Job Sectors and Employers

Job sectors and employers

People working in public health roles can work for a wide range of local, national and international employers. This information gives just some ideas about the range of different settings in which they work.

The NHS: Public health job roles within the NHS include public health consultants, public health nurses and public health managers.

Local Government:  Local authorities have responsibility for improving the health of their local population and for ensuring the commissioning and provision of certain public health improvement services, including behaviour change services, some sexual health services and services to support those with substance misuse issues. Relevant job roles within local government include Director of Public Health, knowledge and intelligence professionals, public health consultants, public health nurses, Environmental Health Practitioners, public health managers and public health practitioners.

National Government: There are public health roles within the civil service across many government departments, such as within the Department of Health and Social Care, the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities the UK Health Security Agency , the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorate , the Welsh governments Department for health and Social Care and the Department of Health (Northern Ireland).  Relevant job roles include public health scientists, knowledge and intelligence professionals, epidemiologists, food safety experts, policy officers and health improvement specialists. 

Higher Education: This includes universities, colleges and education institutes. Examples of public health academicjob roles are research assistants, research fellows, lecturers and professors.

Third Sector organisations: These are non-government organisations which operate on a not-for-profit basis, including charities, charitable trusts, think tanks, social enterprises and voluntary groups.  These organisations may be involved in a wide range of public health activities such as undertaking research, providing advocacy on public health matters, implementing public health campaigns, providing educational activities or being commissioned to provide public health services. Job roles in this sector include policy managers, policy officers, researchers, evaluators, funding managers and public health practitioners.  

The Private Sector: This could include organisations which are commissioned to provide services, undertake research, provide training or act as consultants. People with relevant skills and knowledge may set up their own public health consultancies.

International Organisations: This includes the World Health Organisation, UNICEF and the United Nations. A number of charities also operate on a global basis. Example job roles are epidemiologists, public health consultants and emergency response planners.