Public health technicians work for local, state, or federal government agencies, as well as non-profit organizations, to help people in large numbers to become healthier. They also perform community outreach to address preventive health and social care services, and knowledge of federal, state, and local funding sources is necessary in this position.
Public health technicians may be required to travel and attend events or visit public schools to perform hearing and/or vision screenings on students, so a valid driver's license is often required for this position. A bachelor's degree in a health-related field is generally required by employers, and some employers may consider applicants who have an associate's degree and work experience in place of a higher degree.
Proficiency in Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook) may be necessary for this position, and public health technicians must have required immunizations and periodic tuberculin (TB) skin tests or chest x-rays. Strong communication and interpersonal skills are important in this position, and the ability to work with people of different backgrounds and cultures is also helpful. Some may be required to train and coach other public health technicians or attend relevant training classes to keep their skills up-to-date.
Public Health Technician Tasks
Collect samples from animals, plants, or products, and route them to laboratories for microbiological assessment, ingredient verification, and other testing.
Inspect food processing areas in order to ensure compliance with government regulations and standards for sanitation, safety, quality, and waste management standards.
Inspect and test food products or public environments to detect harmful diseases, chemical residues, and infestations.
Collect samples of dust, gases, vapors, and other potentially toxic materials for analysis.