Public Health School Dean

Taking hold of your professional future is important, and finding a great career is one of the smartest moves you can make for your life. A good job will offer you excellent salaries, good job stability, great benefits, and the chance to do something that you love. In the case of public health, a career in the field will allow you to enjoy all of those things and also know that you’re helping others by working in a field that directly impacts the population’s health.

Becoming a public health school dean or administrator is a unique career path, and one that few actually decide to take because of the commitment of time and energy it requires. However, to those willing to put forth the effort it can be one of the most personally and professionally rewarding careers out there. Keep reading to learn a bit more about this great career opportunity.

What Is a Public Health School Dean/Administrator?

A public health school dean or administrator is a professional within the public health field who focuses not on the bedside care or even on developing strategies to overcome particular public health issues, but instead on managing a public health school. This profession has some unique challenges directly related to public health, education, and administration combined and as such it takes skill and training to thrive in the position.

Job duties will include:

  •   Setting a budget for a school, including every expense and source of income out there.
  •   Ensure that all applicable accreditations and educational requirements are met
  •   Hire and manage staff
  •   Order and ensure that needed equipment is on hand and properly maintained
  •   Write grant proposals
  •   Organize fundraising events and efforts
  •   Create and file reports on various aspects of operations
  •   Attend community and school events
  •   Monitor and manage student safety issues

In short, any job that an administrator of a business will have to deal with, the public health school dean or administrator must do – and then some more. It’s a challenging job, but one that keeps you working and offers numerous rewards.

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Some personal characteristics will help you thrive in the position, and while training and experience will help as well, having strengths in the following areas is important as well.

  •   Good Leadership – You’ll be the person in charge of the facility, and as such you’ll need to be able to thrive in a leadership role – that includes being able to lead by example.
  •   Good Diplomacy – Sometimes problems will be fairly delicate and involve careful management. A good sense of diplomacy will help immensely.
  •   Good Communication Skills – Your written and verbal communication skills should be top-notch since they have a huge part to play in your daily activity.

Nature of the Work

The average day in the life of a public health school dean will involve primarily office related work, including things like filing papers, drafting reports, sending emails, balancing budgets, and handling HR related tasks. On occasion, you’ll end up going to public events, fundraisers, and other similar things but for the most part you’ll be working in your office.

Today, most universities have a public health school as part of their campus, and some local community colleges have begun to branch out into the medical field as well. As such, employment is often easier to find than you might think.

Education and Training

To begin the process of becoming a public health school dean, you’ll need to earn a bachelor’s degree or better in an appropriate field. Usually, Health Care Administration is the proper option when trying to assume a role in the field. Education administration is another option, but not usually preferred by those in hiring positions. After earning a bachelor’s, the next step will be to complete graduate level studies and earn a Master’s or even a Doctorate degree. Following this, completing an internship may be needed as well to gain vital experience in the field.

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Average salaries for those serving as a public health school dean or administrator are roughly $75,000 to $84,000. The exact salary you’ll earn will depend upon a number of things including your specific employer, your professional experience, and your education. The need for these professionals is expected to increase by as much as 22 percent between now and 2020, making it a job with a bright future. 

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