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:
Public Health Profession
Experienced Annual Salary
Community and Social Services: Community Health Workers
Community and Social Services: Health Educators
Community and Social Services: Healthcare Social Workers
Community and Social Services: Rehabilitation Counselors
Community and Social Services: Substance Abuse & Behavioral Disorder Counselors
Computers and Mathematics: Statisticians
Engineers: Health & Safety Engineers
Healthcare Practitioners: Occupational Health & Safety Specialists
Life and Social Sciences: Biological Scientists
Life and Social Sciences: Environmental Scientists & Specialists
Life and Social Sciences: Microbiologists
Life and Social Sciences: Social Science Research Assistants
Public Administration: Social & Community Service Managers
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):
Annual mean wage
Social and Community Service Managers
Mining and Geological Engineers Including Mining Safety Engineers(172151)
Biological Scientists All Other
Environmental Scientists and Specialists Including Health
Social Scientists and Related Workers All Other
Social Science Research Assistants
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors
Healthcare Social Workers
Occupational Health and Safety Specialists
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