African-American medical student

12 Highest Paying Public Health Jobs in 2021

Discover the responsibilities, requirements, salaries, and career outlook for the best public health jobs in the U.S.

 

African-American medical student

The desire to improve the health and well-being of those around us is not exclusive to those who take a hands-on approach to healthcare. For many others, the contributions they wish to make toward the health and well-being of others are on a larger public scale.

If your career aspirations center around understanding public health issues or shaping public health policies that improve the overall quality of health in your community, a great way to start your career is by earning Master of Public Health Degree (MPH). While earning this degree, you’ll be able to tailor your education toward a number of different specialties that open the door to a wide variety of rewarding careers in the public health sector.

The purpose of this article is to inform you of the career options open to MPH holders, the requirements for those positions, the outlook for that career path, and its projected salary range. Most MPH holders choose their career path based on their passions, academic strengths, and personal areas of interest. With that being said, it’s always important to know the earning potential of any given specialty. That’s why we’ve ranked the 12 highest paying public health jobs available to those who’ve earned a Master of Public Health degree.

Still exploring your options? Click here to explore our list of the Best Entry-Level Medical Jobs.

12. Public Health Educator

Team of medical professionals

What Is a Public Health Educator?

Public health educators analyze demographic data to create or modify educational health programs that promote healthy habits and lifestyles on a community-wide scale. Typically, their work is research-oriented and administrative in nature.

What Does a Public Health Educator Do?

Depending on the specifics of their position, public health educators can perform a range of different duties. Some design programs are designed to meet the needs of specific communities or populations, while others collect and interpret data relating to the performance of health programs already in place. Other public health educators may advocate and promote public health policies designed to improve the health and wellness of their communities.

Where Does a Public Health Educator Work?

Public health educators can find employment in a several different settings. These employment opportunities are primarily full-time positions at public hospitals, non-profit organizations, and government agencies.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Public Health Educator?

Entry-level public health educator jobs typically require a bachelor’s degree. For those who plan to work with government organizations serving larger communities, a master’s degree with an emphasis on public health education will prove to be extremely valuable. Many, but not all employers require Health Education Specialist or Master Certified Health Education Specialist credentialing from the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing for employment consideration.

What Is the Job Outlook for a Public Health Educator?

Employment prospects for public health educators show strong signs of growth. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects overall employment for public health educators to grow 13% from 2019 to 2029.

How Much Does a Public Health Educator Make?

According to the BLS, public health educators earn an average annual salary of about $62,000 and a pay rate of about $30 per hour. Public health educators in the 90th percentile of wages can expect to earn $101,000 per year or more.

11. Public Health Administrator

Hospital manager with paperwork

What is a Public Health Administrator?

Public health administrators (also known as a health service administrators or public healthcare administrators) oversee the non-clinical operations of public or governmental organizations. In large organizations, public health administrators can oversee individual healthcare departments. Additionally, public health administrators seek to improve the health and welfare of the communities they serve through strategic oversight of the programs and campaigns implemented by their organizations.

What Does a Public Health Administrator Do?

Public health administrators are innovative and savvy leaders. They manage teams of people and complex budgets to enact public healthcare programs.

The roles played by public health administrators can vary, but they can be expected to carry out any of the following tasks:

  • Improving organizational structure
  • Writing grant proposals
  • Managing finances
  • Organizing fundraisers
  • Being the face of community outreach programs
  • Ensuring government compliance

Where Does a Public Health Administrator Work?

Public health administrators can work in an office setting within a variety of organizations, including public hospitals, health insurance companies, non-profit organizations, NGOs, and city, county, state, and federal agencies.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Public Health Administrator?

For an entry-level public health administrative position, a bachelor’s degree is sufficient. If your goal is to run a larger organization, a master’s degree in Public Health Administration is ideal because it provides you with essential management principles, public health methodologies, and budgeting skills, to name a few.

There are no certification requirements for public health administrators, but voluntary certification is available and may increase your appeal among certain employers.

What Is the Job Outlook for a Public Health Administrator?

Employment prospects specifically for public health administrators are not available from the BLS, but it does list information for the related field of medical and health services managers. According to the BLS, the overall employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow 32% between 2019 and 2029.

How Much Does a Public Health Administrator Make?

According to Salary.com, public health administrators earn an average annual salary of about $68,000 and an hourly rate of about $33.00 per hour. Public health administrators in the 90th percentile of wages can expect to earn $84,000 per year or more.

10. Public Health Program Manager

Medical professional using a headset and laptop

What Is a Public Health Program Manager?

