As many industries are downsizing their staffing needs, public health employment is on the rise. Greater demands for services and access within the population, is driving this creation of stable and lucrative positions. The position of a population health manager addresses these needs but is also a career path that has great advancement potential.
Public health careers are helping individuals economically but are also addressing need for wellness and health services. Population health management positions consider this larger picture and offer solutions for the entire community. If you are interested in helping others as you help yourself, then this job could be a great starting place for a lifelong career.
What Is A Population Health Manager?
Population health managers help to organize community programs and services that address public health needs. This can include outreach programs and community clinics. It may also include public education and awareness projects. This position requires close interaction with the community in order to determine which health and safety aspects are the most pressing to the population.
Population health mangers would be expected to perform the following tasks:
- Discuss health concern in community forums.
- Strategize with public shareholders to develop viable programs and interventions.
- Allocate resources, human and otherwise, to provide services for community care.
- Evaluate demographics to prioritize health concerns.
- Organize funding, through community involvement and through grants.
Professional skills such as these can also benefit population health mangers in their profession:
- Leadership skills: You will need to inspire the community and public share holder to become involved in community health and wellness and participate in initiative programs.
- Management skills: You will need to be able to both multitask and delegate. Parts of this job will involve creating teams to oversee project aspects.
- Good communication: You will need to be able to present your vision of community health to financial donors and to the public. This will require clear and concise explanations that will also inspire.
- Interpersonal skills: You will need to be able to interact well with many different personalities. This can include public constituents and member of the community as well as governmental agencies and health professionals.
Nature Of The Work
Population health managers work for the department of health, and may spend a lot of time in the office on administrative work, but will also be out in the community while on the job. This position requires strong interaction with the public to assess needs, raise awareness, and create bonds and trust. Along with planning health intervention initiatives and prevention programs, you will also need to manage the budget for community health. This may require that you organize an run fundraisers, for donations and for community spirit.
Education And Training
In order to become a population health manager you must first complete a four year Bachelor’s degree, with a study focus on social work, public administration, urban studies, or community health and wellness. Further studies may be applicable, but experience is required. A minimum of five years of practical training is necessary for this position. You may complete this through supervised volunteer work in community services, or by completing an internship in community management.
Certifications are not necessary for this position, but higher education can lead to better advancement. Graduate studies in subject like statistics and social trends can also be beneficial.
The post of population health manager has a good starting salary for entry level candidates. This is just around $60,000 and candidates with a four year degree and experience would qualify for that wage rate. Average salaries in this position are generally around $80,000 per year and higher ranges are over $100,000 per year. This provides a good starting incentive and plenty of room to move up.
Positions for population health managers are also highly accessible. This field has one of the higher growth rate projections. It is estimated that employment will increase by as much as 21% in the next decade, and this includes new entry level jobs as well as transfer and advancement. If you are interested in work that will better the community and better your life, then a career as a population health manager would be a very good choice.