Public Health is a wide and varied field of medicine. Professionals working in the public health field focus their attention on preventing illness and disease. Work is done in federal, state and local health departments, non-governmental organizations and non-profit groups, health centers and research institutions and in worksite wellness programs. Pay ranges from the low 30's to over $100,000 depending on experience and specialty.
Most public health professionals' work focuses on prevention of disease, injury and disability. Some local public health workers may be managing campaigns intended to prevent young people from smoking, or bicycle safety, or immunizations. Others may be working on cancer prevention by improving access to cancer screening clinics. Still others may be keeping track of infectious disease cases and hunting down the cause of the disease.
The core areas of public health involve the study of biostatistics (statistical analysis used to explain humans), epidemiology (the study of the distribution and determinants of disease), environmental health (the factors around us that effect human health), health system administration (studying how the healthcare system works so that all medical professionals can work together), and social and behavioral health (why people do what they do and working with them to make positive health choices).
A public health student can expect to learn about disease, how to evaluate causes of disease, what to do to stop it from happening, and how to evaluate whether an intervention is successful. Students in the Health Promotion and Education emphasis should expect to take the CHES certification exam.
For more information, please refer to our Degree Information.