Public health is a top priority for Montana’s government and is of special concern in the state, as Montana has a high proportion of aging baby boomers. This, along with a growing population, means that public health professionals will be in high demand for the foreseeable future. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that positions as health educators alone will grow by 14.6% over the next six years.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that positions as health educators alone will grow by 14.6% over the next six years.
An online master’s degree in public health can be a flexible and affordable path towards an exciting career in public health. There are a range of public health programs in Montana to choose from, making it a great place to earn an MPH degree.
Montana oversees dozens of new and ongoing public health programs to keep its residents healthy and well-educated. Through the HELP Plan, low-income Montanans have access to subsidized health care, as well as to programs that promote an understanding of nutrition, disease, and general wellness. HELP’s fitness program provides members access to 8,000 fitness centers nationwide. The state also offers programs meant to help Montanans quit smoking or lose weight through online coaching and in-person support.
Additionally, Montana’s Department of Public Health and Health Services offers a wide array of resources for the elderly. The elderly are encouraged to take advantage of programs that deliver meals, provide nutrition education, and offer companionship. Also, the Big Sky Rx program helps Medicare clients pay for prescriptions. The state’s deep investment in the health and wellness of its residents means that you should strongly consider getting your MPH in Montana.
Though they are often confused with one another, there are actually a few key differences between internships and fellowships. Internships are generally for students and recent graduates from high school or college; these positions can be paid or unpaid. Fellowships, by comparison, are almost always for graduate students, usually include a stipend, and are often offered in conjunction with a university program. Read on for a list of some opportunities available to students working towards a master in public health in Montana.
- Quality Improvement Plan Practicum
The Toole County Health Department is hiring a public health student to assist in drafting a quality improvement plan to streamline the department’s operations. The student will receive a stipend of $1,000.
- Access to Healthcare Practicum
The chosen graduate-level public health student will work at the Toole County Health Department, assessing the population’s access to healthcare and making recommendations on how to improve access. This internship is offered by the Montana Public Health Association and involves a $1,000 stipend.
- Community Health Assessment Practicum
The Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Public Health Department is hiring an intern to work on a new community health assessment and to help analyze the results. The department will award a $1,000 stipend.
- Department of Environmental Quality Internship
Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality hires interns to help with its mission of ensuring a clean and healthy environment. Interns gain valuable experience in the environmental side of public health.
Salaries for public health officials vary greatly depending on their credentials, experience, and where they work. For example, epidemiologists, who typically have advanced degrees, earn a median pay of $60,000 per year. By comparison, community health workers usually need only have a high school diploma or some college experience, and earn around $35,000 annually. Experience also matters – entry-level epidemiologists earn $57,000 per year, while those with 10-20 years of experience can expect make almost $90,000. The table below compares the nationwide public health salaries with those in Montana.
|Employment||Hourly Mean Wage||Annual Mean Wage|
Public Health Employers in Montana
If you’re considering a career in public health, and want to learn more about job opportunities in the field, check out the following list of the top employers in Montana.
|Employers||Number of Employees|
|Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services||3,000|
|Montana State University||3,333|
Public Health Research Centers in Montana
Students enrolled in online MPH programs in Montana should know about research centers that do work in public health. Rather than scrambling after graduation, prepare for your job search by consulting the following list of public health research centers and institutes in Montana.
- Center for American Indian and Rural Health Equity: This Montana State University research center conducts research to ensure that Montana’s rural and tribal communities stay healthy. Its goal is to improve Montanans’ quality of life and to prevent the spread of disease.
- Center for Environmental Health Sciences: Researchers at this University of Montana institute study the many ways that the environment impacts human health. They aim to better understand the causes of cardiovascular and other diseases so that these illnesses can be treated and diagnosed more effectively.
- University of Montana School of Public and Community Health Sciences: Faculty of the School of Public and Community Health Sciences conduct research in a variety of public health-related fields. Research specializations include childhood obesity, Native American issues, and environmental science.
Public Health Professional Organizations in Montana
Professional organizations provide useful benefits to workers in any industry. Because public health is such a research-intensive field, professional organizations like the Montana Public Health Association offer immense value, bringing together professionals to share findings, collaborate, and learn new techniques. For example, members who attend MPHA’s annual conference learn how to access, visualize, and use local public health data for research and advocacy. A few of Montana’s public health professional organizations are listed below.
- Montana Environmental Health Association: This organization is for professionals who study the ways in which food, water, and air affect human health. It hosts webinars and training sessions with the aim of improving standards for environmental health professionals in Montana.
- Montana Public Health Association: Founded in 1918 as an affiliate of the National Public Health Association, this organization brings public health professionals together for education opportunities, advocacy programs, and networking through its career center.
- Montana Health Care Association: This professional association serves Montana’s long-term care facilities, such as nursing and assisted living homes. Members have access to conventions and courses meant to enhance their work with the elderly.