Careers in Public Health
The American Public Health Association defines public health as “the practice of preventing disease and promoting good health within groups of people, from small communities to entire countries. Rather than being a single discipline, public health includes professionals from many fields with the common purpose of protecting the health of a population.”
Examples of the Impact of Public Health:
- Vaccination programs for school-age children and adults
to prevent the spread of disease.
- Regulation of prescription drugs for safety and effectiveness.
- Safety standards and practices to protect worker health
- Ensuring access to clean water and air.
- Educational campaigns to reduce obesity among children.
- Measurement of the effect of air quality on emergency recovery workers.
- School nutrition programs to ensure kids have access to nutritious food.
Working in Public Health
Following are some examples of the types of public health positions that have been utilized by SCPH, along with the educational requirements for each. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and these are not job openings; they are provided for informational purposes only.
Air Quality Engineer
The Air Quality Engineer performs professional engineering work in the processing, evaluation and issuance of permits; calculation of air pollutant emissions, analysis of air pollution control equipment and processes; toxic risk screening and assessment; compliance audits; source testing; rule analysis and evaluation; innovative technology projects; report preparation; presentations; and public meetings.
Bachelor’s degree in chemical, industrial, environmental, electrical, petroleum, civil, or other related engineering field is required. State of Ohio Registration as an Engineer in Training (EIT) is required.
Clinical Laboratory Scientist
The Clinical Laboratory Scientist performs a full range of routine public health laboratory tests. Responsibilities may include testing body substances or cultures, testing food, milk and water, and interpreting and recording test values and results.
A bachelors degree in the biological sciences is required.
Employees in this SCPH position perform a full range of treatment services under the general direction of department supervisor. The professional work includes behavioral health counseling with a primary focus on substance use disorders.
This position requires a master’s degree in community or mental health counseling, social work, or marriage & family therapy.
The Dental Hygienist provides professional support to Health District dental programs, including both client-focused and population-focused activities. Responsibilities include performing dental screenings, dental hygiene services and clerical support.
This position requires a Bachelor’s degree.
Registered Dental Hygienist licensed with the Ohio State Dental Board.
Epidemiologists prepare reports and presentations to assist with programmatic planning efforts and to display data in an understandable format. Responsibilities include initiating, designing and conducting epidemiological assessments of public health data, with emphasis on community assessment, indicator trend data, and establishing a repository for on-going data surveillance and analysis. May coordinate with other health departments and organizations for regional epidemiological efforts.
Bachelor’s degree required. Prefer Graduate Degree or substantial course work with emphasis in Epidemiology (MS, MPH, MSN).
This position provides health education services to promote optimal health for the public. Responsibilities include planning and implementing health education strategies, interventions and programs and conducting evaluation and research related to health education.
This position requires a Bachelor’s degree in Health Education.
Working in collaboration with the Medical Director, a nurse practitioner provides elements of primary care in clinic and other public health settings, evaluates physical findings, lab results and history, makes diagnoses and initiates appropriate action to facilitate the implementation of the therapeutic plan consistent with the needs of the client.
Masters Degree in Nursing, with curriculum appropriate for Nurse Practitioner. Completion of curriculum required for Certificate to Prescribe.
Employees in this position perform a full range of prevention services under the general direction of department supervisor. The professional work includes contact with the community with a primary focus on the prevention of substance use and abuse.
This position requires a bachelor’s degree in related field.
Public Health Nurse
The PHN position exists to promote optimal health and provide public health nursing services to community residents. Responsibilities include promoting and maintaining health of individuals, families and the community, providing health education and counseling, applying appropriate preventative, restorative and rehabilitative measures and developing nursing interventions, plans and strategies to assist individuals and families in achieving goals.
This position requires a BSN.
The Registered Dietitian works in conjunction with the Clinical Services Division to provide equality nutritional assessment and counseling/education to residents. Responsibilities include determining medical nutritional eligibility and risk of WIC/BCMH participants and assisting participants in achieving positive change and improved nutritional status through effective nutrition education and counseling.
This position requires a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition/Dietetics.
Registered and Licensed Dietitian in Ohio through the American Dietetic Association.
Registrar manages the Vital Statistics program and provides direct supervision of Vital Statistics staff. Responsibilities include managing registration of all births, deaths and fetal deaths in Summit County, interpreting state and county regulations concerning birth and death issues, enforcing state vital statistics laws and regulations on doctors, hospitals and funeral homes, handling public inquiries and complaints and serving on departmental and state committees dealing with vital statistics.
This position requires a high school diploma.
Sanitarians independently and effectively conduct assessments, inspections, and compliance review activities. Responsibilities may include meeting inspection goals, tracking compliance through completion of correction or abatement, testifying as an expert witness in court proceedings, and making community visits.
This position requires a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours in the sciences. Sanitarians must also be registered with the State of Ohio.
Support and Administrative Positions
Support personnel are crucial to the work of Public Health. Potential opportunities exist in IT, human resources, clerical, accounting and many other areas which rely on support personnel to achieve their goals. Varying levels of education are required, depending upon the specific position.
Administrative positions include Health Commissioner, Medical Director, Public Health Advisor and Division Director. Generally, post-graduate education is required for these types of positions.
STUDENTS – Summit County Public Health works closely with four academic partners to provide public health field experiences to students in a variety of disciplines. We work with Case Western Reserve University,
Kent State University (Main Campus),
NEOMED, and the
University of Akron.
A very limited number of student experiences are available throughout the year. The following conditions must be met to be considered:
- Must be a student at Kent State, the University of Akron, Case Western University or NEOMED
- Must pass both a BCI and FBI background check prior to acceptance
- Must agree to follow all SCPH policies and procedures.
Students from any other academic institutions are invited to participate in “Public Health 101” as noted below. Public Health 101 is the only public health
that we offer to students
PUBLIC HEALTH 101
Summit County Public Health offers a half-day session of “Public Health 101” to individuals who would like to learn more about public health. This presentation includes an overview of public health and SCPH, an opportunity to talk with SCPH staff about their programs and professions, and interdisciplinary discussion and brainstorming about current public health issues.
The next Public Health 101 will be held on
October 10, 2017
from 8:30am - 11:30am
at our Fairway Center location
1867 W. Market St.
Akron, Ohio 44313
To register, please visit:
If you have any further questions about student experience opportunities, please contact Joanne Tate at 330-926-5618.
Thank you for your interest in employment opportunities with Summit County Public Health. All job postings, including paid internships, with SCPH may be found at
the County of Summit’s website: http://jobs.summitoh.net.
You will need to create an account which will allow you to review our open positions. The system will allow you to attach your resume, certificates, reference letters, license etc. to your online application.
You are responsible for checking your application status by reviewing your account at the web address above.
Upon being extended an offer of employment with SCPH, a candidate's appointment to the position is contingent on approval by our Board of Health during their monthly meeting, as well as verification of the candidate’s identity, a successful background check and adherence to conditions set forth in SCPH’s Policies and Procedures Manual, which can be viewed here by clicking the following link:
SCPH's Policy & Procedure Manual
Summit County Public Health is an Equal Opportunity
and Service Provider.