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How to Work for the CDC: Benefits and Requirements

For medical researchers, public health experts, and infectious disease specialists, working at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a fantastic way to put their professional knowledge to use in making the US a better place. Learn how to work for the CDC if you’re a public health professional looking for a career in public service.

Due to the CDC’s wide variety of duties, there are numerous distinct CDC positions available. The CDC employs professionals ranging from behavioral scientists to healthcare administrators, and 83% of staff members say they would recommend the company to a friend. We shall discuss many CDC positions in this article, along with CDC application procedures.

Also Read: What can you do with a Public Health Degree?

Background Information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Communicable Disease Center, the predecessor organization to the current CDC, was founded in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1946. The first objective was to stop the spread of malaria. The CDC now manages disease prevention and control across the US, ensuring public health and safety.

The COVID-19 outbreak is under control, and the CDC’s main goal is to stop the spread of already-existing illnesses. In order to ensure a better and safer environment, the CDC collaborates with other government organizations to undertake research, create public health policies, and put initiatives into action.

How Difficult is it to Get a Job at the CDC?

Because the majority of CDC jobs need significant education and years of experience, it might be challenging to find a full-time position there. Jobs at higher levels are fiercely competitive. Depending on the position you are looking for, the interview process might be challenging, but 79 percent of CDC applicants reported having a pleasant interview experience.

An internship is a fantastic opportunity to start at the CDC if you are just starting out in your career. In this way, you can get to know CDC staff members and discover more about the many career options.

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How to Work for the CDC

How Does Working at the CDC Feel?

In their public service careers, healthcare workers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention benefit from job stability.
Working with CDC is a fantastic first step in any career path in public service. The company ensures that every employee has a safe and effective working environment. Here are a few ways the CDC helps its employees.

Benefits of Working for the CDC

1. Stress on Leading a Healthy Lifestyle

The CDC gives its staff members tools to sustain healthy lifestyles as part of its commitment to their overall health. This covers fitness assessments, diet plans, employee support programs, and social gatherings. For situations like unexpected illness or other emergency, it also provides flexible leave programs.

2. Retirement Strategy

The retirement program offered to employees by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is excellent. As a result, employees may concentrate on the here and now without worrying about the future.

3. Tolerant Culture

The CDC fosters inclusion and diversity while fostering a friendly workplace. There are stringent laws against any kind of discrimination. For a smooth process, the CDC also promotes communication between departments.

4. CDC Advantages

Through CDC University, paid external training, and an extensive online library, the CDC provides learning opportunities and chances for career progression for all employees.

5. Paid Time Off

The CDC offers its employees additional flexible paid time off in addition to the normal 11 paid federal holidays, which include Christmas, New Year’s, and Juneteenth.

6. Health Protection

Medical insurance is available to employees for themselves, their spouses, and dependant children under the age of 26. There are no limitations based on present medical conditions or pre-existing health issues.

7. Additional Staff Assistance

To deal with unforeseen events like personal, legal, or financial problems, all CDC employees and their immediate families have access to expert counseling and referrals. When necessary, it also provides incentives for relocation.

8. Flexible Work Schedules.

Employees can choose from a variety of positions that best suit them. Flexible work hours and remote work are features of several jobs.

Also Read: 9 Best 4-Year Medical Schools In Europe

How to Work for the CDC

Opportunities for Careers at the CDC: Job Titles and Descriptions

The CDC offers employment opportunities to people outside of the healthcare and medical fields. The CDC has employees working in many different disciplines, including as technology, accounting, and human resources. Here are a few CDC job examples.

1. Research Microbiologist

  • One year of experience is necessary.
    Bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, or microbiology is a must for employment.
  • Earnings: $135,345
  • Benefits: health insurance, paid holidays, and telework eligibility

At the CDC, research microbiologists design and carry out investigations into diseases, epidemiology, and genetics as they relate to public health. As the primary investigator, you will be in charge of overseeing all research-related duties, including design and analysis.

2. Economist

  • One year or more of specialized experience is required.
  • Bachelor’s degree in statistics, accounting, or economics is necessary for employment.
  • Earnings: $114,533
  • Benefits include the availability of travel allowances, relocation incentives, and telework opportunities.

An economist’s main duty at the CDC is to carry out economic research to find out how cost-effective national, regional, and local public health programs are. Additionally, you will be in charge of managing research study planning and the expense of acquiring necessary resources.

3. Administrative Officer

  • One year of specialized experience is necessary..
  • Earnings: $111,640
  • Benefits include the ability to work from home and health insurance.

All administrative responsibilities for the CDC’s legal office are coordinated and managed by an administrative officer. The department’s budget is drafted, presented, and implemented as a major aspect of this position.

4. Computer Engineer

  • One year of experience in a similar field is required.
  • Bachelor’s degree in computer engineering is necessary for employment.
  • Earnings: $108,528
  • Benefits include paid holidays, health insurance, and telework eligibility.

At the CDC, a computer engineer creates software solutions to streamline surveys used for research. Developing frameworks to protect the data from illegal access is another aspect of the job.

5. Nurse Educator

  • Earnings: $105,214
  • Benefits: Promotional opportunities, wellness initiatives, and schedule flexibility
  • One year of specialized experience is necessary.
  • Bachelor’s degree, associate degree, or diploma from an approved professional nursing school are the minimum educational requirements.

