The United Health Foundation ranked North Dakota as the ninth healthiest state in the country in 2015. Its public health strengths include a low rate of babies born with low birth weight, and a high vaccination rate among teens. North Dakota also ranks eighth in the country for its disaster preparedness and is one of eleven states with a budget line item for this type of funding specific to a health care surge.
Combined state and federal per capita public health funding in North Dakota increased by 40% between 2012 and 2014, and the state spent more than $46 million on public health in fiscal year 2013-14. This level of funding has a direct effect on the availability of jobs for public health professionals in North Dakota, and helps to increase the salary levels these positions pay.
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The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) is the state’s flagship organization for improving public health in the state. It does so through a combination of prevention, disease and environmental monitoring, and advocating for public health policy. In the first few months of 2015, health alerts from this agency ranged from warnings to test for radon, to alerts to avoid the smoke from wildfires around Bismarck.
North Dakota is well prepared for emerging infections and exotic diseases that healthcare providers are not equipped to handle, and microbiologists at the state level have the expertise to test for such pathogens. For example, the NDDoH identified an individual with active tuberculosis in Mountrail County in January 2015, and epidemiologists tracked people who had contact with the person to make sure the infection wasn’t spreading.
State public health professionals work closely with their colleagues in local health departments, academia, healthcare institutions, and non-governmental organizations to further improve the state of public health in North Dakota. One result of their efforts is that the rate of drug deaths in the state decreased 49% between 2012 and 2014.
A Look at Salaries Among Fargo’s Public Health Professionals
The North Dakota Department of Labor and Human Rights provides salary ranges for a number of public health professionals employed in the Fargo metropolitan statistical area in 2014. Highly educated professionals such as those with a Master of Public Health generally have the expertise to earn on the high end of these salary ranges.
The salaries among epidemiologists who worked for the North Dakota Department of Health in 2014 are publicly available. The average salary for an entry-level epidemiologist that year was $52,032.
Salary Data for Public Health Professionals Working throughout North Dakota
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a breakdown by percentile of the hourly wages and annual salaries of public health professionals who worked throughout North Dakota in 2014.