What Careers are Available with a Master’s in Public Health?

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Obtaining a Master’s in Public Health degree allows for access to a variety of occupations. Depending on an individual’s interest, there are many routes to take with a Master’s in Public Health.

Epidemiologist

Epidemiologists research health issues. They collect and analyze data to determine the causes of health problems. The findings of their research are disseminated among health care professionals, policymakers, and to the general public for use. Epidemiologists also oversee public health programs. They can be found working for universities, government agencies, and organizations that are affiliated with government agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some even work in the private sector for pharmaceutical or health insurance companies. The median annual salary for epidemiologists is $70,820.

Public Health Educator

Public health educators create programs and develop campaigns to bring a greater awareness of healthy habits to the public. They address topics such as nutrition, immunization, and ways to manage stress. These programs are developed by analyzing data about specific populations and creating content that meets the needs of those populations. They review statistics regarding the effectiveness of health programs and make modifications to improve their effectiveness when needed. They also can be involved in the policy-making process as they serve as advocates for the general public and even help write the policies that pertain to the wellness of communities. Public health educators spend most of their time working in an office setting. Their average annual salary is $53,100.

Emergency Response Specialist

Emergency response specialists help prepare communities for emergencies and are also involved during emergencies with the goal of minimizing the loss of life. Specialists evaluate existing policies as well as procedures and make the necessary modifications, often by research information from other communities. They provide training for emergency personnel and to the general public. They ensure that emergency facilities are well equipped by inspecting equipment and adequately staffing the facilities. During emergencies, emergency response specialists execute the emergency plans and collaborate with officials and emergency personnel to identify emergency needs. Entry-level emergency response specialists make about $50,000 annually.

Healthcare Administrator

Healthcare administrators oversee medical and health services. They may oversee an entire facility, such as a hospital, or a specific department. Their goal is to improve the quality of healthcare services. A healthcare administrator creates goals and objectives for the area they oversee. They maintain data on the facility’s services as well as manage the finances which include creating budgets and monitoring spending. They also must stay abreast to the changes in laws and regulations to ensure compliance with the facility. Healthcare administrators manage staffing needs which include hiring, training, and supervising staff in addition to creating work schedules. The median annual salary is one of the highest for those with a master’s in public health at $96,540.

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The field of public health is quite diverse in the type of jobs that are available and in the variety of topics being explored. There are over 30 health issues currently being addressed according to the American Public Health Association (APHA). The variety of options in this field allows many to find a satisfying career with a master’s in public health.