The field of community health, also commonly known as public health, is concerned with promoting societal wellness by educating the public about health issues, shaping health-related public policy, and carrying out research relevant to wellness. Among the most common community health career opportunities are designing public health initiatives and speaking about these initiatives in settings such as corporate workplaces, community centers, and schools. Some community health professionals help create public policy which relates to wellness issues. Other community health career opportunities are research-based and involve working for a public or private employer to add to existing knowledge of public health topics.
As the main objective of community health is promoting wellness among the general public, it is perhaps no surprise that many community health career opportunities are related to educating the public about one or more facets of wellness. Some community health professionals may be employed by hospitals or local government agencies to design public health campaigns, a job which can encompass tasks like gathering research, preparing videos, posters, and other informative materials, marketing, and arranging speaking engagements. Those community health professionals with a passion for engaging directly with the public may give presentations on various wellness topics, such as avoiding stress or preventing addiction, in settings as diverse as corporate workplaces and elementary schools.
Some community health career opportunities are based in the local, state, or national government. Generally, government agencies bring a community health professional on board for her expertise in various public health concerns. The professional uses her knowledge and insight to help shape public policy which relates to wellness. For instance, she may help create legislation concerning mandatory vaccination against certain diseases.
Finally, many community health career opportunities revolve around broadening existing knowledge of public health issues through research. Many community health researchers are employed by universities, where they are expected to carry out and publish information on their own research while also teaching undergraduate and graduate students. Some may work for nonprofit companies that exist to provide original, unbiased research regarding health and wellness issues to the government and to private companies. Others may be hired directly by private companies to carry out public health research that is relevant to that company’s products. For instance, a company that manufactures oat-based breakfast cereals may employ a community health professional to research the potential of fiber to prevent obesity and heart disease.