Are you passionate about the medical field but don’t want to administer patient care? Prefer to work in the background, yet still want to have direct impact on the health and well-being of people in your community? If you are interested in learning more about issues of environmental hazards, substance abuse, infectious diseases, and access to health care, a career as a public health analyst might be the perfect fit for you.
Public health analysts are the individuals who study public health matters and find the right solution for their organizations, communities, and the general population. They are skilled communicators and critical thinkers who promote health-related awareness and create lasting solutions to health care problems. Essentially, they study health programs and policies and judge how effective those guidelines are for the community.
These analysts are the health care leaders developing strategic plans to present to service providers, community groups, public policymakers, and the media to not only educate authorities and the public about various health care issues but also to enact action. Unlike other health care careers, public health analysts are direct advocates for change, especially when there are serious threats to public health and safety.
So do you think this career path might be right for you? This article will outline the daily working life of a public health analyst, recommended skills and personality traits, salary expectations, and required education for the job.
What Does Daily Life as a Public Health Analyst Look Like?
On any given day, public health analysts will analyze, implement, and coordinate health programs at their organizations or in their communities. As a result, they must be skilled researchers, health care policy experts, communicators, and problem solvers to identify health care issues and develop plans to create beneficial change. Depending on their employers, their daily responsibilities may vary, but the primary objective remains the same: facilitate communication and change for health care matters.
For example, common duties for public health analysts include writing reports with detailed conclusions about health care issues, identifying opportunities for improvement, developing presentations to present findings to non-health care workers, attending community meetings, consulting with medical professionals and policymakers, and assisting in research for public health journals.
Other job activities may include conducting site visits to assess costs and effectiveness of health care programs, preparing policy briefs or petitions, working with policymakers to implement legal solutions, and coordinating clinical services to improve patient and community satisfaction. Some analysts also work with and maintain health care databases or networks for their organizations.
What Are Recommended Skills and Personality Traits for the Job?
While subject-matter knowledge is crucial for public health analysts, a couple of the most important traits these professionals should also possess are excellent communication and managerial skills. These competencies are essential because many analysts must educate the public, policymakers, or other organizations about their findings or concerns and coordinate with nonprofit, for-profit, or governmental agencies about their work.
Many analysts are public advocates for their causes, which requires individuals to possess solid speaking skills to convey their information confidently to an audience or the media and make a convincing case. In addition to good verbal communication skills, many analysts may also be strong writers, as they may frequently create reports, posters, presentations, news releases, bulletins, or other documents.
Like most jobs, analysts need to be good at multitasking, working independently and on a team, critical thinking, and managing numbers and complicated data sets. Many successful public health analysts are detail-oriented, well-organized, and can think of unique methods to create multiple solutions to certain problems. Basically, if you enjoy working hard, collaborating with your peers and people outside your organization, and creating meaningful change at work, this career path might be the right choice for you.
What Are Salary Expectations for the Job?
According to PayScale, public health analysts earned an average salary of $60,566, though this figure varies depending on the position, years of experience, region, and organization. For example, an entry-level analyst with less than five years of experience may earn around $55,000 a year, while a mid-level professional with five to 10 years of experience may expect to earn an average of $78,000. Experienced analysts with 10 to 20 years of experience in the field may earn $83,000. Two notable employers in the field are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
What Is the Required Education for the Job?
To enter the field, a bachelor’s degree in health management, public health, or a related area of study is often required. For most organizations, a Master of Public Health or a related degree is highly preferred and, many times, required. Those seeking career advancement in the field will want to advance their expertise in policy analysis and developing public health care policies. Other suggested skills include data interpretation, computer skills, people skills, and strategic planning. Additional health care certifications or leadership awards may also be helpful.
Want to take the next step toward your dream job? Consider enrolling in Regis College’s online Master of Public Health program. Our curriculum is designed for busy professionals who already hold a bachelor’s degree and are passionate about public health. You can complete our program in as few as seven semesters and choose between two in-demand public health tracks: epidemiology and health policy and management. Contact one of our program representatives today to learn more.