The design and creation of instructional materials, training manuals, and other health-related publications for the general public is handled by a nurse educator at the CDC. Additionally, you will assist with vaccination surveys and sampling in addition to acting as a teacher for field immunization.

6. Epidemiologist

  • Earnings: $103,618
  • Benefits include the ability to work remotely, flexible work hours, and paid holidays.
  • Experience in epidemiologic research or related fields of one year is required.
  • Bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a related discipline are required for employment.

The CDC’s epidemiologist collaborates with the health division to plan for, handle, and control public health emergencies. Protecting residents from health hazards like bacterial infections or lifestyle diseases is another major responsibility of this post. In order to develop harm reduction methods, epidemiologists gather and evaluate demographic information.

7. Public Health Analyst

  • Earnings: $99,595
  • Benefits: Paid holidays, employee awards and recognition, and potential for advancement
  • Candidates must have at least a year of relevant, specialized expertise in the health field.
  • Bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public health or a similar discipline are required for entry.

At the CDC, a public health analyst conducts research on public health concerns and aids in developing new policies. They assess the efficiency of current public health initiatives and organize public activities and events to raise consciousness and alter behavior.

8. Health Communications Specialist

  • Earnings: $98,033
  • Benefits: Paid training, telework opportunities, and a flexible schedule.
  • Experience: One year or more in the relevant profession is necessary.

Projects related to marketing and public health communication are managed under this role at the CDC. Maintaining channels of communication and encouraging departmental cooperation are important responsibilities of this role.

9. Health Scientist

  • Earnings: $97,985
  • Benefits include relocation assistance, adaptable work hours, and health insurance.
  • One year or more of specialized experience is required.
  • Necessary Education: a bachelor’s degree in medicine or a related subject, or a master’s degree

The CDC’s health scientists run tests and study patient records to better understand various acute and chronic ailments. They are supposed to supervise some employees and coordinate with state-level organizations.

10. Public Health Advisor

  • Earnings: $88,764
  • Benefits include a flexible schedule, possibilities for professional growth, and paid training excursions.
  • No educational prerequisites, however at least one year of specialized expertise in a subject related to public health is required.

A public health advisor at the CDC offers other health organizations expert guidance on various public health issues. In addition to managing research initiatives, analyzing data, and making recommendations based on findings, public health advisors.

How to Work for the CDC

  • Look into job openings. For a list of open positions, see the CDC’s official website. You can search for employment openings on the CDC jobs page using a keyword, category, or area. You can also search for vacancies on the USAJOBS website.
  • Review the specifications. The CDC follows tight procedures when hiring new employees. While some positions just demand experience working for a federal agency, others call for both a bachelor’s degree and relevant professional experience. Before applying, make sure you are aware of the prerequisites.
  • Think about internships. You can gain professional experience in your selected field and network with CDC staff members by doing an internship there. For new graduates or students with little job experience, the CDC offers both short-term and long-term internship opportunities.
  • Observe the application’s guidelines. If you have the necessary training and experience, submit your application as directed. In order to ensure that their resume format is compatible with their recruiting system, the CDC strongly advises applicants to use a resume template.
  • Application must be turned in before the deadline. There are distinct application deadlines for each CDC position, and late submissions will not be accepted. Give yourself enough time to finish and proofread your application, and make sure you are aware of the application deadline.

Application Process for CDC

Depending on your job description, there are three or four steps in the CDC application procedure. A meeting with two or more human resources specialists, an online application, and one or more final interviews with senior executives follow. This process is used for all job applicants. Within 45 days of the application deadline, the company will hire a qualified individual.

Interview Questions for the CDC

  • Tell us about your professional background. Give a brief description of your career, emphasizing any experience that demonstrates your ability to meet the standards.
  • Tell about a challenge you had at work and how you overcame it. Discuss a problem you encountered at work, how you handled it, and the result. Instead of pointing the finger at your coworkers, emphasize how you handled the situation.
  • What draws you to this job, and why? Explain your interest in the position and how it aligns with your long-term professional objectives.
  • Describe a time when you had to swiftly adjust to a novel circumstance. Unpredictable events like the COVID-19 outbreak require the CDC to act quickly. Choose a scenario where you responded to an emergency with creativity and adaptability.
  • Which professional achievement are you most proud of? Think about an original project you completed that had a definite, good effect. What obstacles did you encounter and how did you overcome them?

How to Work for the CDC

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Apply for a Job at the CDC

The majority of CDC positions require a college degree, specialized experience in related fields, and US citizenship. You might look into alternative medical occupations if you are unsure of the career that would be the best fit for you or if you feel like you need more experience before applying to the CDC.

Is the CDC a part of the government?

Yes. A government organization under the US Department of Health and Human Services is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It employs more than 1,000 people in a variety of specialties and locations throughout the US, including Puerto Rico.

Can someone with an MPH work at CDC?

Yes, the CDC offers a variety of possibilities, including managerial and administrative roles, to candidates with a Master's in Public Health (MPH).

Are CDC internships paid?

Yes, CDC interns are paid on a monthly basis based on their education level and work hours. To be eligible for the CDC internship program, you must be a citizen of the US.


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