The public health field offers a remarkable variety of career options in unusually diverse work environments. That’s because public health professionals come from different educational backgrounds such as healthcare, mathematics, research, environmental science, statistics, biology, law, engineering, medicine, and immigration. This diversity provides many opportunities for individuals to make contributions to public health in their own areas of interest and expertise.
Here are seven interesting work environments for public health careers. You may discover that one of them appeals to you:
Public health attorneys are advocates and advisors for people, communities, and government agencies. As advocates, they represent individuals, groups, or other entities (e.g., pharmaceutical companies) in various criminal or civil trials and present evidence. They may also work outside the courtroom developing public health policies. In addition to a law degree, lawyers may have a master of public health degree.
Doctors, nurses, and infectious disease experts work on the front lines of public health care in the crowded conditions of refugee camps around the world. Life-threatening diseases like cholera, dysentery, jaundice, and malaria can spread like wildfire in the camps, threatening nearby communities and beyond. These professionals monitor conditions and provide much-needed medical assessments, care, and treatments for the refugees. In addition to medical degrees, doctors and nurses may have a public health graduate degree.
Community Outreach Programs
Aiming to improve public health knowledge on a grassroots level, health teachers work in community outreach programs, presenting health seminars and creating educational materials for the general public. A BS in public health and/or master of public health may be required.
Journalism and Media
Public health journalists write articles and stories about public health issues for print or online publication, television, or radio. They report important scientific research in a style that is easy for the public to understand. As journalists, they often interview interesting people for their articles. They work for publications, local hospitals, research centers, insurance companies, and health centers. They may have a BS in communication, an MS in communication, or a journalism degree.
Working Abroad for Nongovernment Organizations
Nongovernment organizations (NGOs) are not-for-profit groups organized on a local, national, or international level to address issues in support of the public good. Directors of NGOs may work in an international setting, overseeing the managerial aspects of the organization. Travel may be a regular part of their job. Examples of NGOs are Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Lawyers Without Borders. Some directors may have medical or law degrees, while others may have graduate degrees such as a master of public health (MPH), doctor of public health (DrPH), orPhD in Public Health.
Public Health Settings
Epidemiologists and environmental scientists spend the majority of their time in a variety of public health settings. Epidemiologists conduct research, analyze data, and investigate the causes of disease and other public health problems. They work in hospitals, universities and colleges, and city and state health departments. Environmental scientists study the effects of the environment on public health and discover new ways to improve how we interact with our environment.
Working with Animals
Public health veterinarians are experts at studying the causes and distribution of diseases, or epidemiology, between animals and humans as well as human to human. They’ve been invaluable in determining the source and distribution of several diseases that pose risks to humans, such as rabies, SARS, and West Nile virus. Many work to ensure food safety at farms, processing plants, and distribution centers. In addition to a veterinary degree, they usually have a master of public health degree. With their specialized knowledge and skill set, public health veterinarians may work as epidemiologists, pathologists, or researchers.
Online Public Health Degree Programs at Walden University
Walden University offers a range of accredited online public health degree programs and graduate certificate programs for students pursuing diverse public health careers.
Walden University, an accredited institution, has been serving the higher education needs of adult learners for 45 years. Today, more than 47,800 students from all 50 U.S. states and more than 150 countries are pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees or certificates online at Walden.
Explore Walden University's online public health degree programs and specialized certification programs that fit your career goals. Earn your degree in a flexible online format that fits your life and schedule.
Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.