Human Services Guide

Education Public Health Social Worker

While the public health Social Worker has a variety of different tasks they might perform, their primary responsibility is in the area of epidemiology. Working within a research capacity, the public health Social Worker administers surveys, compiles data, assesses and researches around various public health issues. By thoroughly understanding a particular public health issue and its impact on their community, the public health social worker provides and invaluable service to society. Whether involved in studies around child abuse and domestic violence, drug abuse or the spread of communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, the public health social worker helps to keep the local government and healthcare providers appraised of public health matters.

Some of the duties of a public health Social Worker might include:

  • Conducting surveys within their community around public health focal points
  • Compiling and analyzing data on public health
  • Researching the work of other epidemiological studies
  • Advising community health and local government on public health matters
  • Administering various public health social programs
  • Working to educate the public on health issues in the community

How this Job Services Human Beings

By helping to educate local governments and community health organizations, the public health Social Worker provides a critical service to the people in their community. Whether its increasing understanding of patterns of drug abuse in the community, or researching trends in the spread of communicable diseases, the public health Social Worker helps improve the health and quality of life of their community.

Impact on Society

The public health social worker has a tremendous impact on the wellbeing of their community. By identifying and researching public health trends, the public health social worker helps prevent the spread of illness and disease within their community.

The public health social worker impacts society in many ways, here are a few examples:

  • Helping reduce drug abuse in their community
  • Helping prevent the spread of communicable diseases
  • Reducing domestic violence and child abuse
  • Reducing crime rates
  • Increasing the overall health of their community
  • Decreasing the financial burden of healthcare in the community through an advisory approach

Impact on the Family

While the primary responsibilities of public health Social Workers are impacting communities on the macro level, their work filters down to the family level as well. By helping to reduce the spread of communicable diseases, the public health social worker decreases the sick leave taken by parents to take care of children. This in turn, reduces stress and increases health of families. Families also see the benefits of reduced crime rates in their neighborhoods as public health Social Workers help reduce drug abuse in their communities. Finally, through administering a variety of public health social services, the family can be directly impacted through having a highly efficient experience within a well-managed social service agency.

Impact on the individual

While the main impact of the public health social worker is seen at the community level, the individual also benefits from their work. By reducing the spread of communicable diseases the individual is less likely to miss work. The individual is also less likely to have to spend money on health care due to the diligence of the public health worker. When interacting with public health social services, the individual can see how the work of the public health Social Worker streamlines social service agencies.

Education Required to Join the Workforce

In some cases an employer might be willing to hire a candidate who has a bachelor’s of science in Social Work, Sociology, Psychology or Public Health. Most employers however, are looking for candidates with a Master of Social Work or Master of Public Health degree. In the case of the Master of Social Work it is a requirement of all states to have a Social Work license. You can read about Social Work Licensure here.

Range of Salaries for this Job Title

The annual mean wage - depending on employer designation - for a public health Social Worker on a nationwide basis, is from: $42,050 to $56,0601

What’s the Next to Pursue this Career?

To start on your journey towards a career as a public health Social Worker you will need to begin by obtaining a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology, Social Work, Public Health or Sociology. In order to be competitive in this economic environment you will find that most employers are looking for candidates who have Master of Social Work or Master of Public Health degree. If you wish to follow the Master of Social Work career track and use the title of Social Worker, you will need to obtain your Social Work license. You can read about Social Work Licensure here. You can find a list of qualified schools in your area with degrees in these fields by clicking here. Now is the time to take the first step on your path towards becoming a public health Social Worker!