14 Awesome Research Careers in Public Health

Entering the research field is something that holds a lot of opportunity for anyone. Great salaries, excellent benefits, and personal satisfaction are all among the key reasons that this field remains one of the most common for anyone to enter.

See our list of the highest paying research careers in public health

#1 Bioterrorism Researcher – $35,000 – $84,000

A bioterrorism researcher is someone who is trained in chemistry, biology, and other scientific fields and who uses their skills to conduct research into bioterrorism and its various sub-fields of study. They will look at a variety of areas within the subject of bioterrorism with the ultimate goal of identify risk areas and working to improve the safety of the public. Potential job duties will vary greatly, but will likely include the following.

#2 Clinical Research Director – $53,000 – $99,000

A clinical research director works to provide leadership in clinical research settings. They help to oversee the overall evaluation and development of drugs or healthcare solutions, oversee programs designed to prevent or treat infectious disease, and more. In short, they are responsible for the management of the research side of a healthcare organization. Job duties that these professionals may be responsible for include the following:

#3 Director of Applied Research – $45,000 – $82,000

A director of applied research essentially tests theories of healthcare application and practice in a real world situation.  You would not only be responsible for making sure that the program itself runs smoothly, but you would also need to consider how the program is impacting the public.  This information is then used to make changes within the practices.

#4 Disaster Preparedness Researcher – $36,000 – $68,000

A disaster preparedness researcher is responsible for assessing community preparedness in the event of a natural or manmade threat, as well as determining the statistical potential for such an occurrence.  This career path is also focused on developing plans at a local and state level to cope with incidences, and reduce the risk to the community and the loss of life. 

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#5 Mental Health Researcher – $66,000 – $122,000

In the field of public health, a mental health researcher is a doctor of psychology who studies how mental health conditions affect populations, and how demographic, environmental, and social factors can affect the course and expression of psychological conditions.  Mental health researcher will engage in clinical practice as a course of studying the effects of intervention, but primary concerns are to understand the causes of psychological disease and the influences that exacerbate them.  This will also translate into a greater ability to provide effective treatment and prevention services for the public.

#6 Outcomes Researcher – $54,000 – $102,000

An outcomes researcher reviews current standard in health care practice and looks at public health programs to determine benefit impact on a variety of levels.  This can include community health, use of resources, and fiscal expenditures.  You would weigh positives and negatives within your analysis to determine if changes in practice and implementation need to occur.  Along with your analysis, you would also consult with providing facilities and other healthcare professionals to optimize the impact of practice and programs.

#7 Public Health Researcher – $38,000 – $69,000

A public health researcher is a type of public health professional who is charged with researching all matters of public health. This will mean researching public health trends as well as hazards and different environmental risks, and these researchers provide very important information to other public health professionals and this allows them to do their jobs more efficiently. A public health researcher will conduct research through the analyzing of data as well as lab test results and different noted trends in order to gain a better perspective of the state of health of a population as well as the risks they may be exposed to.

#8 Research Analyst -$45,000 – $84,000

A research analyst in the health field is similar to a research analyst in any other role. They work to plan and conduct analysis of different aspects of health care. They do so by using statistical and epidemiological data, and often spend as much of their time gathering data as they do analyzing it. They use their findings to determine which areas of health in a community or facility are at risk or could be improved, and then they take steps to improve it by discussing with others who are in charge of policy and procedure.

#9 Research Biostatistician – $53,000 – $100,000

Research biostatisticians gather data and oversee clinical trials for the development of new treatment interventions.  This position includes ensuring that legal and ethical as well as scientific protocols are followed, but is also concerned with the proper and accurate gathering, recording, and evaluating of data.  Research biostatisticians will also prepare results that outline the information, findings, and implications of these trials and present them as possible consideration for new treatment modalities.

#10 Research Data Analyst – $48,000 – $89,000

A research data analyst will work with a clinical trial team to evaluate the meaning and implications of quantitative data that is gathered in studying new treatment modalities.  This job requires the ability to determine variables that may affect results and also to evaluate if there is effective or natural change that occurs over the course of the treatment.  Research data analysts will often use specialized software applications to organize information and look for possible discrepancies and isolate human error in data recording.  This position allows for a valid assessment of clinical trial results so that safe and effective interventions may be presented to the public.

#11 Research Scientist – $51,000 – $96,000

A research scientist may investigate the characteristics and lifecycles of organisms that create disease, as well as perform clinical trials for the treatment of the ailments in the population.  This may include studying and culturing microbes in the lab, but it can also include tracking trends in the community, and developing better interventions through the testing of medications and treatments.

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#12 Statistical Research Analyst

A statistical research analyst in a public health setting will be in charge of carrying out various different tasks related to all types of statistical data collected by other public health professionals such as epidemiologists or environmental scientists. The statistical research analyst will use these different types of statistical data to craft projects, relay information, and assist with method efficiency. The work that this type of professional provides is important to the overall bigger picture of public health, and without statistical research analysts the data collected by different public health groups would not be able to be properly correlated or understood by all personnel in the field.

#13 Survey Researchers

A survey researcher works with numbers, and their primary goals are to design surveys, gather data from those surveys, and analyze the data gained from it to help influence future decisions about research, policy, and even marketing. They may also focus on more existential issues, like trying to gain a greater understanding about preferences or beliefs. Common job duties for a survey researcher include the following.

#14 Vaccine Researcher

A vaccine researcher carries out job duties just like their title would suggest. They specialize in studying and developing vaccines, monitoring and modifying existing vaccines, and studying the overall safety of vaccines in general.

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