Public Health Jobs –  Career Opportunities in Public Health

Public Health Jobs –  Working towards creating a healthier world is a shared goal for all public health organizations and professionals. If you’re passionate about helping people in need of medical assistance but don’t necessarily want to become a medical practitioner, exploring a career in public health might be the perfect fit for you. Consider pursuing a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Public Health to open up a world of possibilities.

What job opportunities are available with a public health degree?

Public health has a long history of implementing policies that enhance global health. Vaccination programs, family planning initiatives, and preventive medicine are just a few examples of how public health has positively impacted the world. You can be a part of this transformative work too!

Below, we’ve compiled a list of popular careers in public health that you can pursue with an MPH degree, along with the average annual salaries in the US according to PayScale. As you’ll discover, these salaries are more than sufficient to cover the initial investment in your education, including tuition and other fees. Let’s explore some of the jobs you can get with a public health degree.

Health Informatics Specialist – Average Salary: $62,600 per year Employers

Food and Drug Administration clinics, clinical biostatistics organizations, local governments, and other public health organizations. As a health informatics specialist or biostatistician, you’ll analyze various types of healthcare data and apply statistical principles to public health and medical research. Your work may involve clinical trials, genome projects, and identifying population health trends. Biostatisticians also play a role in experimental treatments for diseases and identifying connections between lifestyle factors and public health issues. Some of the main duties include:

  • Developing efficient statistical protocols
  • Analyzing and monitoring databases and data analysis software
  • Utilizing skills in statistics, mathematics, and computer science for data collection and reporting.

Healthcare Administrator – Average Salary: $65,500 per year Employers

Hospitals, clinics, healthcare facilities, wellness centers. Public health careers offer a range of possibilities, each requiring different skills and abilities. As a healthcare administrator, you’ll oversee the operations of a healthcare institution. Your responsibilities will include organizing staff, delegating tasks, and ensuring the institution has all necessary resources and inventory. Additionally, healthcare administrators may:

  • Coordinate and manage health services provided to clients, health programs, staff, and budgets.
  • Maintain contact with various organizations such as health equipment suppliers.
  • Contribute to public healthcare policies, working towards improving or resolving healthcare system issues.

Epidemiologist – Average Salary: $62,900 per year Employers

Health institutes, local and national public health departments, private companies (pharmaceutical companies). Being an epidemiologist is one of the most popular government jobs for individuals with a Master’s in Public Health. Epidemiologists evaluate and monitor the spread of diseases, work to understand their causes, and develop solutions and treatments. Their work combines knowledge from biology, statistics, and mathematics, taking into account various socio-economic factors. Some of the responsibilities of an epidemiologist include:

  • Training and educating policymakers about diseases and infections.
  • Monitoring epidemics and providing comprehensive reports based on collected data.
  • Evaluating local and government health agencies.

Public Health Project Manager – Average Salary: $75,400 per year Employers

NGOs, social work associations, government agencies, research institutions. The primary objective of public health project managers is to develop and oversee the implementation of projects that improve community well-being. They face challenges such as managing budgets, overcoming unexpected difficulties, and ensuring timely achievement of project objectives. Main responsibilities of a public health project manager include:

  • Managing staff members and assigning tasks.
  • Evaluating project progress and identifying ways to enhance overall efficiency.
  • Providing regular updates to staff, documenting project activities, and writing reports.

Health and Safety Engineer – Average Salary: $76,000 per year Employers

Government, construction companies, technology companies. Public health careers also extend to designers and engineers. Health and safety engineers design machinery, equipment, and systems that enhance human health and prevent diseases. They ensure that products (equipment and machines used in factories, buildings, etc.) meet safety requirements, identify potential hazards, evaluate health and safety regulations, and investigate accidents. Common tasks of health and safety engineers include:

  • Reviewing plans for new machinery and equipment to ensure compliance with safety standards.
  • Identifying potential hazards in facilities, machinery, and safety equipment.
  • Installing safety devices on machinery and verifying employee safety programs while suggesting improvements.

Public Health Educator – Average Salary: $45,800 per year Employers

Government agencies, public and private organizations, NGOs. Public health careers include educators who specialize in providing information on health and safety concerns and teaching individuals and communities how to take care of themselves and others. For example, a public health educator might deliver a lecture or presentation on HIV/AIDS, providing essential information, distributing flyers and brochures, and encouraging proactive behavior and regular health check-ups. Common responsibilities of a public health educator include:

  • Developing flexible lectures and workshops tailored to different communities.
  • Creating informative materials for distribution during presentations and meetings.
  • Answering public questions and providing relevant suggestions.

