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Public Health Career Options in Pennsylvania

A new Delta Omega inductee in front of a Drexel banner

Pennsylvania offers growth and opportunity for recent public health graduates.

A public health degree, dual degree, or online graduate certificate from the Dornsife School of Public Health – the number one school of public health in Philadelphia – can provide you with the options and opportunities that lead to a fulfilling career in public health.

Dornsife faculty and staff provide students with the mentorship and experiences to help them succeed in their chosen career in public health practice, policy development, or research.

Choosing Pennsylvania for a Job in Public Health

Pennsylvania offers many different and diverse paths for a career in public health and urban health. Pennsylvania is part of an East Coast metropolitan area with the highest level of employment in public health careers such as health education specialist, community health worker, and environmental scientist, according to data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Pennsylvania industries that employ public health practitioners include hospitals, governments, universities, scientific research and development organizations, individual and family services programs, outpatient care centers, grantmaking and giving organizations, and social advocacy organizations.

Public Health Employers in Pennsylvania

Prominent health systems and universities are some of the top employers in Pennsylvania, and many offer opportunities in the public health field.

Philadelphia, the home of the Dornsife School of Public Health hometown, is the largest city in Pennsylvania. Dornsife maintains over 100 relationships with partners in the field of public health, and our students gain practical skills and career experience at some of the leading public health organizations in Philadelphia.

Other top metropolitan areas in Pennsylvania that offer public health career opportunities include: Pittsburgh, Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, Harrisburg-Carlisle, Scranton–Wilkes-Barre, Lancaster, York-Hanover, Reading, Erie, East Stroudsburg, and State College.

Private Employers

Private employers are often interested in public health graduates with varied skillsets, including data analysis, critical thinking, research, STEM skills, and communication.

Private employers the field of public health in Pennsylvania include:

  • Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children
  • Independence Blue Cross
  • HealthShare Exchange
  • Penn State Health
  • Merck

Careers at private employers include:

  • Research Analyst
  • Data Scientist
  • Biostatistician
  • Field Investigator
  • Patient Safety Program Manager
  • Executive Director
  • Policy Advisor

Read more about a Dornsife alum whose Drexel co-op program lead to a career in epidemiology.

Non-Profit Organizations

Non-profit organizations typically offer community-based roles for public health practitioners who want to develop and implement public health programs and coordinate outreach.

Many non-profits also offer supporting roles for volunteers and interns, who can gain valuable experience in public health early in their careers.

Non-profit public health organizations in the state of Pennsylvania that offer public health opportunities include:

  • Philadelphia Health Management Corporation
  • Health Federation of Philadelphia
  • AccessMatters
  • Autism Speaks
  • Foundation for the Medical Relief of Children
  • Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Allegheny Health Network
  • St. Luke’s University Health Network
  • Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals
  • Temple University Hospital
  • Tower Health
  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
  • Wills Eye Hospital

Public health roles associated with employment at nonprofits in Pennsylvania include:

  • Community Health Worker
  • Health Educator
  • Program Manager
  • Clinical Support
  • Infectious Disease Specialist
  • Nurse

Read more about Dornsife alumni with careers at non-profit hospitals:

Academic Institutions

Beyond teaching positions in the field of public health, Pennsylvania’s universities hire for public health staff positions throughout their departments, centers, programs, institutes, and research labs.

Dornsife has research centers and programs that may offer opportunities for students and employment for graduates, including the Urban Health Collaborative, Center for Firefighter Injury Research & Safety Trends (FIRST), Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice, and the Center for Public Health Readiness and Communication.

There are career opportunities at Drexel, and other academic institutions in the state of Pennsylvania that offer public health employment including:

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Temple University
  • Thomas Jefferson University

Public health roles associated with employment at academic institutions in Pennsylvania include:

  • Research Associate
  • Scientist
  • Public Health Educator
  • Program Manager
  • Professor
  • Data Manager
  • Field Researcher

Read more about Dornsife alumni with careers in academia:

Government Agencies

Government is one of the leading employers of public health professionals. You will find government jobs in a wide range of public health fields in Pennsylvania. Many of these jobs involve programs and research studies that aim to build healthier communities.

Pennsylvania’s public health practitioners work at the local, state and federal level in departments including:

  • Philadelphia Department of Public Health
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Chester County Health Department
  • Pennsylvania Department of Health
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Public health roles associated with government employment in Pennsylvania include:

  • Government Policy Analyst
  • Health Systems Administrator
  • Emergency Preparedness Planner
  • Public Health Program Director
  • Health Attorney
  • Regional Planner

Read more about Dornsife students who interned in government:

Next Steps for Your Public Health Career in Pennsylvania

Public health is a solid career choice with varied industries to pursue. “I anticipate individuals in the workforce with public health training will be in high demand in the coming years,” says Amy Carroll-Scott, PhD, MPH, associate professor and chair of the department of Community Health and Prevention.

Dornsife graduates have the training, skills, and confidence to succeed in any industry that employs public health practitioners. Others create their own unique opportunities. Read about our alums who pursued goals to:

“Public health professionals bring a unique, interdisciplinary approach to these efforts putting people at the center of systemic changes,” says Yolande Greene, MPH ’15, Health Management and Policy. “With all the innovation happening in Philadelphia, there is an enormous opportunity for us to apply our knowledge and skill sets to transform healthcare in the region.”

If you are interested in learning more about a career that aligns with one of Drexel Dornsife’s Public Health programs, request more information to speak with a member of our admissions team.

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