Fight Against Covid-19: 10 Entry Level Public Health Jobs Needed ASAP
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Although the COVID-19 pandemic has already been raging for an entire year, it’s hard even for experts to determine where we are in the ongoing crisis. Whether as a society we’re halfway through the pandemic, nearly finished with the crisis, or still in the beginning stages is something that only time will tell. What we do know is the need for entry level public health jobs to help fight against the pandemic.
As the crisis continues to balloon, those who are just now entering the job market find themselves at a bit of a loss. With the markets in general in an ongoing state of flux due to shutdowns and other economic strains resulting from the pandemic, many recent high school and college graduates aren’t sure quite where to turn next for employment opportunities.
Now is actually the perfect time to consider starting a public health career. According to the American Public Health Association, public health workers can help work to reduce disparities in chronic disease outcomes and make a difference in communities both around the corner and around the country.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Public Health Jobs
As with any path, a public health career comes with both positives and negatives.
When it comes to advantages, there are quite a few.
- Social Benefits. Healthcare workers are highly respected and seen as positive contributors to society.
- Financial Incentives. Public health jobs tend to be more lucrative than some other fields, even on the entry level.
- Job Security. Unfortunately, there will always be sick people; therefore, there will always be the need for public health workers.
- Satisfaction and Pride. Public health workers know that what they do is actively making the world a better place, both for individuals and for society as a whole.
Naturally, public health jobs have their own unique disadvantages as well.
- Competition. Competition for entry-level jobs is high.
- Training. Particularly for entry-level positions, new hires often find that their on-the-job training is both challenging and intense.
- Weight of Responsibility. Many public health jobs come with the heavy burden of caring for other people in stressful situations, sometimes even life-and-death.
- Risk. Though nearly every career path involves some level of risk, entry level public health jobs come with risks that may include increased exposure to infectious diseases, toxins, and other medical hazards.
Knowing what you’re getting into ahead of time can go a long way toward helping you decide if you’re a good fit for a career in public health.
How Do I Start a Career in Public Health?
If you decide that this field is a good fit for you, now is actually a wonderful time to investigate starting a public health career. As we mentioned at the outset of this article, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there’s an increased need for people to set into public health roles alongside the brave men and women who are already working to treat, contain, and fight the coronavirus.
As an added bonus, much of the work they’re doing will put us as a society in a better position to fight future public health crises.
As for how to start your career in public health, our advice will vary depending on whether you have studied health education and hold a degree in public health (bachelor’s or master’s) or not.
Non-Degree Holding Entry Level Public Health Jobs
If you have not attended a school of public health or don’t hold a related degree, you don’t have to be overly concerned that your lack of formal public health education will bar you from entry level public health jobs.
Many open public health positions include rigorous on-the-job training and therefore require no degrees or targeted experience prior to application.
The types of entry level public health jobs you can apply for even if you have no experience can include the following:
- Medical assistant
- Medical billing/coding specialist
- Assisted living care assistant
- Occupational therapy aide
- Emergency dispatcher
Though these are just a few examples of entry level public health jobs currently available, there are dozens and dozens of other positions that do not require you to complete a public health degree program before you apply.
Degree-Holding Holding Entry Level Public Health Jobs
Though in many cases you do not need to be a college graduate in order to start your career in public health, there are still good reasons to take time to study public health, however.
Applicants who hold a public health degree will often find themselves at an advantage when it comes to seeking entry level public health jobs, even the ones that do not require a four-year degree in a public health or related field:
Often, entry-level jobs don’t specifically require a public health degree. But as one program director pointed out, the public health major gives you a unique knowledge base—and that could be an advantage.
- Public health analyst
- Early intervention specialist
- Environmental health manager
- Research associate
What Is the Salary Range for Entry Level Public Health Jobs?When it comes to the salary range for entry level public health jobs, while some of them pay in the hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, the bulk of entry level public health jobs fall on a scale of $30,000-$50,000 a year, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting a median public health workers income of $46,910/year and $22.55/hour. Starting salaries will always be higher or lower depending on a number of factors, including:
- Fluctuating costs of living
- Industry demand
- Level of difficulty
10 Entry Level Public Health Jobs Needed ASAPIf you’re ready to get started with pursuing a career in public health, here are a few places we suggest you start your job search.
Carefully following scripts and protocols, tracers will either visit, call, or virtually monitor cases of the disease or virus they’re currently tracking. They’ll also keep tabs with individuals who have come in close contact with anyone already diagnosed to document their symptoms, refer them for testing if necessary, and provide them with instructions for quarantine.
- Reviewing existing programs and policies to evaluate their effectiveness
- Identifying overall areas of concern related to health and welfare in your region
- Developing structured plans to disrupt ongoing problems and implement improvements
Environmental health specialists educate and consult clients and enforce regulations governing the sanitation of food, milk, and water; hazardous and Infectious waste; sewage; institutional environments; and health hazards. They help improve water and sanitation facilities at recreational areas, nursing homes, schools, restaurants, and other locations, and are actively involved in the overall environmental quality of a community.
- Performing testing procedures
- Monitoring quality control
- Assisting other scientists in the lab
- Tracking and ordering supplies
- Swimming pools
- Nursing homes