Public Health Degree: 5 Career Options

Just like an individual, an entire community can get sick. The problem may be obvious, like a massive outbreak of TB, or more obscure, like a high rate of teen pregnancy or illegal drug use. When this happens, the job of curing the community falls on Public Health Workers instead of Doctors or hospitals.

Careers in public health really run the gamut. You may deal directly with people as a healthcare worker or you may work behind the scenes, running tests and performing research. No matter what career you choose, though, this field is heavy on education. You teach people the best ways to avoid disease and improve their health.

1. Public Health Nurse — This job requires both an RN degree and a master’s in public health. Having both degrees means you understand not only the medical side of the job but also things like how the public reacts during an emergency and how to stop an illness from spreading.

This makes you the perfect Educator not only for the public but also for the medical community since you speak their language (that is, medical jargon). You hold talks and presentations to explain everything from what to do in an emergency to how to avoid getting sick during flu season.

2. Public Health Advisor — Work for the CDC to figure out how diseases spread and what populations are most at risk. You spend your days talking to people—carrying out interviews with those affected by disease or educating the healthy on how to stay that way.

3. Public Health Dentist — Like any Dentist, you clean teeth, attend to dental emergencies, and carry out tooth surgery. Unlike other Dentists, though, you do it for those with low incomes at free clinics.

4. Public Health Registrar — You maintain and keep community medical records. Birth announcements, death certificates, and disease records all cross your desk.

5. Public Health Microbiologist — Diseases don’t stand a chance against you. When an outbreak happens in a community, you test food, water, and any other samples to hunt down the source of the illness.

For more great career ideas check out the list below, or visit the Inside Jobs Blog!

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