In today’s society, having a bachelor’s degree with such a tight job market is not enough. Some companies are looking for applicants who have a graduate degree in public health. While a public health degree looks amazing on a resume, it comes with a hefty price tag. A study was conducted back in 2004 with shocking results. They found that sixty percent of students who obtained a master’s degree have at least $37,000 in debt after school. With debt like that, it is important to find a great-paying job.
To some having nearly $40,000 in debt doesn’t sound too bad, especially when a medical or law degree can leave a person with debt near $70-$80,000. However, with a master’s in public health, the job that a person selects can determine the master of public health salary range, not the degree. Some professions pay more than others, even with the same schooling and credentials. The public health sector has a wide variety of jobs for those with an MPH. Here are a few of the jobs with the highest public health masters salary figures.
Public Health Job Salaries
Epidemiologists study the patterns, causes, and effects of diseases and other health-related conditions. To be an epidemiologist, one must have at least a master’s degree in public health. An epidemiologist investigates the distribution and determinants of diseases to:
- identify risk factors
- develop prevention strategies
- information public health policies and interventions
Key responsibilities of an epidemiologist include:
- Disease Surveillance: Epidemiologists track and monitor diseases and health conditions. They collect data from various sources such as hospitals and public health agencies.
- Study Design and Research: They design and conduct research studies to find out more about the causes and risk factors of disease.
- Data Analysis and Interpretation: Epidemiologists have a working knowledge of statistical methods in order to analyze data and draw conclusions.
- Outbreak Investigation: During public health emergencies, epidemiologists use their skills to identify the source of an outbreak, make assessments, and implement strategies to reduce further spread.
- Risk Assessment: Epidemiologists assess the risk and impact of diseases by considering things like prevalence, incidence, and demographic characteristics.
- Collaboration and Communication: Epidemiologists collaborate with other public health professionals like public health educators and community health workers to share findings and recommendations.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released updated pay scales for this profession in 2021. The master in public health salary for an epidemiologist is around $78,830 a year. However, depending on the area and demand, this position can demand upwards of $100,000 annually. The job outlook for epidemiologists is favorable. Employment is projected to grow by 26% through 2031, much faster than other occupations. The BLS reports the states with the highest employment level for epidemiologists are:
Being a biostatistician is another direction that a degree in public health can take an individual. Biostatistics combines the principles of statistics and biology to draw meaningful conclusions and understand data. A biostatistician is a public health professional who uses statistical methods to analyze and interpret health-related data. Their work helps identify population health trends. Some of their key responsibilities include:
- Designing studies and experiments: Biostatisticians work closely with researchers to ensure the sample size is appropriate and the data collection methods are solid. They can help define research questions and develop protocols to ensure the reliability and validity of the results.
- Data Analysis: Biostatisticians use their skills to analyze data from various sources, including clinical trials and research studies. When appropriate, they apply methods like regression analysis and categorical data analysis.
- Statistical Modeling: Biostatisticians develop statistical models to help understand complex relationships between variables. They can use this information to predict outcomes. They use advanced statistical methods including multivariable regression and Bayesian methods to account for confounding factors.
- Interpretation of Results: Once the statistical analysis is complete, the biostatistician works with researchers to interpret statistical findings and communicate results.
- Quality Control: Biostatisticians participate in data cleaning to ensure the quality and integrity of data. They work to identify and address bias and data collection errors while assisting in data management and database design.
- Research Collaboration: Just like epidemiologists, biostatisticians work with other healthcare professionals to understand research objectives and collaborate on study design and analysis.
According to the BLS, the median pay in 2021 for statisticians was $95,570/year. The MPH salary range for this role is broad. The lowest 10% of wage earners make less than $49,350/year while the highest 10% earn more than $157,300/year.
The job outlook for biostatisticians is favorable. Employment is projected to grow for these public health professionals by 31% through 2031, much faster than other occupations. The BLS reports the states with the highest employment level for statisticians are:
- North Carolina
Public Health Educators
Those who like to work directly with the public may want to consider the career path of a public health educator. This position typically requires a graduate degree. The whole goal of this position is to empower individuals and communities to make informed decisions about their health. Health educators play an essential role in:
- preventing diseases
- promoting health equity
- improving the overall well-being of their community
Some of the most important responsibilities of a health educator include:
- Health Education Program Development: Health educators are responsible for designing and developing health education programs and initiatives. They identify health needs and conduct needs assessments. They also develop educational materials and curricula.
- Community Outreach: Public health educators collaborate with community leaders and organizations to establish partnerships and develop interventions that meet the needs of the community. They engage with others in the community to address concerns related to health and prioritize needs.
- Health Promotion: One of the most essential roles of a public health educator is to disseminate evidence-based health information. They help implement public health programs that promote topics such as nutrition, physical activity, and chronic disease management.
