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Salary and Career Info for a Doctor of Public Health Degree

A Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) program can prepare current public health workers to take leadership positions. Continue reading for an overview of the required education as well as employment and salary statistics related to some career options for graduates.

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The field of public health is broad and offers many career options for people interested in strengthening the health of their communities, their country and the world. With a doctoral degree in this field, plus some practical experience, you can rise to a senior position in environmental science, health services or epidemiology.

Essential Information

A DrPH program prepares students for a wide range of leadership careers with academic and/or research institutions, private companies, nonprofits and health care organizations. Coursework in research methods, program evaluation, financial management and other areas provides skills for developing and running public health programs, conducting research and teaching. Degrees are sometimes conferred in sub-disciplines, such as epidemiology, health policy and international health.

Career Titles Epidemiologist Environmental scientist & specialist Medical & health services manager
Education Requirements Master's degree or doctorate in public health Bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree in a science-focused discipline Bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree in public health, public administration or health services
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 6% 11% 17%
Median Annual Salary (May 2015)* $69,450 $67,460 $94,500

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Options

Some graduates of Doctor of Public Health programs pursue internships or postgraduate fellowships to make the transition from student to working in the world of public health. Many go on to lead programs in state and local health departments, non-governmental organizations, health care institutions and universities. A sampling of a few of the most common fields in which DrPH graduates find employment is provided below.

Epidemiologists

Epidemiology is the study of disease and the ways it can be controlled or prevented. Individuals with a Doctor of Public Health in this area apply their leadership and analytic skills in public, private and academic settings, focusing on disease prevention. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an annual median wage of $69,450 for epidemiologists as of 2015 (www.bls.gov).

Environmental Health Scientists

Individuals employed in the area of environmental health sciences must have an understanding of behavioral and biomedical sciences and biostatistics as well as management and communication skills. These professionals work at the senior level to solve complex issues of environmental health. They work for governments, universities or nongovernmental organizations, formulating public health policy and interfacing with the public. Salaries in this area range from $40,350 or below for the lowest-paid 10% to upwards of $118,070 for the top 10%, according to 2015 findings by the BLS.

Medical and Health Services Managers

The field of health policy and management requires familiarity with financial and management practices. Individuals with a DrPH in this sub-discipline are prepared for leadership roles as health services managers, making decisions about medical and financial issues in hospitals and other health services delivery organizations. The BLS reported that medical and health services managers made a median annual wage of $94,500 as of 2015, with the highest-paid 10% making over $165,380.

Completing a doctorate and possibly an internship in public health can quality you to work in one of several health-related fields, such as a hospital, laboratory, university or government department. Salaries depend on the career area chosen, though most are above the average range.

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