Sexual health adviser

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Sexual health advisers provide information, advice and counselling about sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Salary range: £24,250 to £43,250

How to become a sexual health adviser

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • applying directly


Relevant college courses include:

  • Level 4 Diploma in Health Promotion and Management
  • teaching, assessing and mentoring qualifications

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, a level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a level 4 or level 5 course

More information

Volunteering and experience

You’ll find it helpful to get some paid or voluntary experience in the health or care sector before you apply for a course.

You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for further advice.

You could also approach charities who work in sexual health, like:

Direct application

To apply directly for work as a sexual health adviser, you’ll need experience in nursing, health visiting, social work or counselling.

Some employers may accept you with a degree in a subject such as public health, health promotion or psychology, if you have relevant experience in a health care setting.

You’ll also need:

  • recognised counselling training, skills and practice
  • knowledge of sexually transmitted infections, HIV and related sexual health issues
  • experience in health education and promotion

If you’re a qualified nurse, you can prepare for this work by taking further sexual health training courses.

More information

Career tips

Many trainee nurses or social workers become interested in this work by choosing study options and arranging work placements related to sexual health.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a sexual health adviser from:

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • knowledge of English language
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • administration skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • advising patients on precautions to take with current partners
  • tracing and contacting previous partners who may have been exposed to the STI
  • promoting good sexual health practices
  • counselling patients
  • teaching and training
  • carrying out research
  • compiling local statistics

Working environment

You could work in the community or at a health centre.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to senior sexual health adviser, or a sexual health lead or management role.

There may also be opportunities to move into a public health project management role (specialising in sexual health) within local government.

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