Public health program managers are responsible for managing and implementing public health campaigns and projects. Their role is to ensure that all timelines are met, and budgets are adhered to. As part of an interdisciplinary team, the public health program manager helps assure that the team meets agreed-upon public health goals.

What Does a Public Health Program Manager Do?

Public health program managers are multitalented and resourceful people. On any given day, they can be called upon to:

  • Develop production schedules
  • Delegate responsibilities
  • Lead meetings to assure project goals are met
  • Create and manage budgets
  • Document project milestones
  • Conduct periodic and ongoing project status reviews
  • Keep management informed of project status

Where Does a Public Health Program Manager Work?

The majority of public health program managers work in public hospitals with most of the rest working for local, state, and federal institutions.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Public Health Program Manager?

Entry-level jobs for public health program managers are available to those with a bachelor’s degree specializing in public health, but majors in epidemiology, sociology, or biostatistics are also seriously considered. However, a master’s degree in public health will give you a distinct advantage in a competitive job marketplace while also positioning you well for a job with greater responsibility and higher pay. Certification is not required for the position of public health program manager.

What Is the Job Outlook for a Public Health Program Manager?

Employment prospects specifically for public health program managers are not available from the BLS, but it does list information for the related field of medical and health services managers. According to the BLS, the employment outlook for medical and health services managers is projected to grow 32% between 2019 and 2029.

How Much Does a Public Health Program Manager Make?

According to Salary.com, public health program managers earn an average annual salary of about $70,000 and a pay rate of about $34.00 per hour. Public health program managers in the 90th percentile of wages can expect to earn $92,000 per year or more.

9. Occupational Health Specialist

Occupational Health Specialist in a hard hat

What Is an Occupational Health Specialist?

An occupational health specialist analyzes workplace environments and procedures to ensure they adhere to health, safety, and environmental regulations. In addition, they create programs designed to prevent the formation and spread of disease, injuries to workers, and harm to the environment.

What Does an Occupational Health Specialist Do?

Occupational health specialists are investigators who perform statistical analysis on data gathered from any number of sources to determine how health problems are introduced to a community. When new diseases are discovered, they investigate them and work to discover their causes. Occupational health specialists use their findings to recommend policies and practices to control the spread of disease.

Where Does an Occupational Health Specialist Work?

Occupational health specialists frequently work in the field as well as in an office setting. Their responsibility is to inspect any worksite where potentially hazardous working conditions can be found, including mines, manufacturing facilities, warehouses, laboratories, and maintenance facilities.

What Are the Requirements to Become an Occupational Health Specialist?

The first step toward becoming an occupational health specialist is to earn your bachelor’s degree in a relevant field. But this is a competitive job market, so earning a master’s degree with an occupational health or industrial hygiene concentration will make you much more hirable.

Certain occupational health specialist roles may require certification. In some cases where it is not required, possessing relevant certifications is still desirable in the eyes of employers. More information on required certifications is provided the Board of Certified Safety Professionals and the American Board of Industrial Hygiene.

What Is the Job Outlook for an Occupational Health Specialist?

The BLS does not have job outlook data specifically for occupational health specialists. However, the BLS provides data for the closely related field of occupational health and safety specialists and technicians. According to the BLS, the overall employment of occupational health and safety specialists and technicians is expected to grow 4% from 2019 to 2029, which is equal to the growth rate for all jobs in the U.S.

How Much Does an Occupational Health Specialist Make?

The BLS also estimates that occupational health and safety specialists and technicians will earn an average annual salary of about $78,000. The average pay rate for occupational health and safety specialists and technicians is about $35 per hour. Occupational health specialists in the 90th percentile of wages can expect to earn $113,000 per year or more.

8. Epidemiologist

Female Epidemiologist in a lab

What Is an Epidemiologist?

An epidemiologist, also known as an infectious disease specialist, is a public health worker who investigates the origins of diseases and determines the people at risk, how to stop the spread of the disease, and prevent it from happening again. They then report their findings to government officials and the public at large.

What Does an Epidemiologist Do?

Epidemiologists are investigators who perform statistical analysis on data gathered from any number of sources to determine how health problems are introduced into and spread throughout a community. When new diseases are discovered, they identify them and work to discover their causes. Epidemiologists use their findings to recommend policies and practices to control disease spread.

Where Does an Epidemiologist Work?

Epidemiologists conduct their research and fieldwork in various environments, including offices, laboratories, and out in the field. Public sector epidemiologists work for Federal, State, and local governments, public hospitals, as well as colleges and universities.

