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Public Health Career Opportunities

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    Whether you prefer crunching numbers, want to work with people, or research is your thing, there’s a public health career for you. With your public health degree, you can move immediately into a rewarding public health career. Still, more options are available to those interested in further graduate study or specialized training. A public health degree can serve as the foundation for careers in most master's programs. 

      Explore employment opportunities by visiting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Top Jobs.

    • General Information
      • Public health is a broad, multi-disciplinary field. Other specialties within public health include areas such as: women’s health, children’s health, nutrition, bioterrorism, gerontology, and veterinary public health.
      • A bachelor’s degree opens the door for entry level opportunities in areas such as health education and promotion and environmental health.
      • A master’s degree is typically required for healthcare administration, scientific investigations, biostatistics, and epidemiology. This also raises salary potential.
      • A doctoral degree is required to reach the highest levels of administration or research and for university teaching positions.
      • Many opportunities in public health exist with government agencies especially: The Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Health Resources and Services Administration, Indian Health Service, National Institutes of Health, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Become familiar with government hiring procedures. Obtain a government internship in area of interest.
      • Develop a specialty area of interest via supplemental coursework and/or work experience for greater marketability within that specific career field.
      • Cultivate personal characteristics such as enthusiasm, dedication, and a positive attitude. Maintain and demonstrate a personal commitment to healthy living.
      • Writing, interpersonal, presentation, and problem-solving skills are critical in most career fields related to public health.
      • Gain experience working with diverse populations across diverse settings. Learn to work well with others individually and in groups.
      What can I do, specifically, with a public health degree?
      Position TitleDescriptionSalary Range
      Health EducatorEncourages healthy lifestyles, policies, and environments by providing and managing health education programs. Collects and analyzes data to identify community needs prior to planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating programs. Serves as a resource to individuals, other health professionals, or communities.$27,730 - $86,810 - USA -Bureau of labor Statistics 2013
      Clinical CoordinatorOversees quality assurance, which includes routine site audits, case management oversight, follow-up, and tracking.up to $65,534
      Healthcare AnalystCompletes complex statistical analyses, communicates findings, tracks and evaluates patterns and outcomes.$60,000 - $72,000
      Vaccine CoordinatorProvides technical advice and immunization leadership to health care providers, community partners and the general public.$40,000 - $50,000
      Research AssistantConducts fact substantiation for advertising and public relations. Conducts literature searches and reviews.$38,000 - $43,000
      Healthcare Access AssociateAdvances and asserts the role and authority of health department HIV care and treatment and viral hepatitis programs in the U.S. $40,000 - $50,000
      Data and Quality Improvement SpecialistProvides oversight and coordination of activities related to quality improvement. Collects data and implements activities designed to improve the operations of healthcare delivery. starting at $43,000 
      Human Service WorkerPromotes healthcare access, while realizing maximum reimbursement by conducting comprehensive interviews with consumers about their health care coverage, helping them to evaluate their public assistance options.$43,095 to $57,460 
      Health Facility SurveyorConduct surveys and investigates Medicare and Medicaid complaints.$50,244 - $59,100
      Evaluation SpecialistCoordinates activities related to the match of the HIV registry to AIDS drug assistance program beneficiary data. $56,814
      Health Promotion Program CoordinatorDevelops, coordinates and manages the installation of health promotion activities in concert with the Department of Defense. $57,408 - $74,628
      Public Health and Prevention SpecialistCollects communicable disease data from internal and external sources for use in planning and evaluating programs’ effectiveness and efficiency. Interprets and disseminates information on program rules, regulations and policies.$38,136 - $61,032
      Preparedness SpecialistPerforms moderately difficult analysis, research, writing, and project coordination.$42,319 - $44,000
      Study Clinic CoordinatorAddresses primary prevention of diabetes by planning, implementing, and administering research studies, initiatives, and programs aimed at increasing detection, prevention, lifestyle change, and patient and provider awareness.$47,231 - $69,614
      Environmental Health SpecialistConducts routine and follow-up inspections of retail food service establishments to determine compliance with regulations/procedures.$43,989 - $56,151
    • The Public Health Path and Career Outlook

    • Public Health Specialties:

      • Behavioral Science and Health Education
      • Biostatistics
      • Environmental and Occupational Health
      • Epidemiology
      • Health Policy and Administration
      • International Health
      Behavioral Science and Health Education

