This section provides an overview of what we mean by the public health workforce, and the career development opportunities available. Find out more about our local specialty training programme and practitioner registration scheme, and under and post graduate courses offered by academic partners across the region. You can also find out what online and distance learning options are available.

The public health workforce comprises of those whose work is concerned with people’s lifestyles or the environment in which they live, and works to prevent illness or improve health and wellbeing. Some roles within public health involve helping individuals, while other roles may tackle cultural, social and/or economic factors that affect the health of groups of people. The public health workforce contributes to reducing the causes of ill health and improving people’s health and wellbeing. It does this by focussing on three public health domains:
  • health protection – protecting people from environmental or biological threats
  • health improvement – helping people to improve their lifestyles (e.g. through stopping smoking or eating more healthily)
  • improving services – ensuring that everyone has access to efficient, effective health services

The core and wider workforce

The public health workforce is made up of the core, and wider workforce. Together, these elements form a whole system of public health comprising the specialist and professional public health workforce, and those working across health and social care, and voluntary organisations. Examples of core and wider workforce job roles are shown below.    
Workforce diagram

Core workforce jobs

  • School nurse
  • Health visitor
  • Occupational Health nurse
  • Pulic Health reearch assistant
  • Epidemiologist
  • Midwife
  • Principle statisician

Wider workforce jobs

  • Dental Health worker (schools)
  • Peer educator
  • Childcare worker
  • Policeman
  • Refuge worker
  • Substance misuse worker
  • Public Health intelligence assistant