A master's degree in public health can be applied to several advanced positions in the healthcare field, as well as to a few positions in related fields. Here we discuss a few of the possible careers for those with a master's degree in public health.
Careers for Those with a Master's Degree in Public Health
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2014-2024)*|
|Environmental Scientists and Specialists||$68,910||11%|
|Occupational Health and Safety Specialists||$70,920||4%|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||$96,540||17%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Epidemiologists must have a master's degree, and most of these professionals have earned a master's degree in public health. They work in the field of public health studying the possible causes and patterns of different diseases and injuries. They use data collected from surveys, biological samples and more to analyze these patterns, and then work to determine the best ways to prevent and treat these conditions. Epidemiologists may use their work to help establish and/or manage public health programs, advise policymakers and inform the public about the condition.
Health educators need at least a bachelor's degree, but some positions may require a master's degree. Health educators aim to improve the overall health of people and communities through educational and informative health programs that promote healthy behaviors and wellness. They usually develop programs that suit the unique needs of a community, and then teach the public about these various health topics. Additionally, they may train other educators and helpers, evaluate the effectiveness of programs and advocate for health resources.
Environmental Scientists and Specialists
Some environmental scientists and specialists may choose to specialize in environmental health, which means they focus on studying different environmental factors that affect human health. A master's degree is usually needed to advance in this career, and would further train a student on how to properly educate the public about environmental health risk factors. These scientists and specialists collect samples from the environment, such as water or soil samples, which they then analyze in the lab for pollution or other contaminants that may be harmful to humans. Their findings are presented in technical reports to various officials and the public.
Occupational Health and Safety Specialists
Occupational health and safety specialists are similar to environmental scientists and specialists in that they search for potential health risks, but they focus their scope on the workplace. They also need at least a bachelor's degree, but some positions may require a master's degree. These specialists examine different work environment and procedures that organizations have in place to help ensure the health and safety of the organization's employees. This requires testing samples for toxic materials, identifying various hazards, investigating accidents and working to correct any issues they find, as well as trying to figure out ways to prevent similar problems in the future.
Medical and Health Services Managers
Many medical and health services managers hold a master's degree, and may even be preferred candidates over those who do not. These managers may oversee healthcare facilities or a particular department within a facility, which requires them to direct a variety of healthcare services. They coordinate work schedules for their staff, supervise staff, manage the budget and work to improve patient care and the services their organization offers. Medical and health services managers must also ensure that their facility is in compliance with all current regulations and laws.
A master's degree in public health is a flexible degree that can be applied and utilized in several different careers. Most of these careers fall within the field of healthcare, but there are a few career options for those interested in working in other areas.