Professionals employed in public health work to improve the health and well-being of communities and individuals. The ways in which the public health professional improves community well-being will depend on their specific job title. Health educators are a prominent specialization in this field; they work to teach communities ways in which they can improve their health and develop better habits. Medical and health social workers, on the other hand, work one-on-one with individuals who are facing health problems, to help them deal with the emotional, financial, and physical issues of ill health and improve their health for the future. Health and medical services managers represent another specialty in this career field. They deal with the administrative issues of running community clinics and other public health services organizations.
Most professionals in this field need at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant area, in order to launch their career. Public health, public policy, health services management, anthropology, and sociology degrees could all be relevant for professionals in this field. Master’s degrees are required for some management and upper-level research positions.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts strong job growth and good job opportunities for most public health specialties in the coming years. As healthcare becomes increasingly expensive and the aging Baby Boom population strains the healthcare system, more public health professionals will be needed to provide adequate healthcare services. The average health services manager earns $80,000 a year; health educators earn around $44,000, and health and medical social workers earn $47,000.
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