How to become a press officer: Alice's story

Meet Alice, 25, and learn more about life as a press officer for the North West Ambulance Service. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

The reason I love my role is because I know that the messages that I'm putting out there on social media, on the press releases are really positive and they're going to make a really important difference to people's lives.

  • As a press officer for the North West Ambulance Service, Alice needs to look out for news stories that mention the North West Ambulance Service and needs to know what's happening nationally with NHS England

  • She works on different campaigns to promote different messages, such as the Hero Next Door campaign to recruit volunteers for the ambulance service

  • One of the main skills she uses in her job is writing, so English and Media Studies have been really useful for her role

  • She knew that she wanted to work in communications and always wanted to work in the public sector, in particular the NHS, so she looked out for interesting jobs on the NHS jobs website, where she found her current job.

Watch Alice's colleagues in action on BBC One's Ambulance.

What to expect if you want to become a press officer

Press officers manage an organisation's public image and reputation. They're also known as communications officers or public relations officers.

  • Press officer salary: £18,000 to £90,000 per year
  • Press officer working hours: 38 to 40 hours per week. You could work evenings/weekends attending events.

What qualifications do you need to be a press officer?

  • Typical entry requirements: There is no set entry route to become a press officer, but it may be useful to do a relevant subject like a Foundation Certificate in Marketing. You can work towards this role by doing a public relations assistant higher apprenticeship. You'll usually need four or five GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and college qualifications like A-levels (or equivalent) for a higher or a degree apprenticeship. You could study for a degree or postgraduate award recognised by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. Courses include public relations, media communications, business and public relations. You'll usually need two to three A-levels (or equivalent) for a degree or a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

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