Master of Public Health: Roles, Job Outlook & Salaries


The World Health Organization (WHO) constitution states that “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.” So, health care is a right of every human, and professionals working in this field should provide their services to anyone in need. This concept is best expressed in the public health field, as such professionals see populations as one and work towards helping prevent any harm to their health.

IIf you are interested in improving the health of various communities, a master’s of public health is a near guarantee to help you succeed in this field.  Continue reading as we define the profession, present the position choices you would have, go in-depth about the master of public health, jobs outlook, salary, and help you decide whether this is the right career for you.

What Is a Master of Public Health?

A master’s degree program for public health is designed to equip you with information on the ecology of human diseases and epidemiologic methods, the best ways to plan and manage the health system, and the principles of field investigation, among other things. Typically, some of the core courses that are part of such programs include:

  • Fundamentals of Biostatistics
  • Public Health Education
  • Principles of Health Administration
  • The Practice of Health Administration
  • Research Methods
  • The Interrelationship between Man, Health, and Environment

Public Health Job Outlook and Salary

Healthcare is one of the essential occupation fields in any society. Reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that, in general, employment in the healthcare field continues to have a promising job outlook as it is projected to experience a 16% growth from 2020 to 2030, adding around 2.6 million jobs to the market. To be more precise, the employment of community health workers, as part of public health, will undergo a positive 21% change throughout this decade.

As if the prospect of employment is not enough to convince you that pursuing a career in public health is an excellent idea, let’s look at the master of public health salary. According to salary reports, the average pay for public health professionals in the United States is around $67,001 per year. However, that is not all! This field offers plenty of room for growth and the opportunity to join the top earners that make around $110,500 a year.

Besides, once you complete your master’s degree, you can directly expect to earn more than the average undergraduate-degree-holder employee in public health. According to BLS, when comparing educational attainment in workers, it turns out that professionals with a master’s degree earn around $1,545 per week. In contrast, bachelor’s degree holders earn $1,305 weekly, and employees with only an associate’s degree make less than $1,000.

Master of Public Health Jobs


Public health is connected with many other fields, including law, pharmaceuticals, science, business, and more. Consequently, a master’s in public health will present plenty of work opportunities in various organizations, agencies, institutions, and facilities. Below are some of the top public health jobs you can pursue after earning your degree.

Public health practitioner

As expected, public health practitioners contribute to overall human well-being.  Such professionals can be found in different areas of public health, working in the public, private, voluntary, or community sectors.

As a public health practitioner, you will coordinate a range of evidence-based public health programs. Some of your job responsibilities can include:

  • Working with groups and organizations to inform people about public health
  • Giving presentations on essential topics such as healthy eating, child protection, and sexual health
  • Community training courses
  • Training and monitoring staff
  • Developing public health reports
  • Empowering people to make healthy choices
  • Advising schools and local communities
  • Healthy lifestyle awareness-raising

Healthcare administrator

Healthcare administration is a combination of healthcare systems, business, and the process of running the two. Healthcare administrators on the other hand help improve the system by drafting public health policies and developing effective health programs. They affect change through fulfilling their responsibilities, which include:

  • Directing staff within a department or establishment
  • Tending to the financial health of the facility
  • Managing hiring policies, performance examinations, staff timetables, etc.
  • Confirming the organization’s adherence to legal rules and policies
  • Ensuring proper recordkeeping
  • Overseeing the patient care experience

Natural science manager

Are you one of those people who grew up wanting to change the world by becoming a scientist? If so, combining that dream with public health and management will lead you to the position of natural science manager.

A natural science manager oversees the research, development, production, testing, and quality control within labs in an organization. Some of their responsibilities include:

  • Leading scientific research
  • Planning and coordinating goals for product development projects
  • Ensuring laboratories are stocked with the necessary tools
  • Monitoring the projects
  • Delivering research findings to top executives
  • Drafting operational reports
  • Handling recruitment and training processes

Emergency management specialist


You know the saying, “Hope for the best but prepare for the worst”? Well, the department of emergency management specialists lives by that slogan.

In the role of an emergency management specialist, you will plan for emergency response programs in case of a natural disaster, wartime, hostage situations, or some other unfortunate instance. Some of your responsibilities would comprise of:

  • Studying regions most inclined to natural disasters
  • Designing emergency preparedness plans
  • Ensuring preparedness plans’ compliance with federal regulations
  • Training others in disaster response protocols
  • Establishing emergency evacuation paths
  • Coordinating the delivery of water, meals, and medical supplies in case of emergencies
  • Assisting impacted communities to apply for federal funding

Infectious disease specialist

Because of the worldwide spread of COVID-19, we all know a thing or two about infectious diseases nowadays. But, if you are passionate about helping fight disorders caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasites, the position of an infectious disease specialist might be the one for you.

