Outspoken individuals who wish to work in the advocacy field should consider a job as an advocacy director in public health. Like many other public health professionals, advocacy directors enjoy a stable job with a wide range of different career settings to choose from, as they also get to benefit from a high salary and plenty of room for professional growth.
The public health field is one that will continue to grow regardless of the actions of the job market, and this means that these jobs will remain available even in the toughest of economies. Public health careers, such as that of an advocacy director, are worthy of consideration due to the many perks they provide to professionals.
What Is An Advocacy Director?
Advocacy directors in the public health field provide a voice for the populations they serve when it comes to advocating for programs, funding, and proper legislation in order to maintain a positive level of overall public health. An advocacy director will typically work with other public health officials as well as policy makers, government officials, and community leaders to craft public health advocacy programs that shape the way people around the globe view health risks and healthy living habits.
Some of the things an advocacy director may do on any given day are:
- Helping local healthcare workers or healthcare facilities to implement practices that promote a good level of public health
- Educating policy makers or local legislators of any public health risks, problems, or hazards present within a population or community in order to create legislation or programs to promote positive health practices
- Directing or supervising and advocacy team in charge of public health advocacy
- Keeping government officials or policy makers up to date on all of the latest public health trends present throughout a community or given region
- Working with other public health officials such as environmental health scientists and epidemiologists to identify and research any public health risks that may be present within an area due to environmental and other affects.
Advocacy directors in the public health field carry out a very important role in terms of keeping up with good public health practices, and they provide a way for public health to improve on a governmental or regulatory front. A public health advocacy director, on top of running an advocacy group or team, will personally speak with important individuals in the decision making or law process to inform them of the need for public health improvement as they also make them aware of current trends.
Education And Training
A public health advocacy director will typically hold an MPH degree, or Master of Public Health degree, and this is earned through a master’s degree program. Before any master’s degree program can begin, an aspiring public advocacy director must first start at the bottom of the education ladder by working through an undergraduate program to earn a bachelor’s degree. The bachelor’s degree earned by these types of professionals should focus on public health with courses that may involve law or healthcare administration, and upon the completion of this degree track a person will be prepared to begin a master’s degree program.
A Master of Public Health program will take around 2 years to complete, and will result in a student earning a master’s degree in the public health field. Should any specialized areas of interest be considered a student will also investigate these through master’s level courses, and internships will be made available to allow prospective public health advocacy directors to gain real world experience working with professionals in the public health field.
Some universities may offer post-graduate certificate programs to allow students and professionals alike to earn a certificate in advocacy, and the earning of this certificate will mean that one will become a certified advocacy director. This certification will typically need to be renewed once every few years by the taking of an exam or continued education for a person to remain certified.
The need for qualified advocacy directors within the public health field is expected to rise around 21% by the year 2022, and this level of demand is far greater than the national average of all occupations. The average salary for an advocacy director will be between $85,000 and $95,000, however this number will fluctuate with years of experience or chosen work settings.