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Employer Profile - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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HHS Secretary Sebelius Gives Daily CDC Briefing With Director Besser
Barry Williams / Stringer / Getty Images News / Getty Images

General Information:

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is a government organization that operates under the Department for Health and Human Services. The CDC is headquartered in Atlanta, GA, and employs hundreds, if not thousands of healthcare professionals worldwide.

Mission:

According to the CDC’s website, the mission of the organization is "to promote health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability." This entails a great deal of research. Every case of a communicable disease is reported to the CDC, which monitors hot spots and tries to prevent serious outbreaks. The CDC then analyzes the data collected and uses it to inform healthcare providers and the public regarding prevention, avoidance, and control of diseases.

Qualifications and Requirements:

Some jobs require previous government or federal employment. Others require security clearance. All require a clean background and, because they are a government organization, only US citizens are eligible to work for the CDC. Otherwise, requirements vary according to the position. There are opportunities for nearly all education levels including Associate’s Degree, Undergraduate (4-year) degree, Master’s Degree (e.g. Master’s of Public Health, Masters of Microbiological Science, etc.) PhD, and M.D.

What's to Like:

Government jobs are very desirable due to the excellent benefits which are offered. Perks at the CDC include paid vacation and holidays, on-site childcare, telecommuting opportunities, and Flexible Spending Accounts. Comprehensive insurance plans cover medical care, long-term care, and life insurance. Also, a job at the CDC would offer a double dose of job security - government jobs are typically very stable, as are careers in the healthcare sector.

What's Not to Like:

Working for the government is not for everyone. If you’re comfortable in a very bureaucratic environment, and you don’t mind dealing with a lot of “red tape” to get things done, the CDC could be a great option for you. If you need a job soon, apply early – typically the hiring process for any government entity is longer than average.

CDC Health Careers and Salary Ranges:

  • Microbiologist ($91,000 - $119,000)
  • Health Scientist ($65,000 - $100,000)
  • Health Informatics Specialist
  • Public Health Advisor
  • Health Communications Specialist ($44,000 – $70,000)
  • Biostatistician
  • Medical Officer - Physician/M.D. ($85,000 - $145,000)
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