Public health is a multidisciplinary field that offers a diverse career and work environment. Professionals willing to enter the public health sector can choose their careers either in a clinical or management department. Surprisingly, from high school graduates to PhDs, anyone can choose to serve in the public health industry – provided they are interested in pursuing a career in this field.
The recent years have seen a growth in demand for public health workers since keeping communities healthy and safe is a priority of every state. Despite the common assumption that public health workers work in hospitals or government agencies only, you can make a career in nonprofit, private, and academic sectors.
Even though a career in the public health sector may seem lucrative, it can be daunting for you when faced with an overwhelming number and scope of jobs. When you are thinking of entering the industry, the most pressing questions would be: where to start from, and what to expect? To answer these questions and simplify the process for you, we have drawn a list of top public health jobs. You can expect better pay, career growth, and personal development.
So without wasting any more time, let us get started.
1. Public Health Nurse
Public Health nurses are arguably the largest segment of professionals in the said sector. As a nurse, you can work in various settings like schools, old homes, community health centers, public health departments, correctional facilities, clinics, and many more.
A public health nurse’s prime responsibilities include promoting health while preventing diseases and disabilities in society. Determining the people’s healthcare needs and planning to prevent illness and premature deaths are also part of the job description.
However, to experience personal and professional development as a nurse, we strongly suggest Master of Public Healthcare (MPH). Furthermore, you can always pursue mph online if attending classes along with your job or apprenticeship is difficult.
For personal development, nurses can work on emergency cases, challenge themselves to learn new skills and practices at work. You can achieve this through on-the-job-training and various certifications. Public Health Educator, Disaster Specialist, and Health Services Research Analyst are a few options for nurses aiming for career advancement.
2. Occupational Therapy Assistant And Aid
For high school graduates, becoming an Occupational Therapy Assistant is a perfect choice for a career in public health care that doesn’t require an advanced degree or work experience. The prime responsibility of working in this capacity is assisting patients in developing, recovering, and improving their mental or physical health.
As an Occupational Therapy Aid, you may work with disabled children in improving their coordination and socialization, or you can help old citizens with therapeutic tasks like stretching. Recording patients’ progress and reporting to Occupational Therapists are also covered in the job description.
The median pay for an Occupational Therapy Assistant is $59,200, which will grow by 31% between 2019 and 2029. You will be likely appointed in hospitals, occupational therapy offices, and nursing homes to conduct your duties. Beyond this, there are few certifications that you need to complete before or during your employment. It includes Basic Life Support Certification and CPR Certification.
Another plus point of pursuing this career is that you can fill your personal development goals. Interacting with patients, providing physical assistance, and following your superior’s instruction allows you to gain physical strength, work on interpersonal skills, and become detail-oriented.
After the pandemic, epidemiology demand increased significantly across the globe. Epidemiologists investigate the causes and patterns of infectious diseases. They seek to reduce and prevent the occurrence and spread of adverse health outcomes by focusing on health policy, research and education. However, their responsibilities do not end here. As an Epidemiologist, you will have to work with policymakers and the public too closely.
Even though prior experience is unnecessary, we strongly advise securing a Master’s degree before applying for the position. Government health departments, universities, and hospitals are a few options for you to work in this capacity. The average annual salary of an Epidemiologist is $70,990.
Suppose you are looking to broaden your experience and knowledge while working as an Epidemiologist. In that case, you can rotate between different work environments. You can also enter the government as a policymaker to achieve your goals.
4. Computer And Information System Manager
Also known as Clinical Informatic Specialist, Computer and Information Manager System overseas all computer-related activities and tasks in a healthcare organization. In other words, you will be taking care of the health information system used by your healthcare organization. It is different from other information systems used by regular organizations or private companies.
In the public healthcare system, the information manager will resolve hardware and software issues to ensure that patient’s records are maintained. Often, doctors and nurses require immediate information on patients. It will be your duty to see that the relevant data is readily available.
Moving to pay-outs and career growth, the median salary for a Computer and Information System Manager, is $146,360. If you are interested in making a career in this particular field, you must obtain a bachelor’s degree. But to see your career advance as an IT Manager or a Chief Technology Officer, you must get hold of a Master’s in Healthcare Informatics.
Also, you will find several chances to achieve your personal goals while working in this capacity. You can work on time management, develop analytical, decision making, and communication skills.
Public healthcare is undoubtedly a lucrative industry, not only because of the earning opportunities and career perspective but also due to personal development. You jump start your career after receiving a high school diploma or switch your career in this industry.
Lastly, we all will agree that earning with satisfaction is the most lucrative profession for all!