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CONSIDER A CAREER IN PUBLIC HEALTH

Public HealthThe national unemployment rate declined in January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But even though the national rate declined, 20,000 more jobs were lost. In reality, the economy still lost jobs and the employment situation is quite ugly. The situation is even worse for younger workers. Nearly one in ten Americans aged 20 to 24 is unemployed.

But health care remains an economic bright spot. The U.S. Department of Labor expects the health sector to add more than 1.4 million workers over the next ten years. Health care has added more than 500,000 jobs since the start of the recession… Late last year the New York Times reported, "The health care industry, mining and public schools were the only sectors that showed more than modest growth…. Otherwise losses were deep and broad."  Health care is forecasted to remain a key source of job growth - All good news for those interested in a health care career!

How can you prepare for tomorrow’s jobs?
According to the July 2009 report from the Executive Office of the President, Council of Economic Advisors, “Preparing the Workers of Today for the Jobs of Tomorrow, “ well-trained and highly-skilled workers will be best positioned to secure high-wage jobs…Occupations requiring higher educational attainment are projected to grow much faster than those with lower education requirements.  A highly-skilled, well-trained, and educated workforce will ensure job security.  The ability to think critically and solve problems will be valuable skills in the workforce. Highly-skilled workers will be able to perform complex and ever-changing tasks.

To develop these skills, you will need a post-secondary education to provide the training required for good, high-paying jobs. The report notes that this expected growth does not consider the impact of healthcare reform. Although spending will be minimized as efficiency improves, expansion of health coverage for newly insured patients will lead to an increased demand for workers including physicians, non-physician clinicians, health care support workers, and nurses.

There are public health career opportunities in areas such as epidemiology, behavioral sciences and health promotion and health education, health policy and management/administration, global health, emergency preparedness, and environmental health science.  The following are just a sample of public health-related jobs:

  • Emergency Preparedness Manager
  • Industrial Hygienist
  • Federal, state or local Epidemiologist
  • Health Department Officer
  • Hospital Services Administrator
  • Long-Term Care Facilities Manager
  • Managed Care Case Manager
  • International HIV Specialist
  • Community Health Educator
  • Health Communications Specialist
  • Academic Policy Advisor
  • Laboratory Director

The following is a sample of public health career salaries and job information from
www.explorehealthcareers.org website:

Environmental Health Sciences In the wake of recent man-made and natural disasters, the US is placing a high priority on building up the nation's public health workforce.
($44,550 - $143,700)

Epidemiology In the wake of recent man-made and natural disasters, the US is placing a high priority on building up the nation's public health workforce.
($38,175 - $136,237)

Global Health In the wake of recent man-made and natural disasters, the US places a high priority on building the nation's public health workforce.
($31,500 - $86,625)

Health Administrator Health administrators are leaders in hospitals, physician group practices, nursing homes, and home health agencies.
($45,000 - $150,000)

Health Services Administration In the wake of recent man-made and natural disasters, the US is placing a high priority on building up the nation's public health workforce. ($37,050 - $161,400)

Public Health Practice & Program Management In the wake of recent man-made and natural disasters, the US is placing a high priority on building up the nation's public health workforce.  ($33,000 - $63,000)