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Healthcare Consultant – Average Salary: $76,900 per year Employers

Large private healthcare organizations. Among the jobs available to individuals with a Master’s in Public Health is that of a healthcare consultant. Healthcare consultants evaluate the activities and management of healthcare facilities, identifying major problems and proposing solutions to enhance efficiency. They compare different options, write reports, and participate in client meetings where they present the best solutions. Other typical tasks for healthcare consultants include:

  • Creating manuals and informational documents to help staff members improve individual and overall efficiency.
  • Designing, evaluating, and suggesting the implementation of healthcare procedures and technologies.

What can you do with a Master’s in Public Health if you’re a nurse? 

To become a Registered Nurse (RN), a Public Health degree is not required. Instead, you need to complete a 3 or 4-year Bachelor’s in Nursing. However, Master’s in Public Health jobs are suitable for nursing graduates. With a Master’s in Public Health, you can gain the necessary knowledge and skills to become a Public Health Nurse (PHN). What is a Public Health Nurse? To become a PHN, you must already be a Registered Nurse.

This explains why PHN is not an entry-level public health job and why the job requirements for Public Health Nurses differ from those of regular nurses. PHN practitioners focus on educating entire communities or groups of people rather than providing day-to-day care to individual patients.

Nurses who enjoy teaching and training people can find such jobs, with a public health degree as a requirement. PHNs typically work for healthcare providers or government agencies, and some of their main tasks include:

  • Educating individuals, families, and groups about health issues and preventive measures.
  • Providing suggestions and informing patients about the best support services for their health concerns.
  • Collecting and storing data related to interactions and trends. The average salary of a Public Health Nurse in the US is $58,200 per year.

Do MPH and MSPH degrees lead to different Public Health careers?

The main distinction between a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) and a Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) lies in their focus. MSPH degrees train students in advanced research and prepare them for careers as researchers or educators in academic or research institutions.

On the other hand, the MPH degree emphasizes developing transferable and practical skills applicable to various Public Health careers. However, it’s important not to rely solely on the degree name. Each university may use a different naming scheme for their programs. To avoid confusion, always review the curriculum and academic expectations of the Public Health degree you’re considering. This way, you can ensure that the program aligns with your professional and academic objectives.

In conclusion, a Master’s in Public Health offers a wide range of rewarding career opportunities. Whether you choose to become a health informatics specialist, healthcare administrator, epidemiologist, public health project manager, health and safety engineer, public health educator, healthcare consultant, or pursue a specialized path as a Public Health Nurse, your work will contribute to making the world a healthier place. With competitive salaries and the ability to positively impact global health, a career in public health is both fulfilling and meaningful.

Public Health Jobs FAQs

Q: What can you do with a Master’s in Public Health?

A: With a Master’s in Public Health (MPH), you can pursue various careers such as health informatics specialist, healthcare administrator, epidemiologist, public health project manager, health and safety engineer, public health educator, healthcare consultant, or become a Public Health Nurse (PHN).

Q: What is the average salary for public health professionals?

A: Salaries in public health vary depending on the specific job and experience. However, the average salaries for public health careers range from $45,800 to $76,900 per year.

Q: How can I become a Public Health Nurse?

A: To become a Public Health Nurse (PHN), you must first be a Registered Nurse (RN). Then, you can pursue a Master’s in Public Health to gain the necessary knowledge and skills for a PHN role.

Q: What is the difference between an MPH and an MSPH degree?

A: An MPH degree focuses on developing practical skills applicable to various public health careers, while an MSPH degree emphasizes advanced research and prepares students for research or academic positions.

Q: Which industries employ public health professionals?

A: Public health professionals can work in a variety of industries, including healthcare facilities, government agencies, NGOs, research institutions, and private companies.

Q: How can I make a positive impact in public health?

A: You can make a positive impact in public health by choosing a career that aligns with your passion and skills, staying updated on current public health issues, advocating for health policies, and actively participating in community health initiatives.

Q: What are the job prospects for public health professionals?

A: The field of public health offers promising job prospects due to the increasing importance of preventive healthcare and population health management. There is a growing demand for professionals with expertise in public health.

Q: Do I need a Master’s in Public Health to work in public health?

A: While a Master’s in Public Health can enhance your knowledge and career prospects, it is not always required for entry-level positions. Some roles may only require a Bachelor’s degree or specific certifications.

Q: How can I choose the right public health career for me?

A: To choose the right public health career, consider your interests, skills, and long-term goals. Research different job roles, talk to professionals in the field, and evaluate how each career aligns with your passions and aspirations.

Q: What are the key skills needed for a successful public health career?

A: Key skills for a successful public health career include analytical and problem-solving abilities, strong communication and interpersonal skills, data analysis and research skills, cultural competency, and a passion for improving population health.

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