Infectious disease specialists are responsible for treating patients that suffer from complicated and uncommon infections or some other unknown cause of illness. Other responsibilities you will have to fulfill in this position include:

  • Examining samples of blood, tissue, or other bodily fluids for potential diseases
  • Diagnosing the infective disease
  • Treating the infection or disease non-surgically
  • Design a treatment plan for the patient
  • Prescribe the proper medication for the patient
  • Referring the patient to a suitable doctor if further treatment is needed
  • Reviewing the medical history of patients
  • Working with other healthcare professionals to prevent infective diseases from spreading
  • Conduct research on diseases at a national level

Public health epidemiologist

Epidemiology is a public health domain that utilizes information gathered from health science projects to improve people’s well-being. Professionals in this field aim better to understand the cause of diseases in specific communities.

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As a public health epidemiologist, you gather evidence to advance the understanding of disease sources. Some of these responsibilities are:

  • Conducting clinical research
  • Collecting complex data on diseases or other health problems
  • Overseeing analyses about public health problems
  • Examining data to discover the sources of diseases
  • Investigating patterns of a disease
  • Sharing results with other healthcare workers and the public

Public health social worker

Public health social workers aim to help people and their families deal with their health issues and any social problem their sickness may cause or affect whole communities.

As a public health social worker, you would handle tasks related to preventing health and social problems. Some of your primary responsibilities would be:

  • Provide support to people suffering from health issues
  • Collecting data on health and social problem trends
  • Analyzing information on a macro-level to understand issues better
  • Advise clients on how to deal with life challenges
  • Aid clients to receive benefits from government agencies
  • React to maltreatment situations such as child abuse
  • Assess your clients’ situation and needs
  • Design healthcare plans

Public health educator


As a public health educator, you would be responsible for providing public health and safety information to the masses. Furthermore, it is essential that you also educate people regarding access to services and treatment.

Other responsibilities of a public health educator include the following:

  • Identifying health problems that affect communities
  • Leading presentations and workshops about public health awareness
  • Producing printed materials about general health topics
  • Developing outreach programs
  • Addressing health questions from the public and offering advice or treatment suggestions

Public health advisor

A public health advisor provides professional advice on cases such as improving public health activities. In addition to working with local and state governments, they assist other facilities like public, nonprofit, and private agencies.

Public health advisors inform the community on healthcare and public health matters affecting them. Their responsibilities vary but can include the following:

  • Ensuring compliance with organizational policies and procedures
  • Reviewing various epidemiological reports and complaints
  • Planning, coordinating, and managing the work of others
  • Developing data reports
  • Performing state facilities inspection
  • Assessing public health programs
  • Gathering demographic data
  • Helping develop technical and financial reports

Public health nurse

If you are interested in nursing, but rather than dealing with individual patients, you want to help entire populations, consider the public health nurse position.

Public health nurses improve access to care, educate people about health issues, and enhance community safety and health. Their responsibilities may also include:

  • Identifying risk factors within a community
  • Recording and analyzing medical data
  • Evaluating patient health and creating treatment plans
  • Monitoring condition changes in patients
  • Educating patients about available support services
  • Promoting good nutrition, safety, and hygiene
  • Delivering vaccines and immunizations
  • Working with public health officials
  • Assessing community health trends
  • Managing public health resources

Healthcare system consultant

Another combination between healthcare and business includes the healthcare consulting field. Healthcare organizations hire consultants to help with the business side of the industry.

Healthcare consultants work to increase the efficiency of health systems by performing examinations to identify problems, analyzing data, and coming up with suggestions and solutions. Their duties include:

  • Identifying areas that need improvement
  • Conducting research
  • Creating solutions to problems
  • Creating reports and presentations
  • Working with administrators and other high-level executives
  • Reducing costs and increasing revenue
  • Creating business plans
  • Ensuring patient satisfaction

Final Thoughts

We are all in this together, so we have to look after one another in any way we can. Although it is true that, generally, healthcare professionals aim to improve the quality of care and help heal people, most healthcare services are vital to each of us personally only in some instances – when we are sick or get hurt. On the other hand, public health is crucial all the time.

So, if you care about the general welfare of humanity, consider one of the many public health jobs we mentioned throughout this article. After all, the best way we can deal with any problem is to be well informed and prevent it from happening in the first place.

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