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How to Become a Public Health Analyst

November 1, 2021

From the spread of infectious diseases to the impact of climate change on populations, public health faces big challenges. In many cases, public health analysts are instrumental in addressing or resolving these challenges. They work with government agencies, elected officials, and healthcare organizations to craft or improve health policies and programs. The work of analysts and other public health professionals has been vital during the COVID-19 pandemic, identifying at-risk communities and bolstering testing and contact tracing programs.

An advanced degree, such as a Master of Public Health (MPH), can equip individuals pursuing a career in this field with the tools to address the public health challenges of today and those of the future.

What Does a Public Health Analyst Do? 

In the field of public health, an analyst is responsible for helping to address critical health programs, such as vaccination and cancer screening, or helping people overcome substance misuse. This work is vital to society. Analysts collect and analyze data, such as health records or program documentation, and use the insights they glean from their analysis to strengthen a health program’s effectiveness in addressing community health issues. An analyst’s job may entail establishing new public health policies or assessing existing programs or policies and devising ways to improve them.

The types of initiatives that public health analysts lend their expertise to are diverse. These initiatives can include large-scale vaccination programs or policies designed to encourage community health education. In addition to crafting policy, analysts focus on promoting public involvement in these initiatives.

Some analyst roles deal directly with the public. They may work directly with the community and local leaders to implement programs, often involving seminars, training opportunities, and site visits, as well as preparing and distributing materials to local offices. Senior analysts, such as those who work for government agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), may provide testimony to Congress or work with elected officials and other policymakers to implement solutions to public health issues.

Many other analysts work behind the scenes, digging into data and presenting their findings to various stakeholders or writing papers for publication in industry journals. These analysts are also responsible for ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations related to safety and privacy. Depending on the exact nature and scope of the role, a public health analyst may also oversee other public health professionals in their organization.

Advance Your Public Health Career with an MPH Program

Pursue Your Degree Online From Tulane University
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Essential Steps for How to Become a Public Health Analyst 

Figuring out the right combination of education and experience is a critical step for those interested in learning how to become a public health analyst. Earning a degree and gaining valuable work experience can help individuals develop essential skills and a competitive advantage in their job search.


A bachelor’s degree in a related field is typically the minimum requirement for an analyst position. Degrees in public health or health management are common. Some employers may require an advanced degree as well, such as a Master of Public Health (MPH) or a related field, such as a Master of Health Administration (MHA).


In addition to education, public health analysts generally need relevant work experience. Employers tend to look for candidates with experience evaluating and analyzing the operation of public health programs. Analysts working in the public sector may be able to substitute work experience with a robust educational background, like a master’s degree.

Healthcare and leadership certifications can also be beneficial, potentially providing aspiring analysts with a leg up in their job search. For example, the Certified Health Data Analyst (CHDA) credential, offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), can help those in the field become more skilled at analyzing and interpreting healthcare data.

Essential Skills               

Public health analysts should possess a diverse skill set, which they can develop through a combination of education and experience. These skills include the following:

  • Analytical skills. Analysts in the public health field need to understand how to collect and examine data and provide actionable insights based on their analysis.
  • Statistical skills. Because their work is inherently data driven, analysts benefit from having familiarity with statistical modeling and software solutions.
  • Research skills. The ability to research specific problems within a community, along with possible solutions, is another big part of the job. Public health research skills are critical.
  • Policy development / program planning skills. Analysts should possess an understanding of public health policies and programs, including how to develop, implement, and evaluate them.
  • Communication skills. Analysts need to effectively communicate their findings and recommendations to colleagues, officials, and the general public. Analysts may also lead initiatives to implement public health policy at the local level, so strong communication skills are a must. 
  • Project management. Public health roles often involve managing multiple projects or initiatives at once, making effective project management skills essential.

Public Health Analyst Salary and Job Outlook 

People interested in a career as a public health analyst can benefit from learning more about the position, including where analysts work, the outlook for employment in the field, and its potential salary.

Where They Work               

These analysts often work in the public sector for government agencies at both the state and federal levels. Because of their responsibility to help shape public health policies and programs, many analysts work for agencies such as the CDC or the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Not all public health jobs are in the public sector. Some analysts work for large healthcare organizations, where they also focus on efforts to improve public health.

Job Growth               

Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide job growth projections for public health analysts, occupations with similar job responsibilities are expected to grow considerably. For example, the BLS notes that epidemiologist positions are expected to grow by 27 percent between 2022 and 2032, a growth rate that is much faster than the average for all professions. The community health worker field is anticipated to grow by 14 percent within the same time period. 

The needs of the country’s aging baby-boom population and the need to address new and existing public health concerns will drive growth both in this field and in other healthcare occupations. An increased demand for healthcare services and staff will lead to more job opportunities across the board, including for public health analysts.


According to Payscale, the average annual salary for a public health analyst is approximately $70,770 as of January 2024. Several factors can influence a public health analyst’s salary, including experience level and location. Those who have a more advanced degree, such as an MPH, may command more competitive salaries. Geographic location is also a major factor, with positions in larger cities often providing higher rates of pay. Because many analyst roles are with the federal government, working near Washington, DC, can yield an especially high salary.

A Career Improving Public Health 

Public health analysts are vital to solving the population health challenges of today and tomorrow. Analysts’ insights help shape government policies and programs that improve and protect community health. In short, analysts play an essential role in promoting wellness in cities and towns everywhere.

An advanced degree, such as Tulane’s Online MPH degree, can help students develop the knowledge and skills they need to pursue this rewarding career in the analysis and strategizing of public health programs and policy. Learn more about the degree program and its hands-on, community-focused curriculum, and discover how it can help you achieve your professional goals.

Advance Your Public Health Career with an MPH Program

Pursue Your Degree Online From Tulane University
Find Out More

Recommended Readings

How Public Health Internships Can Advance Your Career

What Is a Global Health Professional?

Public Health Workforce Training and Development: Tips for Leaders   


Indeed, What Does a Public Health Analyst Do? (Plus Skills)

Payscale, Average Public Health Analyst Salary

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Community Health Workers

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Epidemiologists 

ZipRecruiter, “Public Health Analyst: What Is It and How to Become One”