With the urgency of the coronavirus pandemic, the climate crisis and other global health challenges on the horizon, there is perhaps no more important field today than public health.1 Shortages of healthcare professionals and the need to address healthcare inequities, both of which were exacerbated by the COVID-19 health emergency, have sparked efforts to overhaul the nation’s healthcare system to meet future needs.2 This reshaping of the industry will create new opportunities for highly skilled public health professionals in leadership roles.
Even before the pandemic, researchers recognized the need for global health leadership and the importance of highly skilled healthcare managers.3 The estimated U.S. job growth for medical and health services managers by 2030 is 32%—well above that of other professions.4
How far can you go in a public health career? How much can you earn? What type of training is needed to succeed? For many of the top-paying positions, a master’s degree in public health (MPH) is either required or preferred.5 Keep reading to learn what the public health salary is for those top jobs and how to reach your career goals.
Public Health Salaries and Careers
Your salary as a public health professional is dependent on several factors, such as the role and its responsibilities, your experience and education, the employer and the state in which you live. The public health salary examples below serve as a benchmark for the level of compensation that you can expect from different public health career paths.
Healthcare Facility Computer and Information Systems Managers
A computer and information systems manager is also known as an information technology (IT) manager. In a healthcare facility, this individual plans, coordinates and directs all computer-related activities.6 The health information system (HIS) manages the healthcare data of patients, including electronic medical records (EMR), and is used to support important medical and healthcare policy decisions.7 In addition to having a bachelor’s degree and advanced computer skills, a healthcare IT manager must have a deep understanding of HIS and EMR technology.6
Median Public Health Salary: $151,150 | Projected Growth Rate by 2030: 11%6
Public Health Attorney
A public health lawyer or advocate must know healthcare law and regulations. You may be working with local, state and federal government to create health policies, establish laws or negotiate contracts. You might advocate for patients or represent a hospital or pharmaceutical company. There are many opportunities for public health attorneys in the private and public sectors.8 In addition to a Juris Doctorate (JD) degree from an accredited law school, consider taking courses that focus on health laws if you wish to specialize in public health.
Median Public Health Salary: $126,930 | Projected Growth Rate by 2030: 9%9
Medical and Health Services Manager
Managers for health services might support a medical department of a hospital or nursing home, a clinic or a physicians’ group. They are tasked with planning, directing and coordinating health and medical services, with a mission to improve healthcare quality and efficiency. This involves staying up to date with the latest technology and healthcare regulations. In this role, you will manage staff, facility resources and finances; prepare budgets, and represent your organization at shareholder meetings. Most people in this profession have a bachelor’s degree before starting their career, and master’s degrees are common.10
Median Public Health Salary: $104,280 | Projected Growth Rate by 2030: 32%10
Health and Safety Engineer
In this profession, you’ll use your knowledge about the latest health and safety practices to protect workers and the public from illness and injury. As a health and safety engineer, you will also protect property from damage. This may include reviewing plans and specifications for new equipment, identifying possible health hazards, and ensuring that a facility complies with local and federal safety requirements. You’ll also be responsible for investigating any accidents and injuries that occur in the workplace, determining the cause and making suggestions for future prevention. A bachelor’s degree is required for an entry-level position and practical experience is preferred.11
Median Public Health Salary: $94,240 | Projected Growth Rate by 2030: 6%11
Statisticians are an essential part of research in the field of public health. They create experiments and surveys, collect data about populations and health and then analyze that data, reporting to share and explain their findings. They use mathematical tools and statistics to answer questions and solve challenges in medicine and health. Biostatisticians (also called biometricians) work in hospitals, public health agencies and pharmaceutical companies. They may test new drugs that have been designed to treat diseases and other medical conditions or help identify outbreaks in human or animal populations. A master’s degree is required for an entry-level position as a biostatistician.12
Median MPH Salary: $93,290 | Projected Growth Rate by 2030: 33%12
As an epidemiologist, you’ll be investigating the causes and patterns of injuries and disease. You’ll likely split your time between an office and a laboratory and may work for a local or state health department, at a hospital, or for a university. Your duties will usually include planning and directing public health studies, collecting and analyzing information and data from interviews and observations, and communicating your findings. You might also manage health programs, supervise personnel and write grant proposals for research funding. Specializations include infectious diseases, environmental health, maternal and child health, mental health and public health emergency response, among others. This position typically requires a master’s degree for an entry-level position.13
Median MPH Salary: $74,560 | Projected Growth Rate by 2030: 30%13
Reach Your Career Goals with an Online MPH from Kent State University
Prepare to advance to a higher-paying healthcare career with an online Master of Public Health from Kent State. Enjoy the convenience of online education without relocating or interrupting your current career to attend a top-tier university. Led by expert practitioner faculty, this accredited, advanced-degree program prepares healthcare professionals to rise to leadership positions and help solve health challenges. In addition to the MPH salary boost you can expect upon graduation, this program equips you with the knowledge and expertise you need to improve lives as you excel in the public health field. To learn more, reach out to one of our Admissions Advisors today.
- Retrieved on October 21, 2021, from who.int/news-room/photo-story/photo-story-detail/urgent-health-challenges-for-the-next-decade
- Retrieved on October 21, 2021, from healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20210913.133585/full/
- Retrieved on October 21, 2021, from bmchealthservres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12913-019-4080-7
- Retrieved on October 21, 2021, from bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm
- Retrieved on October 22, 2021, from monster.com/career-advice/article/public-health-careers
- Retrieved on October 22, 2021, from bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm
- Retrieved on October 22, 2021, from digitalguardian.com/blog/what-health-information-system
- Retrieved on October 22, 2021, from indeed.com/q-Public-Health-Attorney-jobs.html?vjk=95485bd92a3cd354
- Retrieved on October 22, 2021, from bls.gov/ooh/legal/lawyers.htm#tab-1
- Retrieved on October 22, 2021, from bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm
- Retrieved on October 22, 2021, from bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/health-and-safety-engineers.htm
- Retrieved on October 22, 2021, from bls.gov/ooh/math/mathematicians-and-statisticians.htm
- Retrieved on October 22, 2021, from bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/epidemiologists.htm