Working in public health is an incredibly rewarding career. Not only will you have a number of different career options to choose from, but you’ll also earn a competitive salary and enjoy strong job security as demand for various public health services continues to grow.

Most of these careers will require you to hold at least a bachelor’s degree in public health. Some more senior-level positions, as well as specific job titles (like epidemiologists) will require an advanced degree, such as a Master of Public Health (MPH). Before deciding to pursue any degree, it’s only normal that you might be curious about the different job opportunities available to you. After all, that’s a great way of ensuring that you’re choosing the right degree for your career goals.

With that in mind, we have compiled a list of some of the top employers who employ public health workers in the state of Massachusetts. This includes federal agencies, state agencies, and local agencies and clinics that you can turn to after graduation to find work.

Public Health Employers

1. Federal Agencies

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), the federal government works to promote and maintain public health in six key ways: Policy making, public health protection, financing, collecting and distributing public health data, capacity building to support public health, and directly managing public health services.

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With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that there are a number of federal agencies which are responsible for promoting public health. These agencies employ a vast number of public health workers in a variety of roles and at all levels. While not specifically based in Massachusetts, they are still important employers to be aware of.

In addition to the NIH, other federal public health agencies you should know about include:

  • Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
  • Center for Disease Control (CDC)
  • Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
  • Administration on Aging (AOA)
  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)

Dr. Leslie Mandel, professor of public health and health administration/director of undergraduate public health at Regis College recommends signing up for the newsletter put out by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), as it regularly includes federal job postings and is a great resource for public health professionals.

2. State Agencies

Just as there are federal agencies which support public health and employ public health workers throughout the country, so too are there state agencies which are responsible for promoting public health in their own localities. Each state has its own Department of Public Health, for example, which is responsible for overseeing the public health activities that occur within its borders (you can see a full list here).

In Massachusetts, the Department of Public Health (DPH) states that it’s mission is to:

DPH keeps people healthy and communities strong. We promote the health and well-being of all residents by ensuring access to high-quality public health and healthcare services, focusing on prevention and wellness, and health equity for all.

The Massachusetts DPH is further organized into a number of bureaus and offices, each with their own public health goals and initiatives. These include:

  • The Bureau of Community Health and Prevention
  • The Bureau of Environmental Health
  • The Bureau of Family Health and Nutrition
  • The Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality
  • The Bureau of Public Health Hospitals
  • The Bureau of Substance Addiction Services
  • The Office of Health Equity
  • The Office of Local and Regional Health
  • The Office of Population Health
  • The Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management
  • And more

Each of these offices and bureaus offer an employment opportunity for public health workers who are based in the state of Massachusetts.

In addition to the DPH, other state agencies may also employ public health workers as well. For example, the Department of Education may employ a certain number of public health professionals. Additionally, standalone offices, such as the Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) in Massachusetts, may also require individuals skilled in the area of public health.

Mandel recommends students interested in working at a Massachusetts state agency visit the Department of Public Health careers page.

3. Local Agencies and Employers

In addition to federal and state public health agencies, many cities and towns (particularly larger cities) have their own agencies, offices, or commissions dedicated to promoting public health. For example, Boston has the Public Health Commission which is tasked with promoting public health in the Greater Boston area.

On the local level, you are also likely to find staffing agencies which specifically work to connect employers with public health workers. Mandel notes the following agencies as excellent options for those looking for a public health career in Boston or Massachusetts:

You’ve Got Options

As you can see from the list above, if you’re thinking about pursuing a career in public health, you can rest assured in knowing that you’ve got many options. From federal and state agencies to local offices of public health, there are a vast number of employers looking for workers skilled in the area of public health.

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