      Areas

      • Programming
      • Disease Prevention
      • Community Outreach
      • Grant Writing
      • Fundraising
      • Volunteer Coordination
      • Social Marketing
      • Public Relations
      • Teaching
      • Assessment
      • Research

      Employers

      • Local, state, and federal government
      • Nonprofit organizations such as: American Red Cross, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association
      • Community mental health centers
      • Local health departments
      • Corporate wellness programs
      • Fitness facilities
      • Schools
      • Colleges and universities
      • Hospitals
      • Research and development firms
      • International health agencies

      Strategies

      • Become familiar with grant writing techniques and grant submission procedures.
      • Supplement curriculum with relevant coursework in social work, sociology, psychology, English, journalism, or public relations.
      • Volunteer to gain experience and develop expertise in a particular area or organization.
      • Learn to work well with diverse populations.
      • Get credentialed as a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). Become involved in health programming on campus.
      • Obtain part-time or summer job with campus health center or wellness coordinator.
      • Develop strong public speaking and presentation skills.

      Biostatistics

      Areas

      • Research Methodology
      • Data Analysis
      • Clinical trials
      • Teaching

      Employers

      • Local, state, and federal government
      • Public health departments
      • Centers for Disease Control
      • Pharmaceutical industry
      • Biotechnology firms
      • Nonprofit organizations
      • Colleges and universities
      • Research institutions
      • Hospitals
      • International health agencies

      Strategies

      • Hone skills and interest in mathematics and statistics.
      • Develop strong computing and technology skills.
      • Get involved with research and gain as much experience as possible.

       

      Environmental and Occupational Health

      Areas

      • Air Quality
      • Food Protection
      • Radiation Protection
      • Solid Waste Management
      • Water Quality
      • Noise Control
      • Housing Quality
      • Vector Control
      • Risk Assessment
      • Management
      • Policy Development
      • Consulting

      Employers

      • Government agencies such as: CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration
      • Local and state health departments
      • Armed services
      • Private research facilities
      • Environmental agencies
      • Consulting firms

      Strategies

      • Plan to take courses in chemistry, biology, geology and other related sciences.
      • Learn to work well with a team of other professionals such as physicians, engineers, and scientists.
      • Read related journals to stay abreast of new trends and legislation in the field.

       

      Epidemiology

      Areas

      • Research
      • Teaching
      • Program Design
      • Program Evaluation
      • Incident/Disease Investigation
      • Risk Assessment
      • Surveillance

      Employes

      • Local, state, and federal public health departments
      • Government agencies such as: National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
      • Armed services
      • World Health Organization (WHO)
      • Private research foundations
      • Pharmaceutical industry
      • Nonprofit organizations

      Strategies

      • Develop a solid background in the biological sciences and mathematics.
      • Gain experience with research.
      • Volunteer to assist professors with research or apply for summer research programs.
      • Find a topic of interest and gain as much knowledge and experience in that area.
      • Earn a master's or doctoral degree in public health, epidemiology, microbiology, or a related field.

       

      Health Policy and Administration

      Areas

      • Operations
      • Finance
      • Program Management
      • Human Resources
      • Information Technology
      • Marketing
      • Public Relations
      • Facilities
      • Patient Care
      • Provider Relations
      • Policy Analysis
      • Policy Development

      Employers

      • Hospitals
      • Health systems
      • Clinics
      • Medical groups
      • Hospices
      • Home health agencies
      • Long-term care facilities
      • Mental health facilities
      • Health maintenance organizations (HMOs)
      • Academic medical centers
      • Public health departments
      • Government programs such as: Medicare, Medicaid

      Strategies

      • Supplement undergraduate curriculum with courses in business.
      • Earn a master’s degree in Public Health, Business, or a related field.
      • Gain experience through internships and other work experiences.
      • Develop strong computer and technology skills.
      • For positions in lobbying and legislation, some will earn a law degree.
      • Join related professional organizations and build a network of contacts.

       

      International Health

      Areas

      • Social and Economic Development
      • Health Policy
      • Demography
      • Women’s Health
      • Children’s Health
      • Design of Healthcare Systems
      • Disease Prevention and Control

      Employers

      • International organizations such as: World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Bank
      • Bilateral government development agencies such as: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Public Health Service, Office of International Health
      • Peace Corps
      • Nonprofit organizations such as: International Red Cross, CARE, Doctors Without Borders

      Strategies

      • Learn one or more foreign languages.
      • Study or intern abroad.
      • Learn to adapt to cultural and racial diversity.
      • Be willing to live and work in third world nations.