Public health is an impactful field of study that involves protecting and promoting the greater health of people and their communities. Public health professionals work to educate people about proper health care, research epidemics and treatments, and develop strategies to prevent illness and injury in populations around the world. While there is great personal reward in this field, there is also great financial incentive to continue this meaningful work. Public health salaries can range from $36,000 annually to over $120,000 per year, depending on the type of role you pursue.
Every specialization and title in public health promises its own salary potential. And the more you invest in your education, the greater your earnings will be. Many public health careers can be achieved with a bachelor’s degree in hand. However, some advanced and higher-paying positions require a master’s level education, such as an MPH. Below, we break down some of the most popular career paths in public health, and the average salary you can expect from each.
A Breakdown of Public Health Salaries, Nationwide and in Connecticut
Community Health Worker Salary
Community health workers work directly with people and populations, helping them to adopt healthy behaviors and improve their overall health. These workers often act as an advocate for clients and communities in need of healthcare, and help to implement programs that promote, maintain, and expand both individual and community health. In this role, you can expect to earn a comfortable salary:
- Nationwide Public Health Worker Salary: $40,360 annually
- Connecticut Public Health Worker Salary: $51,610 annually
Community and public health workers typically need a public health degree to enter this position.
Public Health Educator Salary
Public health educators work to teach individuals and communities about good health. They teach others how to adopt healthy behaviors, and how to maintain wellness or manage health conditions. They may develop educational materials to teach people about various health topics, or develop strategies/programs to increase health education within the communities they serve. Health educators work hand-in-hand with public health workers, but can expect a higher salary in health education:
- National Health Educator Salary: $55,220 annually
- Connecticut Health Education Specialist Salary: $72,490 annually
To become a public health educator today, you will need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in public health, such as the one offered at Goodwin University.
Child Development Specialist Salary
Child development specialists work within their communities to help ensure children are set up for success. They work to identify specific developmental disorders in children, and ensure that these children have access to the care and attention that they need to thrive. According to both Zippia and ZipRecruiter, the national public health salary for Child Development Specialists is just over $36,000. However, Connecticut ranks among the top-paying states for this position.
- Nationwide Child Development Specialist Salary: $36,000 annually
- Connecticut Child Development Specialist Salary: About $50,000 annually
Child development specialists must have a bachelor’s degree in a child study or public health related field. This level of degree will position you to qualify for many high-paying jobs in this subject area.
Health Inspector and Sanitarian Salary
Health inspection and safety is a sector of public health that offers great salary potential. Occupational health specialists, a common title for the role, are responsible for inspecting workplaces and ensuring they meet safety, health, and environmental regulations. They look for physical or environmental factors that could affect employee (or customer) health, safety, and comfort. They can expect to earn:
- National Health Inspector Salary: $74,100 annually
- Connecticut Health Inspector Salary: $84,030 annually
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupational health specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree in a related field. You may also consider becoming a Sanitarian, which is essentially an advanced public health inspector, and requires a master’s degree in public health.
Another advanced position with a high public health salary is that of an Epidemiologist. Epidemiologists are public health professionals who investigate causes and patterns of disease. They seek to reduce the risk of illness and injury in communities through research, education, and policies. Epidemiologists can expect to earn a high salary, no matter where they are in the U.S.
- National Epidemiologist Salary: $70,990 annually
- Connecticut Epidemiologist Salary: $81,550 annually
To become an Epidemiologist and earn this high salary, you will be required to have at least a master’s degree in Public Health (MPH).
Public Health Manager Salary
Public health managers, also called public health directors, are responsible for the overall management of public health programs and organizations. They may be in charge of strategizing and overseeing particular health programs, like a campaign to increase nutrition in statewide public schools. Or, they may be responsible for managing a local public health department/government agency. Because of the advanced nature of this role, public health managers can expect to earn a high salary nationwide and in Connecticut:
- National Public Health Manager Salary: $100,980 annually
- Connecticut Public Health Manager Salary: $128,970 annually
Of course, different managerial positions come with different public health salaries. For example, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) recently listed a job opening for a Public Health Services Manager, which boasts an entry salary of $89,852 with potential to earn $122,505 per year.
Public health managers must invest in their education, in order to succeed in this role. A master’s degree in a related field, such as a Master’s in Public Health (MPH), is the typical expectation for this position.
No matter which path you take within the public health field, you can expect great reward – personally, professionally, and financially. Public health is a fast-growing field and as we move forward into 2021, sources expect demand of public health professionals to rise. We need people like you who can step up, step out, and make change to protect the physical and mental health of our communities. Which path will you pursue?
Learn more about the rewarding field of public health, and how you can get started right here in Connecticut. Contact Goodwin University at 800-889-3282 to learn about our public health programs at the bachelor’s degree and master’s degree levels.
*Uncited salary figures were collected from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2019 data
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.