5 Compelling Reasons to Consider a Career in Public Health
In the recent past, there have been multiple crises that have thrust the field of public health into the limelight. Between the opioid epidemic, the COVID-19 crisis, the recent increase in domestic violence, and numerous other health issues, there have been countless opportunities for public health professionals to make a difference in global health outcomes. If you’re hoping to launch a new career or are preparing to change careers, this dynamic field is one you might want to consider working in. The following are 5 compelling reasons you might want to think about choosing a career in public health:
Choose From a Broad Variety of Career Options
Public health professionals report that they typically enjoy a broad variety of interesting research and career opportunities. A few of the job titles available in this niche are as follows:
- Healthcare Administrator
- Public Health Nurse; Community Health Nurse
- Health Promotion Officer; Health Educator
- Public Health Advisor; Health Policy Advisor
- Public Health Analyst
- Public Health Educator
- Community Health and Wellbeing Officer
- NGO Manager
- Associate Professor in Epidemiology
- Public Health Researcher
- Communicable Disease Analyst
- Community Health Coordinator
- Infection Preventionist
- Occupational Health Specialist
- Disease Preparedness Researcher
- Public Sector Health Economist
- Medical Writer
- Contact Tracer
As you can see, many varied roles exist for professionals who have gained knowledge and expertise on relevant aspects of public health.
A Welcoming Career Path for People of Diverse Backgrounds
Public health is a field that attracts professionals hailing from many different disciplines. This diverse group collaborates, using their varied expertise to work towards a common goal of solving complex health problems.
According to experts at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), it is a grave misconception to think that public health isn’t for everyone. The field of public health is welcoming to people from virtually every background. With the right credentials, even people who don’t already have extensive work experience in healthcare can find work in this niche. Professor Sibbritt at UTS has pointed out that public health students have a broad diversity of expertise in fields such as economics, sociology, psychology, nursing, medicine, and exercise science.
Enjoy a Generous Salary
Salaries for public health workers can vary dramatically depending on many factors. However, in general, public health professionals tend to be paid well for the work they do. A few examples are as follows:
Epidemiologists are employed in locations around the world. In the United States, the median annual earnings for epidemiologists were most recently calculated at $74,560. In Australia, the experts at the National Skills Commission categorize epidemiologists with statisticians and mathematicians; professionals in this group earn an average of $2,060 AU per week, which amounts to $107,120 AU per year.
Health Promotion officers and health educators are also employed in many locations across the globe. In the United States, the median annual pay for this role is $56,500 US; the best-paid health education specialists can earn upwards of $101,890 US per year. In Australia, health promotion officers earn an average of $1,876 AU per week, which amounts to total earnings of $97,552 AU per year.
The Employment Outlook Is Favorable
While it is impossible for government-employed career experts to be 100 percent accurate in future employment outcome predictions for any industry, their past predictions have been fairly reliable. They’re able to make reasonably accurate forecasts based on analysis of their data regarding demographic, technology, lifestyle, and employment trends.
The USA and Australia, experts are forecasting an abundance of future opportunities for public health professionals. In the United States, the career experts at the Bureau of Labor Statistics are predicting a combined 16 percent increase in employment of healthcare professionals in the United States by the year 2030.
In Australia, before the COVID-19 crisis became an issue, the career experts at the Australian Government National Skills Commission were predicting strong future growth in employment for health promotion officers; furthermore, they were predicting “very strong future growth” in employment opportunities for community health nurses and occupational health professionals. These forecasts remain unchanged in the aftermath of COVID-19. However, they do caution people to be aware that their estimates have not taken account of all the possible impacts of the virus, which of course, have introduced a number of uncertainties into the job market.
Do Meaningful Work That Positively Impacts Your Community and Your World
Public health professionals are at the forefront of researching health issues and combating health disasters that affect every citizen on planet earth. They’re investigating autism, developing strategies to prevent opioid overdoses, implementing school nutrition programs, battling infectious diseases, tracking Coronavirus variants, and advising policy makers on countless public health issues of international importance. If you join their ranks, you’ll be doing consequential work that has the potential to directly benefit your own community; furthermore, the work you do can also help to improve health outcomes for all of humanity. If you’re hoping to use your time in ways that can help others, this is definitely a worthwhile field to seek work in.
These are some of the most compelling reasons you might want to consider embarking on a career in the field of public health. Considering the essential nature of the work and the considerable demand for public health professionals, this is likely to be a viable line of work for sizable numbers of talented individuals.