Public Health Advisor

Collect data on epidemics to guide health policy making.

What does a Public Health Advisor do?

Public Health Advisors are the foot soldiers of medicine: Instead of facing explosions and guns, you’re on the front lines of the war against disease. As a Public Health Advisor, you work for the Center for Disease Control (CDC), carrying out interviews and gathering information on different diseases and epidemics.

In this position, you travel the country (or even occasionally, the world) to talk with people who are sick. Public Health Advisors ask questions like how many in one area have fallen ill or what the sick people in a town all have in common. The facts you gather are then used by policymakers or researchers back at CDC headquarters to create new policies, educate the public, or cure illnesses. One job might have you explaining how AIDS is passed between people and encouraging safe sex practices, while another might have you interviewing patients to understand a new epidemic.

The entry-level version of this position is used by many as either a stepping stone to jobs with more responsibility, or an introduction to public health jobs. There are positions for more senior Advisors, and in this role, you oversee the work of the Advisors below you. You also create, plan, and start different public health initiatives and programs around the country. As a Public Health Advisor, you can work in pretty much any area of health care you can think of, from helping rewrite the health care system to making programs that promote clean teeth.