What Are the Requirements to Become an Epidemiologist?

The path toward becoming an epidemiologist typically requires earning a master’s degree with a specialization in epidemiology. Additionally, some employers may require an internship that may last up to one year.

What Is the Job Outlook for an Epidemiologist?

Employment prospects for epidemiologists are expected to grow. The BLS projects overall employment for epidemiologists to grow 5% from 2019 to 2029.

How Much Does an Epidemiologist Make?

According to the BLS, epidemiologists earn an average annual salary of about $84,000 and a pay rate of about $40 per hour. Epidemiologists in the 90th percentile of wages can expect to earn $126,000 per year or more.

7. Public Healthcare Consultant

African-American healthcare professional

What Is a Public Healthcare Consultant?

Public healthcare consultants, also known as public health consultants, are independent public health experts who work in conjunction with government agencies, non-profit organizations, businesses, and healthcare facilities to shape policies and implement programs that improve the community’s overall health.

What Does a Public Healthcare Consultant Do?

Public health consultants often work as part of a team to develop programs that address pressing public health needs. Consultants conduct extensive research into these issues and analyze their findings. Upon completion, they present their findings and lend their assistance in formulating new public health policies. Public health consultants are often called upon to examine existing public health policies or programs and provide input on modifying them to address current health trends.

Where Does a Public Healthcare Consultant Work?

Public health consultants are self-employed professionals who can work from their own homes and offices. They will also, on occasion, find themselves working and attending meetings in their clients’ offices.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Public Healthcare Consultant?

The minimum educational requirement for a public health consultant is a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from an accredited college or university. Many consultants first obtain an undergraduate degree in some field of study related to public health, such as nursing, biology, epidemiology, or health science. After obtaining an MPH, it is helpful to gain a few years’ worth of experience working at a hospital, a state or federal health agency, or a non-profit organization before embarking on a career as a consultant.

What Is the Job Outlook for a Public Healthcare Consultant?

The BLS does not provide employment projections for public healthcare consultants, but they do provide employment projection data for the similar field of medical and health services managers. In those fields, employment is expected to grow an impressive 32% between 2019 and 2029.

How Much Does a Public Healthcare Consultant Make?

According to Salary.com, public healthcare consultants earn an average annual salary of about $82,000 and a pay rate of about $39.00 per hour. Public healthcare consultants in the 90th percentile of wages can expect to earn $116,000 per year or more.

6. Biostatistician

Multinational interns and professor in a classroom

What Is a Biostatistician?

A biostatistician applies statistical processes and methods to answer complex questions in medicine, biology, and public health. Their goal is to help medical professionals and biological scientists make data-driven decisions based on mathematical analysis.

What Does a Biostatistician Do?

Especially as it pertains to public health, biostatisticians conduct quantitative research to identify health risks to the community at large. They compile their data by conducting clinical trials, surveys, laboratory experiments, field observations, and other means. After compiling the data, they analyze it, draw conclusions, and share it in the form of journal articles, presentations, university coursework, and more.

Where Does a Biostatistician Work?

Biostatisticians frequently find work with universities, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and local, state, and federal health departments. They spend the majority of their days either in an office setting or in a classroom.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Biostatistician?

Becoming a biostatistician requires either a master of public health degree or another related master’s degree with a certificate in biostatistics. In addition to their education, employers often look for experience in scientific research job candidates. Internships are a great way to satisfy that need and add significantly to your resume.

What Is the Job Outlook for a Biostatistician?

The BLS does not offer employment outlook projections specifically for biostatisticians. However, they do offer useful employment projections for the related field of statisticians. According to the BLS, projects overall employment outlook for statisticians is excellent and expected to grow an impressive 35% from 2019 to 2029.

How Much Does a Biostatistician Make?

According to Salary.com, biostatisticians earn an average annual salary of about $86,000 and a pay rate of around $36 per hour. Biostatisticians in the 90th percentile of wages can expect to earn $102,000 per year or more.

5. Health Informatics Specialist

Medical professional with a clipboard

What Is a Health Informatics Specialist?

Health informatics is an emerging field of science that applies principles of computer science and information science for the betterment of patient care. Health Informatics specialists work with physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to analyze and streamline ways to collect, share, standardize, and integrate health data and the information systems that manage it.

What Does a Health Informatics Specialist Do?

