Health promoters work with communities and groups to develop ways to improve people’s health. They also work with government agencies to improve environmental conditions.
Qualified health promoters usually earn
$58K-$86K per year
Senior health promoters can earn
$87K-$119K per year
Source: Te Whatu Ora/DHBs, 2023.
Health promoters working for Te Whatu Ora Health NZ (former DHBs)
- Qualified health promoters usually earn $58,000 to $86,000 a year.
- Senior health promoters who supervise staff can earn $87,000 to $119,000.
Sources: Auckland Region District Health Boards/PSA, ‘Allied, Public Health, Scientific & Technical Multi Employer Collective Agreement, expires 30 June 2023’, 2022; and District Health Boards/PSA, ‘Allied, Public Health, Scientific & Technical Multi Employer Collective Agreement, expires 30 June 2023’, 2022.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)
What you will do
Health promoters may do some or all of the following:
- develop policies, strategies and programmes for improving health
- work with other agencies to co-ordinate health promotion programmes
- work alongside schools and community groups to identify health issues and solutions
- manage health promotion programmes
- advocate and lobby for health promotion causes
- establish networks in the community
- develop promotional and educational material for publication.
Skills and knowledge
Health promoters need to have:
- an understanding of different cultural approaches to health
- knowledge of the health system and political environment
- knowledge of the Treaty of Waitangi and the Ottawa Charter of Health (used in New Zealand for planning public health)
- project management skills
- evaluation skills, for assessing how effective their programmes are
- facilitation and negotiation skills.
- usually work regular business hours, but have to work evenings and weekends to attend community meetings or events
- work from offices but also in the community at places like schools, rest homes and marae.
What's the job really like?
Health promoters Melany Tainui, Harata Franks, and Hinerata Tuhaka Campin talk about their work with Māori women - 1.58 mins. (Video courtesy of Kia Ora Hauora)
Harata: Ko Ngāpuhi raua Ngāti Maniapoto ōku iwi. Ko Harata Franks ahau.
Hinerata: Ko Hinerata Tuhaka Campin tōku ingoa, ko Ngāti Porou, Ngāpuhi, me Ngāti Wai te iwi.
All: We are Māori health promoters.
Melany: We are based down here in Christchurch, and so we promote in cervical, breast screening and sexual health.
Hinerata: It's about having a passion for working with our Māori. It's about reducing the inequalities of Māori.
Harata: It's about getting the message out there, and to support or to awhi our wāhine on this journey. There's a lot more talk about our programme out there, and a lot of other wāhine supporting other wāhine to go and get themselves checked. And you get really scared, you get really fearful, so our job is to take that fear away and to make it as comfortable as possible, as we can.
Melany: In health promotion, there are great health promotion courses running. Otago University is a great place. There's also Raumati and that's based in Nelson. Raumati has a great avenue to all sorts of Māori science and Māori health.
Harata: It's a fantastic job. It's really fun, lots of work, as I said, within the community. Plenty of kai, plenty of hui.
Melany: I really enjoy my environment, I enjoy the place where I go to work every day and I enjoy my team immensely.
Hinerata: Health promotion for our team is actually about working at those grass-root levels, but in due course, if you want to further your career, the world's your oyster.
All: Together with Kia Ora Hauora, let's see Māori living careers in health. Kia Ora Hauora.
There are no specific entry requirements to become a health promoter. However, employers often prefer you to have a health promotion qualification such as a New Zealand Certificate in Public Health and Health Promotion (Level 5).
A certificate, diploma or degree in a related area can also be useful. Related subject areas include:
- social sciences
- public health
- health sciences
It is also useful to have experience in a related field such as:
- child health
- youth work
- community housing
Some health promoters learn skills on the job while studying toward a relevant qualification.
- Unitec Institute of Technology website - information about the Bachelor of Social Practice qualification
- Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand - information about the Certificate of Achievement introducing Health Promotion
- Manakau Institute of Technology - information about the New Zealand Certificate in Public Health and Health Promotion (Level 5)
The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 means that if you have certain serious convictions, you can’t be employed in a role where you are responsible for, or work alone with, children.
There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a health promoter. However, health education, biology, chemistry, te reo Māori, home economics (food and nutrition), and social studies are useful.
Health promoters need to be:
- excellent communicators
- good at planning
- outgoing and confident, with an interest in health improvement
- able to work with a wide range of people from different cultures and backgrounds
- able to motivate others.
Useful experience for health promoters includes:
- work in health
- work with government agencies, charities or community groups
- involvement in community health promotion activities.
As many health promoters work in a specific area of health, such as helping people to stop smoking, or with a particular sector of the community, such as children, experience in these areas or with these groups is useful.
Find out more about training
- Health Promotion Forum
- (09) 531 5500 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.hauora.co.nz
- NZ Public Health Workforce Development
- email@example.com - www.publichealthworkforce.org.nz
What are the chances of getting a job?
Demand for health promoters stable but may increase over coming years
Job opportunities for health promoters are average as demand is reasonably stable, according to the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand.
However, the Government's focus on public health, and targeting the causes of disease, may mean more demand for health promoters over the next three years to 2021. For example, health promoters might be required to develop mental health programmes.
According to the Census, 2,181 health promoters worked in New Zealand in 2018.
Opportunities best for health promoters with relevant qualifications or experience
Your chances of securing work as a health promoter are best if you:
- have a qualification in health promotion or a related field such as nursing or public health
- have worked in related roles such as community health worker or environmental health officer for local authorities.
If you are a graduate, it's useful to complete an internship at a non-governmental organisation (NGO) or the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand. These are usually organised by tertiary institutes as part of a student's health promotion training. Internships can provide you with experience, contacts and work references.
Types of employers varied
Health promoters can work for:
- district health boards
- primary health organisations such as doctors' practices
- non-governmental organisations such as community development groups
- local authorities.
Many health promoters work part time or as contractors on several projects at once.
- Simpson, T, deputy executive director/senior health promotion strategist, Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand, Careers Directorate – Tertiary Education Commission interview, February 2018.
- Stats NZ, '2018 Census Data', 2019.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)
Progression and specialisations
Health promoters may progress to work in managerial positions.
They may also specialise in working with certain groups such as:
- Asian people
- elderly people.
They may also specialise in educating people about topics such as:
- family violence
- alcohol and tobacco use
- mental health
- healthy housing
- community development.
Last updated 18 August 2023