International health is a subdivision of the public health field, which focuses on the cause and treatment of global health threats. Those working in the international health field focus on the public health problems of developing countries, addressing concerns ranging from international health care policy and research to controlling outbreaks of disease and treating physical and mental illnesses related to emergencies and war.
To work in the international health field, a master’s degree from an accredited school of public health is required. According to ExploreHealthCareers.org, there are 20 accredited schools that offer a specialized Master of Public Health (MPH) in the global health field. It is often recommended that students interested in the global health field work overseas before completing their education, as it is preferable to have field experience in a developing country when applying for jobs in international health.
In the medical services field, students can work with women and children’s health concerns, mental health care, emergency services and treating infectious disease. International health also covers global policy, and those specializing in this area often work to establish health programs, research, economic and population policy, and food safety.
Those working in the international field have opportunities for employment in many different settings. Governmental and non-governmental facilities, nonprofit disaster relief agencies, academic institutions and lending organizations are just some of the work environments where global health issues are handled.
According to a nationwide study conducted by the Association of Schools of Public Health, the average salary for someone in the international health field is between $31,500 – $86,625. The employment outlook for this field is excellent, although the field is very competitive.