Knowing what I know now, I would do things differently. Whether you’re considering a career change or just curious about the field of Public Health like public health advising uf, here are some insights that I gained from my personal experience that may help you navigate this field.
Before entering into the field of Public Health, it is important to understand both its potential benefits and drawbacks and decide if it is right for you. There are many factors to consider and before making any major life decisions like changing your graduate program, switching employers or taking on this new career path, know the following:
1) Entry-level salaries
Entry-level salaries in public health can be substantially lower than those in other fields such as law or medicine. Even with several years of experience and a Master’s degree, you will likely not make as much as your peers in other health professions. For example, the median salary for a public health nurse is only $49,000 per year and starting salaries for clinical public health positions are even lower. Because the salaries in public health are often lower than average, it is more challenging to retire comfortably.
2) Job security
Public health jobs can be very secure because they are so specialized and often require extensive training. However, many public health jobs depend on outside funding sources such as grants which can be low in some fields (such as nursing). This can decrease job stability, particularly during economic downturns.
3) Work-life balance
Public health work is very time intensive because you will have a long list of tasks and many of them require in-person contact with community members. You will not have the flexibility to take time off for personal reasons without making up the hours later or working extra hours. You may also need to travel frequently, even if you are working in your home state.
4) Job satisfaction
On the positive side, public health is very meaningful because you are helping to improve the lives of others and make lasting impacts on communities.
5) Impact on quality of life
Many people enter public health with the desire to help others and make a difference in their communities. In many ways, public health can be a rewarding career. Becoming a public health professional can improve your quality of life and the quality of life of others in the community.
6) Personal development
Becoming a public health professional allows you to merge your passions with your career and learn skills that will benefit you throughout your entire life. You will have many opportunities to develop professionally and personally as a diverse set of skills are necessary to be an effective communicator, manager, administrator and team player.
7) Work-life balance
Not everyone can make this career work.
8) Advancement opportunities
(including salary increases, promotion and job security)
There are very few opportunities for advancement in public health positions. Promotion often occurs at the level of your employment – not within your specific position. It is not uncommon for public health professionals to reach their maximum level of certification and then be demoted or laid off to accommodate new hires. Although you may be happy with the work you do, advancement is limited and the lack of promotion opportunities can be demoralizing for nurses, especially those who have become experienced nurses after many years in the field.
9) The field of public health
The field of public health is changing and growing because it requires a diverse skill set. Many public health professionals have expertise in a variety of areas including nursing, epidemiology, nutrition, environmental science, anthropology and more. The field also attracts many people who are passionate about social justice and want to help others in the community. As a result, there can often be heated discussions on controversial topics and disagreements with co-workers or clients. You will need to be able to manage conflict effectively.
10) What is public health?
Public Health can encompass many different roles and responsibilities depending on your employer and your state or country’s level of development. For example, in the United States, public health professionals are known as “health officers,” “health inspectors,” or “public health practitioners.” In many countries, public health professionals are known as “medical officers” or “physicians.”
Public health is a very challenging and rewarding field. People often enter the field because they have a desire to help others and work towards a healthier community. The potential for job satisfaction is great, but you will need to be flexible in your role and willing to go outside your comfort zone.
In reality, public health is not as glamorous as you would expect from watching House . You will spend more time on data management than bedside patient care. Although you may come home at night feeling like you’ve done something meaningful, it’s quite common in public health to return from a long day of work only to find an inbox full of new email messages.