Health informatics specialists have a wide range of responsibilities, including:

  • Evaluating healthcare data gathering and delivery processes for improvement
  • Developing more efficient and effective healthcare information systems
  • Collaborating with others to improve standards of care, policies, and protocols
  • Training healthcare staff for effective management of health information systems
  • Ensuring compliance with health information regulations

Where Does a Health Informatics Specialist Work?

Most health information specialists work in a hospital setting. Other employment opportunities include government agencies, software developers, medical equipment manufacturers, and insurance companies.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Health Informatics Specialist?

To become a health informatics specialist, many start with a bachelor’s degree in a clinical field like nursing and then obtain a master’s degree in health informatics or health administration. There are no certifications required for health informatics specialists.

What Is the Job Outlook for a Health Informatics Specialist?

The BLS does not provide job outlook estimates for the position of health informatics specialist. Within the related field of computer and information systems managers, the BLS projects employment to grow an impressive 10%  between 2019 and 2029.

How Much Does a Health Informatics Specialist Make?

There is no direct salary data for health informatics specialist available from Salary.com or BLS, but Salary.com does provide data for the similar position of health informatics nurse specialists, who can earn an average annual salary of about $91,000 and a pay rate of $44.00 per hour. Health informatics nurse specialists in the 90th percentile of wages can expect to earn $115,000 per year or more.

4. Health and Wellness Manager

Healthy businesswoman at a desk

What Is a Health and Wellness Manager?

Health and wellness managers are responsible for the development of policies, programs, or procedures designed to improve the overall health and wellness of individuals or groups of people. They periodically measure the performance of their programs and report those findings to interested parties.

What Does a Health and Wellness Manager Do?

Health and wellness managers gather data to identify opportunities to improve the health of any targeted group of people. Next, they design and implement plans to accomplish those policy or program goals. If program changes are needed, the health and wellness managers will make them. The health and wellness manager then documents progress toward accomplishing program goals and reports it to the program sponsors.

Where Does a Health and Wellness Manager Work?

Health and wellness managers primarily work in an office setting, conducting research and developing health and wellness policies and programs. They will also spend time out of the office, meeting with members of the community targeted by their programs, program sponsors, and those who will implement the programs.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Health and Wellness Manager?

At a minimum, entry-level jobs that lead to health and wellness manager positions require a bachelor’s degree. For those who wish to manage large-scale health and wellness programs, the field is much more competitive. To stand out from the crowd, a master’s degree in the field of public health will significantly enhance to your credentials. Licensure and certification are not generally required for health and wellness managers.

What Is the Job Outlook for a Health and Wellness Manager?

The BLS does not have job outlook data specifically for health and wellness managers, but they do provide job outlook data for the similar position of medical and health services managers. The BLS projects overall employment for medical and health services managers to grow a robust 32% from 2019 to 2029.

How Much Does a Health and Wellness Manager Make?

Neither the BLS nor Salary.com provide salary data specific to health and wellness managers. Salary.com does provide data for the similar position of employee health and wellness manager. According to Salary.com, employee health and wellness managers earn an average annual salary of about $93,000 and a pay rate of $45.00 per hour. Employee health and wellness managers in the 90th percentile of wages can expect to earn $122,000 per year or more.

3. Health and Safety Engineer

Inspector with a hard hat

What Is a Health and Safety Engineer?

Health and safety engineers combine engineering principles with health and safety best practices to develop systems and protocols that minimize the possibility of injury, illness, and property damage.

What Does a Health and Safety Engineer Do?

Health and safety engineers play a critical role in making places where we live and work safe. The scope of their work is very extensive. On one day, they might be inspecting public buildings for potential fire and evacuation hazards. The next day they could be reviewing chemical transportation programs and recommending improvements.

Where Does a Health and Safety Engineer Work?

The nature of a health and safety engineer’s duties defines where they work. Much of their time is spent in the field conducting inspections or overseeing the installation of safety equipment. Other times, they can be found in an office environment, conducting research, or in a laboratory investigating the suitability of safety protocols.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Health and Safety Engineer?

Health and safety engineer jobs require a bachelor’s degree in a closely related field for entry-level jobs. Due to the competitive nature of the health and safety engineer job market, many obtain a master’s degree to stand out from the crowd.

Depending on where they work, some health and safety engineers require licensure. College graduates will need to pass their Fundamentals of Engineering exam. Then, after suitable work experience is gained, they’ll need to pass their Professional Engineering exam. Additional certifications that prove essential for advanced jobs include the Certified Safety Professional certification from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals and Certified Industrial Hygienist certification from the American Board of Industrial Hygiene.

What Is the Job Outlook for a Health and Safety Engineer?

