Careers in Health - Coastal Carolina University
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Careers in Public Health and Health Professions

Careers in public health work with populations to prevent disease and promote health. More specifically, public health practitioners work to prevent epidemics and the spread of disease, protect against environmental hazards, prevent injury, promote and encourage healthy behaviors, respond to disasters and assist communities in recovery, and assure the quality and accessibility of health services. Below are some common career specialties in public health.

  • Applied Health Research
  • Biostatistics and Data Management
  • Community Health
  • Preparedness and Emergency Management  
  • Environmental Health
  • Epidemiology and Disease Control  
  • Family and Child Health
  • Global Health
  • Health Education/Promotion
  • Health Communications 
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Policy and Management
  • Health Services Administration
  • Nutrition/Dietetics
  • Occupational Safety
  • Public Health Laboratory Practice
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health 
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Careers in the health professions work with individuals to diagnose and treat disease. Below are some common career specialties in the health professions.

  • Audiology
  • Biomedical Research 
  • Dentistry
  • Forensic Science
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Optometry
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Physician Assistant
  • Speech Language Pathology
  • Veterinary Medicine
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Work Settings in Public Health and Health Professions1,2

Careers in both public health and health professions exist in many work settings such as communities, schools, hospitals, laboratories, and corporations. All work settings may be separated into three employment sectors: Public, Nonprofit, and Private. Below are descriptions of those employment sectors. For more information, click here. 

  • Public sector careers include employment with federal, state, county or city government agencies or organizations. Careers in the public sector serve the public good and are funded (fully or partly) through public monies (taxes). Example agencies or organizations include Coastal Carolina University, S.C. Department of Education, S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. National Institutes of Health.
  • Nonprofit sector careers include employment with organizations that provide services for public good to supplement or support public sector agencies. Nonprofit organizations are classified as 501(c) by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and operate using various funding mechanisms such as monies from government grants, donations, or services delivered to consumers. Example organizations include the American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and United Way.

  • Private sector careers include employment with corporations, companies, or other organizations that operate by private individuals or groups to make a profit (money) for its owners, shareholders, or the company. Private organizations range from a mom-and-pop company to a global Fortune 500 corporation. Example organizations include Carolinas HealthCare System, Johnson & Johnson, Cardinal Health, GlaxoSmithKline and Walmart.

Online Resources for Career Opportunities in Health

Resources with Various Career Opportunities In Health 

Resources with Public Sector Careers

Resources with Nonprofit Sector Careers

Resources with Private Sector Careers

Resources with Education Careers

Resources with Nutrition Careers

Resources with Generic Career Search Engines

Resources with Other Health Career Resources


1. Karl, K. A., & Sutton, C. L.  (1998).  Job values in today's workforce: A comparison of public and private sector employees.  Public Personnel Management, 27(4), 515-527. 

2. University of California Davis Internship and Career Center.  (2013).  Differences among the nonprofit, for-profit, and public sectors.  Retrieved from