Throughout 2020, public health has been front-page news in ways we’ve never witnessed before. Concerns that were typically reserved for health professionals, community organizers, and local and state governments, are now the concerns that keep regular citizens up at night. How do I keep my family safe? Are the businesses I visit following the latest health and safety guidelines? What do I do if I may have been exposed? It can be a real nightmare. Those in the public health field also recognize that these are some of the most challenging times many of us have ever lived through. Yet, this is where public health professionals shine. These are the challenges that they are trained to handle!
If you are also looking to enter the heroic public health field, becoming a public health director could be the perfect career path. This rewarding position allows professionals to exercise their strategic planning and research skills while keeping people safe. There are four key areas that you should investigate about the public health director job before embarking on the first step: applying for your Master’s Degree in Public Health.
Understand Public Health Director Salaries
The earning potential for public health directors, both across the United States and in Connecticut, is very robust.
The median annual public health director salary in the U.S. is $100,980, as of May 2019. While the specific setting that you work in will affect your compensation, the average Public Health Director makes about $10k more than the average management salary for all occupations. Here are some sectoral examples. You can earn up to $111,520 annually if you land a job in government. Meanwhile, hospitals pay around the median salary: $110,430. An average public health director salary at an outpatient care center is $95,320. Physician’s offices pay $91,600, while at a residential care or nursing facility, the national average is $86,820.
The strong national salary figures for Public Health Directors also hold true in Connecticut. The annual mean wage for public health directors in CT is $128,970—$28k more than the median national average. In fact, CT ranks 10th in the nation for the highest public health director salary, and in this state, you would be making an estimated $62 an hour.
What’s the Public Health Director Job Outlook?
As our news media can attest, we need more healthcare workers, and we need them now. Specifically, as one New York Times opinion piece suggests, the public health system in America deserves more federal funding and attention. In April 2020, the author interviewed Dr. Tom Frieden, a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who believes that, “Public health is the best bang for our collective buck. It has consistently saved the most lives for the least amount of money.” Dr. Frieden is referring to public health innovations in America throughout the 20th century that saved countless lives from needless demise. We don’t think it’s a stretch to say that entering the public health field at the peak of a pandemic is both smart and conscientious for America’s future.
It’s not surprising to hear that public heath director employment rates are rising, but the rapid growth and future outlook is still somewhat shocking. The average national employment rate for all jobs is rising at 4%. By comparison, the field of public health management is rising at 32%. That is eight times the national average! Between 2019 and 2029, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects that 133,200 medical and health service manager jobs will be created nationally.
What do Public Health Directors Do?
Public health directors are like orchestra conductors. They organize teams of staff members and maintain records and information systems, ensuring that patient or client needs are met satisfactorily so that the concert can continue. Public health directors use advanced technologies to collect, sort and interpret data. They might manage an entire facility or department, and their jobs require not just healthcare knowledge, but also an understanding of relevant laws and regulations. Budget development and maintenance, as well as partaking in continued education, are other facets of the public health director role.
The Steps to Becoming a Public Health Director
To become a Public Health Director, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree. A master’s degree is preferable to many employers, and for more competitive jobs with higher salary potential, it is recommended. Since you have your sights set on a director role, employers will also expect that can bring some experience with you. Luckily, with Goodwin University’s flexible MPH program, you can gain your master’s degree online and on your schedule. Continue working and developing those important experiences that employers want, while building your knowledge through a 45-47 credit curriculum.
Ready to get started? Admission requirements include a graduate application, a transcript from an accredited college or university with at least a 3.0 GPA, as well as a resume, a personal letter of intent, and two letters of recommendation.
Living up to your fullest potential also means giving back to your community. On a public health director salary, you can both kick-start an exciting career, and plan for a healthy future. It all begins with a master’s degree. Visit us online for more information, or call a representative today at 800-889-3282, to learn more about the advantages of a Goodwin University education!
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.