International Health Care Worker Job Duties
International health care workers with a master’s degree in public health are an essential resource for developing countries all over the world. Usually, an international health care worker works in educational, administrative and research positions within governments and international agencies.
For example, you might work for the International Rescue Committee (IRC), which creates responses to some of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. As an international health care worker for IRC, you would work to provide lifesaving care and assistance to in need refugees who have to flee their homeland because of natural/manmade disasters and/or war.
One of the major distinctions of international health care workers with a masters of public health is that they are focused on prevention of illness, not treatment. Another difference is that an international health care worker, while often possessing a master’s degree in public health, may be from a variety of professions. These include doctor, nurse, social worker, health services manager, epidemiologist, and more.
Other possible duties of an international health care worker is to work in epidemiology, where you study records of death and medical records to discover why diseases are spread. You then would create a strong public health policy to help to prevent the disease from spreading.
A health services manager working in this field might oversee medical professionals working with international communities and to evaluate the success of preventative measures and programs to prevent the spread of diseases.
Health educators and social workers working in international health might work on the local level in workshops with natives to help them learn how to prevent diseases in their daily lives. You also would work with local governments to help to educate the local public in the country on preventative measures.
International Health Care Worker Career & Salary Outlook
The salaries for international health care workers with a master’s in public health is dependent upon the type of job the person actually has, which can vary widely. For example, if you work as a public health educator abroad, you might expect a salary in the range of $44,000, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). If you are a social worker, your salary may be in the range of $45,600. A health services manager in an international health role has a great deal of responsibility for the success of in-country programs, and their salary could be as high as $80,200. An epidemiologist in country would earn about $61,000.
Of course, a doctor with a master’s degree in public health in this role would command a substantially higher salary of over $100,000 per year, according to BLS. See more from the Best Public Health Careers list.
Job Outlook for International Health Care Workers
In the US, positions for public health educators, and medical and service managers will grown 15% or so in the next 10 years, which is faster than average. Whether this would translate into increased opportunities for international health care workers depends upon the budget constraints of the US federal government in the next few years.
Other possible positions for international health care workers include:
- Community health worker
- Program manager
- Grant writer
- Development officer
International Health Care Workers Education and Training
To become an international health care worker with the best career prospects, a master’s in public health is strongly desirable. This degree provides you with the tools, skills and world view that is necessary to effectively work with developing countries to not just treat disease, but prevent it entirely. Most public health educators, and medical and service managers in this field will have a bachelor’s degree in a related discipline, and a master’s in public health.
Some workers with a medical background will be a MD, or a nurse, with a master’s in public health, as well.
Also, some universities now offer a master’s degree in health sciences, or international health. See top online mph programs.