The state of Tennessee spent more than $285.6 million on public health in fiscal year 2013-14, while the federal government contributed an additional $277.4 million through the CDC and the Health Resources Services Administration that year. Spending at this level directly impacts the availability of pubic health jobs in the state and helps to raise the bar on the salaries these professionals receive.
The Tennessee Department of Health works to address public health concerns in a number of ways, ranging from providing advice on preventing disease and chronic health problems to monitoring infectious diseases. With the concern about emerging mosquito-borne diseases such as Chikungunya and LaCrosse encephalitis, the Department provides preventative advice on how to minimize mosquito bites.
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Tennessee state law requires healthcare providers to report a wide number of infectious diseases, and this helps the state’s epidemiologists monitor disease trends and identify high-risk groups. Such information helps the Department of Health develop policy and design prevention programs. Such programs have been highly successful since the rate of immunization among adolescents increased 16% between 2012 and 2014.
Specialists with the Division of Environmental Health monitor sanitation and safety requirements at a variety of facilities in Tennessee ranging from food service establishments to those that provide childcare.
In addition to working at the state level, Tennessee’s public health professionals operate at the federal and local level, in non-governmental organizations, and in academia to help improve the state of public health statewide.
A Look at Public Health Professional Salaries in Memphis
The Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development provides salary data for an array of public health professionals in the Memphis metropolitan statistical area for 2014. While some of these salaries can vary dramatically, highly educated public health professionals such as those with a Master of Public Health are likely to have the experience to earn salaries well beyond the median:
A Full Salary Analysis of Public Health Professionals Throughout Tennessee
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a high level of detail related to earnings for a wide range of public health professions in Tennessee (2014):