- Health Communication: Public health educators use a variety of communication strategies to deliver information to diverse groups of people. They might utilize social media platforms or organize workshops and seminars.
- Health Advocacy: Advocating for policies and practices that promote health is another responsibility of a public health educator. They work with policymakers and advocacy groups to raise awareness and influence policy decisions.
According to the BLS, the median pay in 2021 for health education specialists was $60,600/year. MPH degree salary ranges for this role are also broad and dependent on the industry. The lowest 10% of wage earners make less than $37,020/year while the highest 10% earn more than $102,480/year. The top three paying industries for health educators are:
- Hospitals; state, local, and private-$76,450/year
- Government agencies- $60,670/year
- Outpatient care centers- $54,060/year
The job outlook for public health education specialists is favorable. Employment is projected to grow for these professionals by 12% through 2031, much faster than other occupations. The BLS reports the states with the highest employment level for statisticians are:
- New York
Public Healthcare Administrators
Administrators of any career field are important roles; the healthcare administrator is no exception. These people are often the ones in charge of directing or managing facilities like:
- nursing homes
- other healthcare facilities
This professional has some leeway, as people with either a public health degree or a medical degree can qualify for this position. Though requirements and pay will be the same, a couple of degrees could qualify for a position of this nature.
Some of the responsibilities of a health administrator include:
- Operations Management: Health administrators are ultimately responsible for the day-to-day operations of their facility. They also oversee administrative functions including staffing and compliance with health and safety regulations.
- Financial Management: Health administrators are responsible for managing the financial aspects of their organization. These responsibilities might include developing budgets and negotiating contracts with vendors.
- Strategic Planning: Strategic planning is another responsibility of health administrators. They collaborate with stakeholders to set objectives and identify opportunities for growth.
- Policy and Regulatory Compliance: Health administrators make sure their organization is in compliance with healthcare laws and accreditation standards. They implement policies and procedures that maintain regulatory compliance and patient safety.
- Human Resource Management: Administrators oversee healthcare staff. They make sure staffing levels are appropriate and address any employee relations issues. They support a collaborative work environment.
While the BLS doesn’t report salary information specifically for health administration, they do report data for medical and health services managers. According to the BLS, the median pay in 2021 for services managers was $101,340/year. MPH salary ranges for this role are largely dependent on the industry. The lowest 10% of wage earners make less than $60,780/year while the highest 10% earn more than $205,620/year. The top five paying industries for health administrators are:
- Hospitals; state, local, and private-$119,450/year
- Government agencies- $117,000/year
- Outpatient care centers- $99,540/year
- Offices of physicians- $98,230/year
- Nursing and residential care facilities- $83,550/year
The job outlook for medical and health services managers is favorable. Employment is projected to grow for these professionals by 28% through 2031, much faster than other occupations. The BLS reports the states with the highest employment level for statisticians are:
- New York
Health and Safety Engineers
Health and safety engineers are public health professionals who ensure the safety of people along with equipment and the environment in a variety of different industries. They apply the principles of engineering along with knowledge of occupational health and safety regulations to identify potential workplace hazards. They use risk assessment techniques to mitigate these hazards. Some of their other responsibilities include:
- Hazard Identification and Assessment: Health and safety engineers conduct workplace assessments to identify hazards and health risks. They review processes and equipment while analyzing data to determine the likelihood of an injury or accident in the workplace.
- Occupational Health and Safety Regulations: These public health professionals must stay current with regulations related to workplace safety. They ensure the workplace is in compliance with these regulations.
- Training and Education: A health and safety engineer may develop and deliver training programs related to safety protocols and best practices. They can provide guidance on emergency response and hazard recognition.
- Incident Investigation and Analysis: Health and safety engineers investigate the causes of accidents and near-misses at work. They analyze data to try and prevent similar incidents from happening. They strive to identify root causes and recommend corrective actions to keep the workplace safe.
According to the BLS, the median pay in 2021 for health and safety engineers was $99,040/year. Master in public health salary ranges for this role are again dependent on the industry. The lowest 10% of wage earners make less than $58,490/year while the highest 10% earn more than $150,720/year. The top five paying industries for health and safety engineers are:
- Engineering services-$100,290/year
- Manufacturing- $97,700/year
- Management, scientific, and technical consulting services- $86,710/year
- Construction- $81,230/year
- Government- $80,840/year
The job outlook for health and safety engineers is expected to grow by 4% through 2031. This is about as fast as average. The BLS reports the states with the highest employment level for statisticians are:
- New York
Finding The Right Career with a Master’s in Public Health
Earning a master’s in public health can open the door to a variety of exciting career opportunities. Many specializations offer above average salary ranges and great benefits.
However, before entering graduate school, having a clear path in the public health field can help increase your eventual salary. Finding which public health jobs are in the highest demand and where there are the most job opportunities can be helpful. With proper planning, finding an excellent career in the public health field can be easy.