Government Careers for the Master of Public Health

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Public health professionals are employed by a variety of organizations, including academia, private and non-profit healthcare facilities and community-based organizations. But for many graduates, government jobs at the federal, state, or local level can provide the greatest opportunities to work on implementing programs within at risk communities at both the macro and micro level.

Here are some of the many career opportunities for public health graduates in the various levels of government.


Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

As a primary federal government organization for public health, the CDC employs a wide variety of public health professionals in many different roles. Their mission is to protect against outbreaks and to respond to them when they do occur. They also analyze public health data to make policy recommendations. But one of the most common roles is that of an epidemiologist. Epidemiologists find themselves working on a wide range of challenges from the fight against bioterrorism, to chronic disease and substance abuse.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for epidemiologists is expected to increase by 6 percent through 2024.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Also at the federal level, the NIH is tasked with biomedical and health related research and falls under the umbrella of the Department of Health and Human Services. It is well funded by the government and is at the forefront of medical research. Examples of their work include increasing life expectancy rates in America, ensuring more babies are born healthy, decreasing the fatalities associated with heart disease, diabetes and stroke, making advances in preventing and treating cancer, fighting infections, combatting drug addiction and more.

Local and State Departments

Programs, policies and research are the three primary areas of focus for public health workers at the state and local levels of government. These employees fulfill many of the duties of the CDC, but on a more local level within individual communities and often directly with individual citizens.

They may also provide the greatest opportunity for growth, as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that about 21 percent more jobs will open in community health education by 2022.

Your Masters of Public Health

The Master of Public Health Online at Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California is an innovative and rigorous program that educates professionals to become the public health leaders of tomorrow. The curriculum prepares graduates for roles within the various levels of government, such as Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Health Education and Promotion and Global Health Leadership.