5 Government Agencies that Employ Public Health Professionals
- State Department of Health
- Local Health Departments
- National Institutes of Health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
A person who is working on or finishing their Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree may want to know about which five government agencies employ MPH grads. Knowing where the employment opportunities are located could help a graduate student choose a concentration within their area of study. This knowledge could also help a person choose a place to move to upon graduation.
Related resource: Top 25 Online MPH Programs (Master’s in Public Health)
1. State Department of Health
State health departments are a leading employer of people who earn an MPH degree. Epidemiologists who have an MPH degree with a specialty in epidemiology are in constant demand in state health departments. Epidemiologists are responsible for collecting, cleaning and analyzing the data from people who have infectious or chronic diseases. They conduct case-control and cohort studies, determine the risk factors of disease and identify the demographics of affected populations.
2. Local Health Departments
Local health departments also hire MPH graduates. Most states have multiple local health departments that handle public health issues in their communities. For example, the state of Ohio has 113 local health departments. Large local health departments usually have someone who handles health promotion and risk reduction, public health education, and public health service administration. The largest local health departments may also employ their own epidemiologists.
3. National Institutes of Health
The National Institutes of Health is the medical research arm of the federal government. An MPH graduate who has a specialty in biostatistics or research could find employment there. Those who excel at data analysis could have excellent job prospects analyzing data from clinical trials, experiments, and ongoing national health studies. The National Institutes of Health also hires MPH graduates who work in health administration and epidemiology.
4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the public health branch of the federal government. It consists of many research, administrative and program sectors for different areas of health. This government agency employs MPH grads in epidemiology, health communications, and research. It also hires people who have a joint degree, such as MPH and media, MPH and medical degrees and MPH and law degrees. A person with an MPH and medical degree or Ph.D. in a related field could become an epidemic intelligence officer through the Centers for Disease Control, explains the Epidemic Intelligence Service of the Centers for Disease Control. The epidemic intelligence officers may be based in a state, or they may maintain a primary office at the Centers for Disease Control and periodically travel to places in the United States where they are needed.
The United States Congress may also employ MPH graduates, particularly those who gain expertise in healthcare research, administration, education or policy. A person who also has a bachelor’s or higher degree in government relations, political science or communications would do well in this type of job. Within the House of Representatives or Senate, a person with an MPH might have a job doing research for a senator or working as a staffer on a congressional committee on a policy area related to health.
Earning an MPH is a timely degree given the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether a person’s specialty is in biostatistics, epidemiology, health communications, healthcare administration or health promotion topics, a person with this degree will have many job opportunities within different government agencies. Knowing which five government agencies are the most likely to employ MPH grads could help a person hone their job search.