October 16, 2020

In less than a second, a Google search of the phrase ‘master’s in public health salary’ yields 220 million results. The field holds great variety and career potential. You’ll find researchers and other public health professionals in universities and colleges, government agencies, city and state health departments, nonprofit groups and private for-profit companies. Many of these careers require an advanced degree, such as a Master’s in Public Health (MPH), and your earning power will increase with your level of education. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), professionals with an advanced degree experience higher earnings and lower unemployment than those without one.1

The income is just part of what makes public health careers so rewarding. In 2008, the Association of Schools of Public Health published a report titled Confronting the Public Health Workforce Crisis. It predicted that by 2020, the U.S. would have a shortage of more than 250,000 public health professionals.2 Since the report came out, we have experienced global health emergencies including H1N1 influenza, the Ebola outbreak, and the coronavirus pandemic. Medical and health services managers are projected to be among the ten fastest-growing occupations in this decade.3 In our globalized world, the prevalence of rapidly transmitted infectious diseases, noncommunicable illnesses and environmental health risks makes the work of public health professionals essential—not just a matter of the public’s well-being, but of global security.4

This post will explore some career possibilities and salary estimates, for candidates with MPH degrees, in epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences, and health policy and management.


Careers in epidemiology include those of research scientists, data scientists, clinical research coordinators and managers, clinical trial managers and data analysts, research associates, biostatisticians and epidemiologists.


Epidemiologists investigate the causes and patterns of disease and injuries in the population. Using research, community education and informed health policy, they work to eradicate disease and minimize risk factors that lead to health problems.5

The median annual salary for epidemiologists is $70,990, and the field is projected to grow by five percent by 2029.6 A widely used employment search site reports that the average base salary for epidemiologists in the U.S. in 2020 is $88,969.7


Biostatisticians analyze data gathered from medical research, working with scientists to design and oversee research studies to ensure meaningful results.8 Their conclusions and predictions are vital in determining how to treat disease and prevent epidemics from spreading.

Although the BLS doesn’t provide data for public health statisticians specifically, it notes that the 2019 median salary for statisticians in this country was $92,030. The job demand is projected to increase by 33 percent by 2029.9 A popular online job board reports that the average salary for biostatisticians is $134,725.10

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Graduates in this area design, implement and evaluate public health strategies, programs and interventions for various populations worldwide. They work in public or government agencies, in occupational health and safety and in health education programs.

Social and Community Service Managers

These professionals design, coordinate and supervise programs and health organizations to enhance the health of the community. They may work in social service companies, nonprofit organizations and government agencies.11

The median pay in 2019 for social and community service managers was $67,150. This field is projected to expand 17 percent by 2029.12

Health Educators

Hard at work in public health departments, colleges, healthcare facilities, private companies and nonprofits, health educators develop and implement strategies to teach individuals and communities how to enhance their well-being. They assess needs, develop and evaluate programs and events, advise about health management, connect people to resources, provide training for health workers, supervise staff, collect and analyze data and act as advocates for improving health policies and resources.

According to BLS, the median salary for health educators is $46,910,13 while their average salary appears elsewhere as $62,612.14


Health policy and management professionals research health issues, analyze health policies, and disseminate essential health information. MPH graduates with this specialization work in health maintenance organizations, health insurance companies, occupational health and safety services, health education, governmental agencies and hospitals, among other settings.

Environmental Health Scientists

These professionals explore how our environment affects our health. They study such factors as water and air quality, food protection, radiation, waste management, and natural disasters.15

The median salary for environmental scientists and specialists, which includes environmental health scientists, is $71,360. It is projected that there will be an 8 percent increase in jobs by 2029.16 One employment platform lists the average salary for environmental health scientists as $70,453.17

Medical and Health Services Managers

Often known as healthcare administrators or healthcare executives, these experts plan, direct and coordinate medical and health services for a population—perhaps an entire care facility, hospital department or physicians’ group. They must be specialists, able to adapt to the latest technology and changing healthcare laws and regulations.18

BLS reports that the 2019 median salary for medical and health services managers was $100,980. Top populations served were in government, hospitals, outpatient facilities, physicians’ offices and nursing facilities.19 Based on salaries for the past three years for the five highest-paid positions—health center manager, program manager, clinic manager, operations manager and clinical supervisor—the average salary was $79,886.20


Whether your interests lie in epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences, or health policy and management, the Kent State online MPH is your entry point to a deeply rewarding career. Review our curriculum and make an appointment with one of our Admissions Advisors today.

1. Retrieved on September 13, 2020 from www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2020/data-on-display/education-pays.htm
2. Retrieved on September 13, 2020 from healthpolicyfellows.org/pdfs/ConfrontingthePublicHealthWorkforceCrisisbyASPH.pdf
3. Retrieved on September 13, 2020 from www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ecopro.pdf
4. Retrieved on September 13, 2020 from healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/global-health
5. Retrieved on September 13, 2020 from www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/epidemiologists.htm#tab-2
6. Retrieved on September 13, 2020 from www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/epidemiologists.htm#tab-1
7. Retrieved on September 13, 2020 from indeed.com/career/epidemiologist/salaries
8. Retrieved on September 13, 2020 from indeed.com/career/biostatistician
9. Retrieved on September 13, 2020 from www.bls.gov/ooh/math/mathematicians-and-statisticians.htm
10. Retrieved on September 13, 2020 from indeed.com/career/biostatistician/salaries
11. Retrieved on September 13, 2020 from www.bls.gov/ooh/management/social-and-community-service-managers.htm
12. Retrieved on September 13, 2020 from www.bls.gov/ooh/management/social-and-community-service-managers.htm
13. Retrieved on September 13, 2020 from www.bls.gov/ooh/Community-and-Social-Service/Health-educators.htm
13. Retrieved on September 13, 2020 from indeed.com/career/health-educator/salaries
14. Retrieved on September 13, 2020 from indeed.com/career/health-educator/salaries
15. Retrieved on September 13, 2020 from explorehealthcareers.org/career/public-health/environmental-health-sciences/
16. Retrieved on September 13, 2020 from www.bls.gov/ooh/Life-Physical-and-Social-Science/Environmental-scientists-and-specialists.htm
17. Retrieved on September 12, 2020 from indeed.com/career/environmental-scientist/salaries
18. Retrieved on September 13, 2020 from www.bls.gov/ooh/Management/Medical-and-health-services-managers.htm#tab-2
19. Retrieved on September 13, 2020 from www.bls.gov/ooh/Management/Medical-and-health-services-managers.htm#tab-5
20. Retrieved on September 13, 2020 from indeed.com/salaries/health%20services%20manager