Now more than ever, the world is in need of public health professionals. Find out which types of public health careers you can pursue within this high-demand field.
In late 2019, the world first learned about a new, novel coronavirus. It spread like wildfire, and in March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the spread an official pandemic. People around the world experienced shutdowns, quarantines, and states of emergency. Millions of cases have been reported since the start, and over 500,000 Americans have died from the virus.
As far as infectious diseases go, pandemics are the worst-case scenario. But the outbreak of COVID-19 is not the first time society has experienced a pandemic, and it won’t be the last. According to History.com, communicable diseases date back to the hunter-gatherer days, but the shift to agrarian life 10,000 years ago created communities that made epidemics more common.
Today, more than ever before, we understand the importance of public health professionals. Between a global pandemic, chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes, and the drug overdose epidemic, we need quality healthcare. Whether the COVID-19 pandemic has inspired you or you have always wanted to work in the public health field, you may be thinking about the careers available. Read on, as we explore seven, unique types of public health careers you can pursue with a degree in hand.
- Public Health Services Manager
Medical and health services managers oversee, direct, plan, and coordinate medical and healthcare services. This role might involve managing an entire facility, a department, or a medical practice for a group of doctors. So if you’re a natural-born leader, this may be the perfect position for you. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), public health services manager typically needs at least a bachelor’s degree. Some jobs may require a master’s degree in a related field. The preparation is worth the investment. The median salary for public health services managers was $100,980 per year in 2019. In addition, this position is expected to grow a notable 32 percent over the next several years – eight times the average for all occupations.
- Public Health Educator
Health educators teach people about health factors and behaviors that promote wellness. They develop and implement strategies to improve the health of individuals and communities alike. This is another role that’s expected to grow much faster than the average job, with an expected 13 percent growth between 2019 and 2029. With a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from a career-focused school like Goodwin University, you will be able to step into this role and begin an exciting new career.
Epidemiologists are considered the detectives of disease. They are the public health professionals who investigate the cause of disease, identify people at risk, determine how to control or help stop the spread. This role is perfect for anyone fascinated by infectious diseases like COVID-19 and how they develop. This profession requires a master’s degree from an accredited college or university. According to the BLS, the median annual pay for epidemiologists is $70,990.
Dieticians and nutritionists are experts in food and nutrition. They can help patients choose the right things to eat, help them plan menus, and guide them on their wellness journeys. If you are passionate about healthy living and good nutrition, you may be perfect for this role. Nutritionists need a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition, public health nutrition, or a related area. With a degree in public health, you can prepare for the career of your dreams.
- Child Development Specialist
Child development specialists work directly with children in their communities. Specifically, these professionals help to identify developmental disorders in children and ensure they have access to proper care and services. Because of the intricacies of their role, child development specialists are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as child study or public health.
- Community Health Worker
When people think of public health professions, they often think of community health workers. These professionals are responsible for helping both individuals and populations improve their overall health. These workers will promote healthy behaviors, teach others about proper healthcare, and may act as an advocate for clients and communities in need of health services. Community health workers will also work with other public health professionals to implement programs to improve, maintain, and encourage the health of the greater good.
- Health Inspector
Health inspectors, also called occupational health and safety specialists, play an important role in keeping communities safe. These professionals investigate public areas and workplaces—such as restaurants, hotels, and grocery stores—to ensure businesses are complying with health and safety regulations. Public health inspectors are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, though some positions may require a master’s education. In this role, you can expect to earn over $74,000 annually, according to the BLS.
Explore Your Career Options in Public Health Today
There are many different types of public health careers available, and we need smart, driven, and dedicated leaders to pursue this field more than ever before. Now that you have an idea of some of the many options out there, you may be asking, “Where do I start?”
Goodwin University offers public health programs at both the bachelor’s and master’s degree levels. Depending on your career goals and your timeline, you can pursue a career that fulfills and elevates your professional goals. Goodwin understands that students today need flexibility. Classes in the bachelor’s degree program are offered days, nights, and weekends, too. They are also available on-campus, online, and in a hybrid format. Classes are offered in a standard 15-week format. Our MPH program is also offered entirely online, and in an accelerated format for those who wish to get into a career fast.
Start your journey towards a public health career today. You can launch your career and help keep our communities safer and healthier. Learn more by calling Goodwin University at 800-889-3282, or visit us online to request more information.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.