Health trainer

Health trainers offer practical support to their clients to change their behaviour and achieve their own health goals.

Working life

Health trainers help their clients to assess their lifestyles and wellbeing, set goals for improving their health, agree action-plans, and provide practical support and information that will help people to change their behaviour. This could include promoting the benefits of:

  • taking regular exercise and eating healthily
  • reducing alcohol intake
  • breastfeeding
  • practising safe sex
  • stopping smoking

Working as a health trainer, you could be:

  • helping  people identify how their behaviours may be affecting their health
  • supporting individuals to create  a health plan to help make  changes to improve their health
  • helping individuals to become more knowledgeable about things that can affect their health and wellbeing
  • signposting to other agencies and professionals

Who will you work with? 

As a health trainer, you’ll be knowledgeable about the health issues that affect the community you are working in. The clients that you work with may be identified from existing community and support groups, through referral (such as from a health professional at a children’s centre) or via self-referral. Your clients will often come from hard-to-reach, disadvantaged groups such as the homeless, travellers and those with drug, alcohol and addiction problems.

While much of your work might be on a one-to-one basis, sometimes you could be working with groups of people, for example delivering group sessions on behaviour change and health improvement.

Health trainers may also be assisted in their work by members of the community who have been trained to be health trainer champions (HTCs are usually volunteers who have undertaken health improvement training at level 2 with the Royal Society of Public Health, and who can help health trainer services to extend their reach within communities).  

Where will you work?

Health trainers often work for private companies that provide a health trainer service for the NHS or for a local authority. They may also work directly for the NHS, a local authority or a charity, in the prison service or the armed services.

Want to find out more?

  • Pay and conditions of employment are likely to vary depending on the employer.  For more information please view our pay and benefits page.

    Example salaries: 

    Health Trainer: £18,813-£20,795 (Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, 2020)

    Health Trainer: £24,275-£26,343 (City of York Council, 2020)

  • With experience, health trainers may wish to progress into practitioner roles, into management or service development positions or other roles with a focus on public health.   

  • Job market information

    According to an estimate by Health Trainers England, there are over 4,000 health trainers who have been trained or in training.

    Where to look for job vacancies

    Recruiting for values

    If you're applying for a role either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services, you'll be asked to show how you think the values of the NHS Constitution apply in your everyday work. The same will be true if you are applying for a university course funded by the NHS.

    Find out more about NHS values.

    If you’re applying for a job in a local authority, each has its own set of core values underpinning its recruitment exercises, which can usually be found in the recruitment section of its website.

    Job titles

    Note that terms such as ‘practitioner’, ‘manager’, ‘specialist’ and ‘consultant’ may have different meanings in different job titles. Therefore, they do not necessarily reflect the role category that the job really belongs to. It is important to check the person specification of the role to fully understand the skills and knowledge required.

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