What’s the Average Salary With a Masters in Public Health?

There is little doubt that a Master of Public Health opens up a world career opportunities. The various careers in the field of public health have wildly different salaries, so this article will explore a few possible career avenues and the relevant compensation for them. As a public health professional you can find employment with local, state, and federal government; consultancies; hospitals; universities; and even law firms, and each of these settings will likely offer different wages, depending on the service you provide, your level of experience, and the amount of work you do.

Public Health Career Paths and Wages

Doctors, nurses, statisticians, and educators can all work in the realm of public health. Below are the job outlook and wage data from The Bureau of Labor Statistics for several careers in the field.

Applied Epidemiologist

Epidemiology is the study of how disease occurs and propagates through a population. This information can be used by biologists and chemists to better understand the nature of a disease and its vectors, which is useful for trying to curb disease and disrupt viral outbreaks. Epidemiologists often work for the government, and their median annual income was $61,630 in May, 2008. Jobs in this field are expected to grow by 15% from 2008 to 2018.

Health Care Provider

Nurses, doctors, and other treatment providers are also part of the public health sphere. Preventing and treating disease and providing education about healthy habits all contribute to the overall health of communities, which is the all-encompassing purpose of any public health job. Registered nurses are the front lines of the battle to keep the human population healthy, and their numbers are growing. RNs earned a median salary of $67,720 as of May, 2008. Health care practitioners as a whole, which is a broad category including dentists, clinicians, doctors, and all manner of care providers, earned a median salary of $71,280.

Public Health Educator

Education is as big a component of public health promotion as actual treatment. By helping people develop better health practices and spreading knowledge about how common diseases work and how they can be combated, public health educators help not just individuals or families, but whole communities. The BLS reports that health educators earned a mean annual wage of $56,390 as of May, 2008, and the biggest employers of them were general medical and surgical hospitals.

Public Health Statistician

Research plays a huge role in understanding public health problems and designing programs to address them. Statisticians are needed to gather and crunch data to help us understand epidemics, and learn how to effectively and affordably confront them. From the design of good research to the extrapolation of facts from data, statistics is completely ingrained in the way we manage public health today, and anyone with a mind for stats can put it to good use in the public health sector.

International Health Worker

Some parts of the world still suffer from public health issues that have long been accounted for in the U.S. Clean water, food, and sewage treatment, which we take for granted, are unavailable in some countries, and there are many organizations working to improve the standards of living and health practices of the populations in those areas. Both volunteer and paid positions at public health organizations are available abroad for those who are passionate about making change in the developing world. Someone with a Master of Public Health degree will have an easier time getting an administrative or leadership position in an international public health agency with a decent paycheck.

As with all jobs, so too with public health professionals, experience is an important factor. There is a marked increase in the average salary with experience. The type and size of employer matter too. Non-profits, colleges, and local government employers are at the lower end of the salary spectrum for those with a Master of Public Health. The federal government, consultant firms, and self-employment are good sources of higher income.

With most jobs in the field of public health, a master’s degree is a minimum requirement so you have to be ready to accept beginner-level pay packages if you are fresh out of undergraduate study.

The bottom line is that the job and salary prospects with a master’s degree in public health are bright and demand for health care professionals will continue to grow.

The chart below shows the steps for planning and executing a major public health campaign with treatment and education aspects.

Other Perks of a Public Health Career

While there are positions in the public health field with above average paychecks, most people who get into this field aren’t doing it just for the money. The feeling of helping people and impacting large groups, even whole populations, is a powerful reward in its own right.

The benefits of working in public health don’t all come from an inflated sense of duty or morality though. There are many positions in the field that will let you travel around the country, or even the world, and put you into contact with an array of interesting people. Public health incorporates disparate bodies of knowledge, so someone with broad interests could easily use scientific knowledge, communication skills, and cultural knowledge to get ahead in the field. The industry is well suited to accommodating smart people with a range of proclivities.

Resources for Aspiring Public Health Workers

The field of public health depends on its workers and constituents to constantly be learning and analyzing information in order for the discipline to grow and advance. The U.S. government releases mountains of public health data and compiled resources for public health workers to use in their crusade to better health for the nation. The following is a list of a few resources that any public health worker should know about and check regularly.

Cost/Benefit Analysis

Any master’s degree is costly, and the Master of Public Health is no exception. So is it worth it to earn a Master of Public Health? You’ll have to determine the value of intangible benefits like “feeling good about yourself for helping people out,” but there are a few hard numbers we can look at to bring this decision down to Earth:

Get in Touch With Schools You’re Interested In

If you want to get started right away on finding a Master of Public Health degree program that fits your schedule and budget’s needs, there’s no better way than getting in touch with a few accredited online schools and getting the details of their programs. The links below will help you contact schools that many students are interested in that offer top accredited online public health programs. Opening the channels of communication with these schools can be your first step toward a new degree and a career in public health.

Best Online MPH (Master of Public Health) Degrees

Public health is the science of preventing disease and promoting health at the population level. Programs prepare students to become leading public health professionals capable of addressing current global public health problems. By clicking on the logos below, you can receive more information regarding your degree and school of choice.

Benedictine University Master of Public Health
MPH: Disaster Mgmt
MPH: Health Education
MPH: Health Policy
MPH/MBA Dual Degree
Benedictine University – Benedictine University's Master's in Public Health program features a curriculum of public health core with a focus on the needs of today's healthcare industry. Courses feature a conceptual, factual, and skill base where students are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in a professional setting. Benedictine offers areas of emphasis within their MPH program: disaster management, health education, and healthcare policy. They also offer an MPH/MBA dual degree.
Grand Canyon University Master of Public Health
Grand Canyon University – The Grand Canyon University Master of Public Health program is recognized as a leader in training the next generation of public health advocates. Featuring a curriculum that is developed around a multidisciplinary methodology, courses include Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Environmental Health, and Social, Behavioral, and Cultural Factors in Public Health.
Kaplan University Master of Public Health
MPH: Health Education
Kaplan University – Graduates of the Kaplan University MPH program are ready to take their careers to the next stage at the government, nonprofit, or private level. The online program provides students with an education on how to analyze and apply scientific research, prepare public health policies, develop health education programs, and review the impact of occupational and environmental factors. Kaplan offers several specializations within their MPH program, including health education.
University of Liverpool Master of Public Health
MPH: Epidemiology
MPH: Health Mgmt
MPH: Intl Public Health
University of Liverpool – The University of Liverpool Master of Public Health degree provides a foundation in the science of promoting health and preventing disease. Areas of emphasis within the MPH program include epidemiology, healthcare management, and international public health. As an added convenience, the university offers a modular system that provides students the flexibility of obtaining credits at partner institutions.
Capella University Master of Public Health
MPH: Behavioral Science
MPH: Health Policy
Capella University – The MPH program at Capella University prepares students for careers in public health management, social welfare, or research. Key facets of the curriculum include the behavioral, psychological, and social factors that contribute to the health of populations. Specializations include behavioral science and healthcare policy. Courses include International Public Health, Environmental Health Concepts in Public Health, and Principles of Biostatistics.
Boston University MS: Health Communication
Boston University – At the Boston University online Master of Science in Health Communication program, students are taught cutting edge methods in hospital administration through a dynamic curriculum that examines current healthcare issues. The program gives students a world class education in the art of communicating health literacy.

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