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A career in public health can have a positive impact on your community. An individual in the field of public health may provide educational services to various populations, study and interpret data to make informed decisions, or manage a facility’s business side.
Since the U.S. population is aging and public health crises are ongoing, there are many career opportunities in public health. Check out this article to see if you’re suited for a career in public health.
Why Consider a Public Health Career?
Healthcare careers are highly sought after. Professionals in the health care field will always be needed because people will always need health services. The 2020 pandemic has increased the demand even more. Moreover, the health crisis has underscored the vast inequities in healthcare services between different American groups.
Many public health positions require only a bachelor’s degree, making them attractive to many students. The field also offers flexibility, which is a key benefit. Additionally, you can practice public health in any sector, for any industry, and anywhere in the world.
While a career in public health can be beneficial, professionals in other fields may wonder if it’s too late to switch careers. The growth of distance learning has made it easier for many people to prepare for a new career while still working full-time.
If you are worried that you will not have time to prepare for entrance exams, now many universities offer masters in public health online no GRE programs. This program allows you to advance or change careers without sacrificing your current commitments. When considering a career change, you’re better off enrolling in one that offers a higher salary and/or more fulfillment.Healthcare careers are highly sought after. Professionals in the health care field will always be needed because people will always need health services.Click To Tweet
Emerging Public Health Jobs
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most of the following careers are expected to offer relatively high salaries and above-average growth rates in the near future.
1. Health Educator
The BLS estimates that health educators’ job growth will be 13% from 2019 to 2029, with a median salary estimate of $48,140 in 2020.
Health educators promote healthy habits and promote wellness in the communities they work with. These professionals create health-related programs and distribute educational materials based on their research. In addition to health care facilities and colleges, health educators can work in nonprofit organizations.
There are different roles that health educators play in different settings. For example, government agencies may run campaigns to encourage vaccinations, while health educators in the private sector may offer incentives to motivate employees to get active.
This position requires a Bachelor’s degree in public health or health education. Obtaining a certified health education specialist credential may be necessary for some positions.
Job titles for Health Educators include Community Health Educators, Health Education Directors, and School Health Educators.
2. Occupational Health and Safety Specialist and Technician
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 4% job growth for health educators from 2019 to 2029, while the median salary for this position is $72,530.
Specialists and occupational health and safety technicians inspect and evaluate workplace equipment and best practices to ensure employee safety. These professionals aim to ensure that employers follow safety standards and government regulations.
Some specialists designed and implemented safety training programs to teach employers and employees how to correctly handle accidents and use equipment. Further, occupational health and safety specialists ensure that workers are treated fairly and safely and have access to protective equipment, such as gloves.
This career requires a bachelor’s degree in occupational health and safety or environmental health and safety. Some positions require a master’s degree in health-related fields.
Occupational Health and Safety Jobs include Environmental Health and Safety Technicians, Registered Nurses of Occupational Health, Safety Specialists, etc.
3. Social and Community Service Manager
BLS statistics indicate that health educators’ job growth will be 17% from 2019 to 2029, with a median salary of $69,600.
Social workers and community service managers usually supervise workers who provide direct services to the public. Collaborating with the community and other stakeholders, they develop and manage public health projects, programs, and organizations. Social and community managers also determine the effectiveness of projects and initiatives to make important decisions around health programs.
Those seeking social and community service positions can work for small and large organizations. In some cases, these managers specialize in particular demographics, such as children or the homeless, or they work in certain fields, such as mental health or drug abuse.
This position requires a Bachelor’s degree in social work, public health, or a related field.
Social and Community Services Managers can be employed as Community Engagement Managers, Residence Services Managers, and Social Services Department Managers.
4. Hospital Administrator
Based on BLS statistics, health educators’ jobs are expected to grow by 32% between 2019 and 2029, while their median salary is $104,280.
As medical professionals, their responsibilities include creating budgets, coordinating medical services, and hiring doctors.
Hospital administrators ensure that hospitals run smoothly and efficiently while continuing to provide patients with the best care. These positions are available at private medical centers and large hospitals. Most people who work in this position have years of experience working in medical facilities.
To become a hospital administrator, you will need a Bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration or a related field. Most employers prefer to hire candidates with a master’s degree in healthcare administration.
As a hospital administrator, you can be an assistant administrator, a health services administrator, or a health services manager.
5. Healthcare Consultant
The BLS estimates that health educators’ job growth will be 11% from 2019 to 2029, with a median salary of $87,660.
The purpose of healthcare consultants is to examine a medical company and find ways to improve production. Using data analysis and interpretation, healthcare consultants analyze a company’s numbers and offer ways to improve efficiency and productivity.
There are two healthcare consultants: contract employees who work through an agency and independent contractors who work directly with clients.
The minimum educational requirement is a Bachelor’s degree in a health-related field. Some employers may prefer candidates with master’s degrees or specializations.
Consultant jobs in public health include Behavioral Health Consultants, Health Navigation Consultants, and Healthcare Economics Consultants.
6. Public Health Nurse
From 2019 to 2029, the BLS predicts 7% job growth for health educators, while the median salary is $75,330.
Nurses who work in public health provide care and education to communities. Depending on the populations they serve, they offer different services and training. Public health nurses can, for example, ensure that health information is accessible, provide vaccination information, and offer prenatal care.
These professionals can also work with government agencies to manage community health program budgets, advocate for better health services for underserved populations, and manage patient care.
The minimum education requirement is an associate degree in nursing. Some employers seek candidates with a nursing degree or master’s degree. To become a registered nurse, you must also meet additional licensing requirements.
Nurses who work in public health can work as Community Outreach Nurses, Public Immunization Nurses, and School Nurses.
Pursuing a career in public health makes it possible to contribute to the overall health of a community without attending medical school. The primary focus of public health workers is prevention, which involves educating, researching, and collecting data.
Jobs in public health are stable, in demand, and available in many settings. Find a public health career that matches your strengths and interests, like medicine, technical, or business, and take the first step toward your dream career!