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Sexual health adviser

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

Annual Salary

£24,907 to £44,503

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings; on a rota

Future employment

There will be 6% more Sexual health adviser jobs in 2026.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

In this role, you could:

  • advise patients on precautions to take with current partners
  • trace and contact previous partners who may have been exposed to a sexually transmitted inflection (STI)
  • promote good sexual health practices
  • counsel patients
  • teach and train
  • carry out research
  • compile local statistics

Working environment

You may need to wear protective clothing.

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

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

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
For more information
Volunteering and work 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.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

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:Royal Society for Public Health; British Association for Sexual Health and HIV; Health Careers

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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.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • active listening skills
  • knowledge of English language
  • customer service skills
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • the ability to work well with others
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • administration skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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