Trade Schools With Public Health Programs
- Trident at American InterContinental University
- Penn State World Campus
- New England Institute of Technology
- Franklin Pierce University
- Boston University
- Berkeley College
- American Sentinel University
- Thunderbird School of Global Management
- Strayer University
- Nova Southeastern University
- Walden University
- Stevens-Henager College
- West Coast University
Public health professionals work to promote and improve the well being of people and their communities. Because the world has become so interconnected, the efforts of these workers now impact societies all around the globe. From implementing changes in government policy to planning wellness programs for local organizations, public health employees have a wide range of different duties.
With many opportunities and specialties to choose from, a public health career is an excellent choice for those who want to make a difference in the lives of others. Students interested in this role must complete a specialized degree program. Obtaining additional certifications and hands-on experience can also help them advance within this field.
What Is Public Health?
Public health is a complex industry that encompasses a number of medical care positions beyond a hospital setting. However, each employee is working towards a common goal. Their aim is to safeguard the health of individuals and the groups they live in by preventing injury and illness, controlling infectious diseases, and promoting healthy lifestyle choices.
Many sectors rely on public health employees including government, private business, non-profits, and academia. This means that qualified workers have several options in choosing where they work and what responsibilities they have. Day-to-day duties will vary based upon which setting a person is in but each has laws, regulations, and cultural guidelines staff members must follow.
Careers in public health are often stressful. How an employee changes or manages policies can have far reaching consequences. They may find themselves accountable for decisions that affect local, national, and even global communities. Although it can be difficult, many people find that helping others stay safe and healthy is quite rewarding.
What Are Public Health Job Duties?
A person’s job title determines their daily tasks. For example, epidemiologists study different diseases and find strategies to fight the spread of viruses. Environmental health specialists test for chemicals, analyze water quality, or engineer systems to control pollution. Global health workers try to increase access to resources and healthcare worldwide.
Some public health professionals have outreach responsibilities as well. They may distribute fliers to advertise an upcoming health education class or plan and implement marketing campaigns. Non-profits often have employees complete grant applications to secure funding for programs or initiatives.
In addition to these duties, public health professionals are also responsible for tasks like:
Collecting and analyzing data or statistics
Advocating for patients and clients
Monitoring and resolving outbreaks of illness or disease
Addressing community health hazards
Developing emergency preparedness plans
Conducting public health studies
What Types of Skills Should Public Health Employees Possess?
While some skills relate to specific job titles, there are a few that are crucial for any role. One of these is analytical thinking. This ability is important for addressing problems and managing complex projects. Whether reviewing data about a pandemic or identifying goals and objectives, knowing how to break down complex situations is helpful when looking for patterns or solutions.
Communication is also vital for success in this field. Public health professionals often share ideas with others both verbally and in writing. In a crisis, these workers need to be accurate and concise when sharing information. Since they interact with people from various backgrounds, understanding cultural norms can also help them tailor their message to different groups.
Why Do People in Public Health Need the Ability To Think Critically?
In order to make good decisions, people with public health jobs need to know how to research and evaluate issues. They must be willing to consider multiple points of view, ask plenty of questions, and avoid jumping to conclusions. Before they act, it is important for these professionals to consider all possible outcomes and how their choice will impact different groups.
Critical thinking involves analyzing the available facts and choosing the solution that provides the most benefit with the least amount of risk. Public health workers have to use their judgement and balance the demands of each situation with accepted moral and ethical standards.
How Do Those in Public Health Promote Their Work?
Employees often need to promote awareness of projects they work on. They might create marketing campaigns for wellness programs, advocate steps to avoid illness, or apply for grants and funding to use on projects. Some nonprofit organizations reach out to recruit volunteers or share information about services they offer or a need for donations.
What are Useful Skills for People in This Field?
- Cooperate with other leaders and members of a team
- Make decisions and take responsibility for the outcome
- Work with multiple organizations
- Manage limited resources
- Budget appropriately for department needs
- Conduct detailed research
- Solve problems as they arise and change course when needed
- Adapt to a fast-paced environment
- Find common links to other health related disciplines
- Show compassion and empathy to others
Are There Special Requirements for Public Health Jobs?
Many employers expect candidates to have more than a high school diploma. Although some jobs don’t require a college degree, it’s helpful to have some knowledge of the field from either the classroom or an internship. Some schools offer certificate programs in public health hopefuls can complete.
An associate’s degree is great for those who want to enter the field fast. Students learn about how the healthcare system operates. They also study community services, types of learning behaviors, and the best methods of intervention for emergencies. This provides a good foundation for additional education.
Most positions in public health require more advanced degrees. Dieticians, social workers, and nurses study topics like biostatistics, nutrition, biology or public health policy to complete their bachelor’s. Epidemiologists, healthcare administrators, and safety engineers often have often earned a master’s.
Some people who want to work in science related occupations might need a doctorate degree. This pathway is ideal for those who enjoy medical research. Microbiologists, epidemiologists, and behavioral scientists all have a PhD. These students often choose to specialize in child, maternal, or global health.
What Is the Outlook on
Jobs in Public Health?
Finding work in this field is relatively simple due to the wide variety of roles that exist. Wherever people live, there is a need for professionals to help promote their health and safety. Because of this, people with public health training will continue to be in high demand.
Salaries and average pay rates hinge on multiple factors. The more education and experience a person has, the higher their salary becomes. Most public health employees with a four-year degree make around $65,000 a year. Those who specialize in areas like science and medicine may earn more than $125,000 annually.
Along with their wages, those with public health careers often have excellent benefits, including perks like:
Dental and vision plans
Continuing education programs
Short- and long-term disability
401(k) or public employee retirement plans
Paid time off
What Should Workers Expect?
Public health employees often face unique challenges. In times of crisis, this may mean working long hours or being flexible with their schedules. They also must deal with feedback and scrutiny from the public related to policy changes, relief efforts, and their response to natural disasters. International travel can may expose these professionals to additional workplace hazards as well.
Where Can Prospects Find Work?
Those who want to work in public health can find positions with the government, nonprofit organizations, academia, or in the private sector. Some places to consider when looking for a job are:
State and county health departments
Community outreach clinics
Disaster relief charities
Health insurance companies
What Challenges Do Public Health Workers Face?
Public health jobs can sometimes be very frustrating. Employees often struggle with limited access to important resources. A lack of technology, adequate training, supplies, or clean water can make their tasks difficult. These shortages can cause inefficiencies, affect the quality of care, and even undermine or erode trust for the community.
How Is Public Health Different from Clinical Health?
Clinical healthcare workers focus on the needs of individual patients. Examples include primary care physicians, dentists, and nurses. They diagnose illness, prescribe medications, and provide treatments and therapies in an office or hospital setting.
In contrast, public health professionals address the wellbeing of an entire population. They provide education about healthy living and try to increase access to care in underserved groups. Rather than focusing on a single case, these workers try to find the root cause, how to prevent illness, and reduce the spread of contagions.
What are Alternate Careers in Public Health?
Another careers related to public health involve providing emergency services. EMTs and paramedics work together to keep members of a community healthy. Law enforcement and firefighters help to ensure safety. These jobs may involve dangerous situations and salaries depend on the size and population of the area where an employee works.