Between the state and federal government, public health spending in Texas totaled more than $1.5 billion in fiscal year 2013-14. Public health spending at this level positively impacts the state’s ability to create much-needed public health jobs and offer top salaries.
While many public health officials in Texas work for government agencies at the county level, the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) acts at the state level to coordinate efforts between stakeholders, coalitions, and communities to improve public health throughout Texas.
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Preventing chronic and infectious diseases is just one way the DSHS does this, and its anti-smoking efforts have born fruit. The rate of this habit decreased 13% between 2013 and 2014. Immunization coverage among children also increased substantially during this time frame.
Epidemiologists with the DSHS specialize in research concerning infectious disease and the efficacy of treatment. Given the large number of international travelers, Texas is vulnerable to outbreaks of tuberculosis, with 1,222 cases discovered in 2013 alone. The DSHS is also highly proactive in tracking instances of acute pesticide exposure resulting from occupational exposure. The state’s Pesticide Exposure Surveillance in Texas (PEST) program proactively monitors the level of insecticide, fungicide, rodenticide, and herbicide found in the environment.
Stakeholders in public health in Texas include state, federal, and local officials in addition to those in non-governmental organizations, academia, and healthcare facilities – all of which work in concert to ensure the health and safety of Texas’s residents.
Public Health Professional Salary Analysis for Houston
The Texas Workforce Commission provides the salaries for a number of public health professionals in the Houston area for 2014. Since highly educated professionals such as those with a Master of Public Health are likely to be experienced, their salaries tend to fall on the high end of these ranges:
Public Health Profession
Experienced Annual Salary
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: Epidemiologists
Life and Social Sciences: Microbiologists
Life and Social Sciences: Social Science Research Assistants
Life and Social Sciences: Social Scientists
Public Administration: Social & Community Service Managers
Analysis of Public Health Professional Salaries Statewide
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a detailed breakdown of hourly wages and annual salaries by percentile for a wide range of public health professions in Texas (2014):
Annual mean wage
Social and Community Service Managers
Mining and Geological Engineers Including Mining Safety Engineers
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
Community Health Workers
Occupational Health and Safety Specialists
*Figures are at or above $90 an hour or $187,199 per year. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report salaries beyond these levels.
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