consultants are public health specialists who hold a post as a consultant.
Training and qualifications required
The main entry route is to complete specialty training in public health. You’ll usually need a medical degree, an undergraduate degree with a 2:1 grade or higher, or a Master’s degree or PhD. Eligibility criteria are updated annually and can be found on Health Education England's specialty recruitment website. Training typically takes five years which usually includes one year on an academic course, and two years in specialty training posts.
Expected working hours and salary range
Hours of work are usually 37.5 per week, although you may also be asked to attend evening meetings or events. Specialty registrars in public health have nationally agreed pay scales starting at around £30,000 and rising to around £47,000 per annum. Public health consultant salaries range between £60-100,000 or more depending on the employer and level of experience.
Desirable skills and values
You'll be flexible to cope with multiple and changing demands, meet tight deadlines and have a high level of intellectual skill. You'll have political awareness as well as an ability be tactful and diplomatic and be able to advise, challenge, advocate and influence. You'll be able to understand other cultures and work across organisational boundaries.
Public health specialists usually complete their training so they can apply for a consultant post. Experienced consultants may progress to more senior roles, such as local, regional and strategic director roles for Public Health England or in local authorities.