Employment prospects for health and safety engineers are expected to grow at about the same rate as all jobs in the U.S. The BLS projects overall employment for health and safety engineers to grow 4% from 2019 to 2029.

How Much Does a Health and Safety Engineer?

According to the BLS, health and safety engineers earn an average annual salary of about $97,000 and a pay rate of around $47 per hour. Health and safety engineers in the 90th percentile of wages can expect to earn $144,000 per year or more.

2. Medical and Health Services Manager

Hospital manager on the phone

What Is a Medical and Health Services Manager?

Medical and health services managers are high-ranking professionals who work behind the scenes to keep healthcare providers running at peak efficiency without compromising patient care. They are highly organized, detail-oriented people who must possess strong analytical skills.

What Does a Medical and Health Services Manager Do?

Medical and health services managers work with doctors, nurses, fellow administrators, as well as patients and health insurance representatives to set policies and priorities for their organizations. They are responsible for coordinating a hospital’s many operational duties and ensuring that patients receive the highest quality of care as cost-effectively as possible.

Where Does a Medical and Health Services Manager Work?

Hospitals, nursing homes, surgical centers, home health agencies, and other healthcare providers employ medical and health services managers. While a smaller institution may have a single medical and health services manager to oversee the entire operation, large institutions may employ multiple medical and health services managers to oversee various departments.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Medical and Health Services Manager?

At a minimum, medical and health services managers are required to earn a bachelor’s degree in health administration. However, possessing a master’s degree in public health or public administration may open up additional opportunities with greater responsibilities.

Depending on the workplace, like an assisted living center, some medical and health services managers may require licensure, while other medical industry sectors do not require it. Licensure requirements vary by state. Certification is not a requirement for medical and health services managers, but possessing it may increase your stature among other job applicants.

What Is the Job Outlook for a Medical and Health Services Manager?

Employment prospects for medical and health services managers are outstanding. The BLS projects overall employment for medical and health services managers is expected to grow 32% from 2019 to 2029.

How Much Does a Medical and Health Services Manager Make?

According to the BLS, medical and health services managers earn an average annual salary of about $118,000 and a pay rate of about $57 per hour. Those medical and health services managers earning in the 90th percentile of wages can expect to earn $195,000 per year or more.

1. Natural Sciences Manager

Sustainable development in healthcare

What Is a Natural Sciences Manager?

Natural sciences managers supervise teams of scientists, technicians, and researchers. They develop research strategies for these teams to follow in pursuit of organizational goals. A natural sciences manager typically has a solid working scientific background – and supporting degrees – in biology, chemistry, physics, or other life sciences.

What Does a Natural Sciences Manager Do?

A natural sciences manager is an administrative role with many responsibilities. They are responsible for determining staffing needs, evaluating team performance, budgeting project resources, establishing research protocols, designing training programs, determining scientific equipment needs, and liaising between the research teams and top management.

Where Does a Natural Sciences Manager Work?

Natural Sciences Managers spend much of their time in an office environment, but they will eventually find themselves in a laboratory. Like all managers and administrators, they will be required to meet regularly with their teams and sit in on meetings with other members of management. Natural sciences managers work in government health agencies as well as the medical and pharmaceutical industries.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Natural Sciences Manager?

Most natural sciences managers start their careers with a bachelor’s degree in some scientific field and work several years as a scientist. Earning a Master of Public Health degree will prove very beneficial when applying for a job as a natural sciences manager. Whether it’s a master’s degree in a life science or a non-scientific field like public administration or business administration, either avenue will give you an advantage in your job search.

What Is the Job Outlook for a Natural Sciences Manager?

Employment prospects for natural sciences managers are expected to grow. The BLS estimates that overall employment for natural sciences managers is expected to grow 5% from 2019 to 2029, a figure that is just above the average growth rate of 4% for all jobs.

How Much Does a Natural Sciences Manager Make?

According to the BLS, natural sciences managers earn an average annual salary of about $154,000 and a pay rate of about $75 per hour. Natural sciences managers in the 90th percentile of wages can expect to earn $208,000 per year or more.

Start By Earning a Master of Public Health Degree

The passion that drives people toward a career in public health is deep and highly personal. For them, nothing is more rewarding than helping provide for a healthier community or reducing illness across an entire city. Of course, earning potential is always an important consideration when making career decisions, but following one’s passion will always bring success faster than following the money. As someone who already feels a deep desire to help others, you already know that.

If you’re ready to pursue a career in public health, you can start by enrolling in the Master of Public Health program at Brookline College.