The Path to Public Health: How to Get a Job at the CDC

Apr 4, 2019 by

The CDC (the Center for Disease Control) employs over 12,000 individuals. But getting one of these coveted positions isn’t easy!

Wondering how to get a job at the CDC? Here’s a list of things you can do to increase the likelihood of obtaining your dream job.

Wondering how to get a job at the CDC? While there’s no guarantee, here’s a list of things you can do to increase the likelihood of obtaining your dream job.

Educational Background

If the college you choose has a degree in public health, that’s great! However, many schools do not — and that’s okay, too! Get your undergraduate degree in something related to biology or medicine.

If you’re wondering how to get a job at the CDC, you’ll likely need to get a Master’s degree. Obviously, a Master’s in Public Health would likely be the most relevant. However, if you have a specific interest, consider a degree in epidemiology, science policy, or even scientific writing.

If you’re looking to run a research project, you’re likely going to need to pursue either a medical degree (M.D.) or a doctorate (Ph.D.). While you’re going to need some form of higher education, the degree choice is up to your own interests.

How to Stand Out

Want to increase your odds of standing out among the sea of applicants? You’re going to need to beef up your resume.

Getting an internship is one of the best ways to increase your chances. If you aren’t sure how to land your ideal internship, your master’s program can probably help. A lot of programs, like the UAZ MPH, require an internship before you can complete your Master’s degree.

There are actually several internship opportunities within the CDC. These opportunities vary based on your educational level. You can start as early as high school, or as late as during medical school residency.

Additionally, gaining entry-level experience is always valuable. So you might spend the first few years after graduation working in a different public health job. Take advantage of these opportunities to learn skills your future employers will want.

The Application Process

The CDC has it’s own job board that makes it easy to locate opportunities that interest you. You can search by career field to find the job that best interests you. These fields are Executives and Scientists (for science policy), Health Scientist and Public Health, Medical Officers (for medical research), and Mission Support (for positions like HR, public relations, and accounting).

Each position will tell you the hiring dates, salary, and location. Additionally, it will let you know it’s primary responsibilities and if any travel will be required for this position. Finally, it will list the job’s qualifications and educational requirements.

All applications are listed and submitted online. If they like your application, they’ll call you in for several interviews. Finally, upon hiring you, they’ll email you and set up an orientation for your position.

Now You Know How to Get a Job at the CDC!

We hope this guide has helped you learn how to get a job at the CDC. Wondering how to take that first step? Read our article on choosing higher education that’ll be worth your time and money.

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