A Guide to Entering the Public Health Field

Entering the Public Health Field: Guide In 6 Steps

Public health field is a field revolving around health promotion, planning, and protection, in communities. Well-trained professionals in the public health sector fill various roles, such as public health educator, public health policy, and public health leadership. Such a wide variety of career opportunities exist within this field, which means it can sometimes be challenging to know how to enter the field and find an area that holds your passion. If you want to dedicate your life to helping people, here is some helpful information for building your future in public health.

Entering the Public Health Field

When you see just how many people love their public health careers, it’s hard not to want to experience the same rewards for yourself. However, you might not know what you need to study to make your dreams a reality. If you’re a health professional looking for a role in public health policy, leadership, or education, a Master of Public Health might set you up for success.

You can also specialize in Health Promotion and Global Health Leadership to further boost your career prospects. Generally, such qualifications prepare students for becoming community leaders, performing duties in a public health setting, and increasing social awareness around health and its importance.

1. Public Health Career Earning Potential

While making a difference is one of the core reasons why people consider careers in public health field, it doesn’t hurt to be aware of the earning potential. Salaries can depend on your medical field, experience level, and the public health role you consider taking on. For example, project managers might earn between $51,000 and $98,000, while the earning potential of program managers, data analysts, and epidemiologists is between $46,000 and $88,000. Healthcare consultants tend to earn the most, with a salary between $59,000 and $116,000.

2. Public Health Career Opportunities

It’s not uncommon for people to know they want to work in public health field but be unsure about the exact role that would suit their needs, preferences, and talents the most. There is a wide variety of options to choose from, including in areas like these below:

3. Social and Behavioral Sciences

Social and behavioral sciences traditionally revolved around communal and sociological issues. However, more focus is now on community quality of life and health. Many public health professionals in this area work with underserved communities with an emphasis on physical health education and clinical treatment for health problems like obesity and diabetes.

4. Epidemiology Research

Medical professionals looking for a change of pace might decide to work in public health as epidemiologists. While such a role can be stressful due to the global pressures associated with virus research, it can also be gratifying when you learn more about the prevention of communicable diseases that lead to better community outcomes. Epidemiologists also get to work in a range of environments, such as non-profit organizations, universities, hospitals, and clinics.

5. Public Health Education

There has been significant demand for healthcare workers, which means there has also been a demand for people to train those workers. Public health field workers with healthcare backgrounds can typically fill these roles. As a public health educator, your job is to stay current on public health information, communicate new information to other healthcare professionals, and explain complicated subjects in easy-to-understand language. Public interaction and communication are a core part of this public health role.

6. Emergency Healthcare Management

Emergency healthcare management is a public health role involving organizing healthcare services for the general public during disasters. People in these roles help doctors and nurses administer first aid, organize medication and healthcare products, and even travel to wherever disasters have impacted communities. Typically, people fulfilling emergency healthcare management roles require a master’s degree or bachelor’s degree.

Skills and Qualities You Need for the Public Health Field

You might have the appropriate qualifications for a role in public health field, but that doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily have the right skills and qualities. These can differ from one job to the next, and some are transferable between job types. In environmental health, you should have attention to detail and strong writing and verbal communication skills. These skills and qualities are also required in health promotion, alongside interpersonal skills and creativity, to reach and connect with remote communities.

If you see yourself working in occupational health and safety, attention to detail and lateral thinking can be paramount, while attention to detail and excellent writing and verbal communication skills are required in public health policy.

Any healthcare career can be rewarding, but the field of public health can take you on an entirely new journey. If you’re ready to advance your medical career and make an impact on your local community, now might be the right time to start exploring your public health study options.

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