5 Public Health Careers

5 Emerging Public Health Careers Worth Considering

Public health professional at work.

Are you a recent graduate or working professional looking to break into the public health field? If so, you may be considering earning a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. But what would you learn in this program? And what can you do with an MPH degree?

The good news is that the field is growing, meaning there are many routes you can take depending on your own skills and interests. Keep reading to learn more about this degree and some rewarding public health careers it can lead to.

What can you do with an MPH degree?

MPH graduates acquire a versatile skill set that can be applied in many different ways. Learn more about five public health careers that boast above-average salaries and growth projections in the coming years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

1. Health Educator

Assessing the needs of the communities in which they work, health educators encourage wellness and inform the public about healthy habits. Using research, these professionals create educational materials and evidence-based wellness programs related to a wide range of health topics and work in a variety of settings, including nonprofits, government agencies, and healthcare facilities. As a health educator, your efforts will focus on engaging community members, raising awareness, and ensuring public access to healthcare programs.

Average Salary Nationwide: $60,600

2. Epidemiologist

Epidemiologists investigate, study, and communicate the causes and patterns of public health problems, diseases, and injuries. They also research trends in populations of survivors of certain diseases to help identify effective treatments. Fields of study range from environmental and mental health to infectious diseases and emergency preparedness — all in high demand in both the public and private sectors.

Average Salary Nationwide: $78,830

3. Program Planner and Evaluator

Public health program planners and evaluators develop, implement, and evaluate public health programs and interventions aimed at improving health outcomes and ensuring everyone has a fair and just opportunity to achieve their full health potential. These detail-oriented professionals keep complex public health projects on track by managing timelines and budget requirements and coordinating the talent and resources needed to accomplish their organization’s goals—whether that means providing better direct patient care or educating the public on important health initiatives.

Average Salary Nationwide: $73,138

4. Health Policy Analyst

Health policy analysts develop and evaluate laws, regulations, and policies aimed at improving the social, political, and economic determinants of health, especially among vulnerable and marginalized communities. Depending on their role, policy analysts may work with healthcare providers, regulatory agencies, state and federal lawmakers, or even multinational organizations like the World Health Organization. The role combines data analysis with a deep understanding of the healthcare system and requires employees to research and analyze pressing public issues, as well as foster relationships with public and private sector stakeholders.

Average Salary Nationwide: $73,908

5. Public Health Nurse

Public health nurses play a critical role in improving population health outcomes by educating communities and delivering care within them. In this leadership position, registered nurses are able to make positive changes through policy reform and community-building. They often oversee contact tracing, provide vaccinations during a public health crisis, educate communities, and offer clinical services in a variety of community settings, including Federally Qualified Health Centers, schools, nonprofits, and homeless shelters.

Average Salary Nationwide: $77,600

What do you learn in a public health program?

Now that you’ve been introduced to some of the public health careers out there, you may be curious about the training and education involved. MPH programs offer a diverse curriculum that will equip you to take on a variety of rewarding roles.

While each MPH degree will vary slightly, certain subject matter is fundamental to the field and will be incorporated into most curriculums. You can expect to encounter these topics in a quality public health master’s degree.

Sampling of topics covered in an MPH program:

  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods
  • Program Planning and Evaluation
  • Health Systems and Policy
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences and Health Education

Pursue your passion with an MPH

The list above is just a sampling of the many meaningful public health careers out there. Armed with an MPH degree, you can apply your skills and experience in whatever role you’re most excited about. Finding a program that helps support your unique interests and career objectives can make all the difference.

Rooted in science and social justice, Fairfield University’s online MPH program allows you to tailor your education toward a number of different specialties that align with your personal goals and passions.

Learn more by visiting the Master of Public Health program page.



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