When you enroll in an online MPH degree, the range of specializations that you can choose from include health communications, global health, environmental health and more. This broad range of focus areas allows you build a foundation of knowledge that can be used in many public health careers.
And, you can work for many types of organizations, including:
- Government agencies such as the National Institutes of Health
- Nonprofit organizations that deliver public health care such as Catholic Relief Services
- Non-government agencies, such as Care
What follows are several public health careers that may interest you as you explore your education and career options.
If you choose this career path, you’ll focus on investigating how diseases are dispersed into a population and how to slow them down. The results of your analysis of a particular population and the environmental factors that contribute to a real or potential health risk will be presented to medical professionals who develop treatments and policies to stop the spread of the epidemic and help treat the infected.Individuals who specialize in environmental or global health, or program planning and evaluation may be qualified to become an epidemiologist, because academic research, field research and surveys, as well as the ability to apply data and risk management approaches to a situation, are all required as an epidemiologist.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the epidemiology salary was $70,820 per year in 2016.
These educators are responsible for informing the public about health issues. If you choose to become a public health educator, you would provide needed information to help individuals take action to protect their health and their families. This master in public health career also develops educational programs and learning materials about how to reduce the risk of a health matter that is threatening your community, such as teaching people how to protect themselves and their families from the opioid epidemic or the season’s flu virus.
Public health educators likely choose health communications or health education as a focus area.
The salary for community health educators with master’s degree is $53,070 per year according to the BLS; and it’s projected that there will be 13 percent more health educator positions between 2014 and 2024, which is faster than average growth.
If you’re interested in advancing social equity, this public health career focus may qualify you to work as a community service manager developing programs and policies to improve the physical or mental health of a given demographic or population. If you are working with an economically disadvantaged locale, you may have to address health factors such as chronic hunger, malnutrition and unemployment.
As a community service manager, demonstrating the effectiveness of your organization’s programs is expected. You’ll be expected to measure the impact to the community, which requires gathering evidence, assessing the data and evaluating the results. The reports may be presented to government officials, administrators and private funders.
Individuals who work for larger institutions may be responsible for specialized programs, or have specific duties, such as supervising other community managers who oversee their own programs. If they work for smaller organizations, they may have many responsibilities including communicating with the public or community organizations.
Community service managers’ salaries vary, depending upon the employer and scope of responsibilities, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median salary to be $64,680 in May 2016.
A master’s degree in public health may qualify you to work as an administrator for a public health organization. These individuals might be responsible for managing a department or an entire public health care facility, directing activities to ensure they operate within legal and regulatory guidelines, as well as ensuring the success of the overall organization.
In May 2016, medical and health service managers’ salaries averaged $96,540 annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the expected growth of new jobs within this job field is 17 percent between 2014 and 2024.
As the world becomes more polluted, the risk of health conditions and diseases that have environmental components – including asthma, cancer and food poisoning – increases. Among the responsibilities of environmental health scientists’ careers is the ability to identify the relationship between the environment and illness, and how to mitigate environmental risks.
A master’s degree in public health with a focus on environmental or occupational health will provide a foundation of knowledge that fulfills the responsibilities of this position. In addition to the scientific components necessary to perform the job, an environmental scientist will also need to know how to collaborate with other professionals, including politicians and government officials, to reduce health risks and preserve public health.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median salary for an environmental scientist or specialist is $68,910, but the pay may increase depending upon the responsibilities of the job.
Professionals who can use statistical methods to collect, analyze and interpret data are valuable to organizations that implement public health policy. If you are a graduate of an online MPH degree program and focused on program planning and evaluation during your studies, you may be able to take on this essential position.According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the master in public health salary for a statistician was $80,500 annually in 2016.The wide range of public health careers and the demand for qualified health care professionals in the coming years will help Master of Public Health degree holders secure their spot in this dynamic field and contribute to public health.
Careers in Public Health
Salaries in 2016
|Public Health Educators||$53,070|
|Community Service Managers||$64,680|
|Medical and Health Service Managers||$96,540|
|Environmental Health Scientists||$68,910|
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