Global Health

Job Description

Global health is a branch of the fast-growing public health sphere, which is a priority in the United States and around the world.

A global health professional helps the federal government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), or private health organizations respond to health problems in developing countries.

Positions under the global health umbrella include:

  • Epidemiologist

  • Public health adviser

  • Health scientist

  • Medical officer




A global health professional can engage with many, varied health issues faced by people living in low-income or mid-income nations, such as AIDS, tuberculosis, other tropical and infectious diseases, malaria, malnutrition, and medical problems caused by aging.

With political turmoil and armed conflict common in these countries, a global health professional may also deal with the physical and psychological harm caused by war, violence, and internal or international displacement.

Global health professionals often engage with the urgent issues of prenatal, maternal, and obstretic care in developing regions.

Improving conditions to avoid excess mortality and avoid preventable childhood diseases is an urgent and highly valued part of this work.

Global health can also focus on the larger scale process of building or expanding local medical infrastructure.

Their professional advice and guidance informs developing countries' governments on the best way to deliver effective, timely care to their citizens.





Must effectively communicate with your co-workers to ensure the best care and the proper procedures. Must be able to communicate in high-stress environments.

Active Listening

Offering your full attention to an individual person or group in order to fully understand problems and their nature.

Critical Thinking

Must use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making

Needs to be able to act autonomously and make difficult decisions that would benefit the patient or make corrections. Must consider all benefits and repercussions of potential actions and choose the appropriate one. 

Complex Problem Solving

Must be able to identify complex problems and develop and evaluate corrective options and implement solutions. 

Stress Management

Must be able to endure intense situations and handle pressure that comes with extreme situations you may encounter.


Must be trustworthy because you have people's lives in your hands and what you do could help or hurt them. They are entrusted with a great responsibility and must live up to it. 


Gauging how people react and read their body language to decipher their feelings and predict their actions. They must be able to determine if people could be a risk to themselves or others and to distinguish truths from lies.


Working Conditions

The exact working conditions faced by a global health professional (equipped with a master's degree) vary hugely depending on where they work.

Jobs may be located in the United States, such as work at international agencies, research and study organizations, medical lending agencies with portfolios abroad, and government agencies like USAID.

Other global health jobs involve field work in or relocation to a foreign country. Government jobs, including those with the U.S. government and foreign governments, placement with WHO or other multi-lateral organizations, NGOs, and disaster relief organizations may all involve considerable time spent in developing countries.

Working as a field consultant may involve traveling to a number of different countries each year to provide specialized expertise.

Pay for a global health professional differs very widely with the organization and location involved, as well as with experience, ranging from $31,000 to $85,000 per annum.



Salary Outlook