The American Public Health Association (APHA) stated that “Public health promotes and protects the health of all people and their communities [and that] … the science-based field strives to give everyone a safe place to live, learn, work, and play.”
The types of public health professionals and the patients they serve are vast and varied.
Public health teams make an everyday difference in the well-being of people and populations, including positions from essential first responders and nutritionists to policymakers, restaurant inspectors, social workers, and more.
Continue reading to learn more about five exciting public health careers and all the details on how you can make a difference with a public health degree!
Starting in Public Health: Programs and Areas of Study
Future public health professionals typically earn their undergraduate degree, a bachelor’s degree in public health, or continue their education to pursue a graduate degree in the field—otherwise known as a master’s in public health (MPH).
A bachelor’s degree in public health, like the one offered by Goodwin University, contains a curriculum covering the fundamentals of the public health profession, including topics like epidemiology, introduction to global health, public health, public health policy, research methods, and more.
A master’s degree in public health, however, goes even further in-depth into the evidence-based healthcare degree—with classes covering subjects such as emergency management, environmental health, and social and behavioral aspects of health.
- Community Health
- Global Health, and
- Health Policy and Management
Not sure which concentration best aligns with your career goals? Don’t sweat it! Check out our downloadable Public Health Get Started Guide to learn more about which path is right for you!
Occupational Opportunities: 5 Public Health Professions
- Federal public health agencies
- Global public health associations
- Healthcare settings
- Health promotion and communications departments
- Higher education institutions
- Local and state health sectors
- Mental health facilities
- Not-for-profit agencies
- Private companies, and
- Other government organizations
In 2021, the White House announced plans to invest $7.4 billion into recruiting and supporting public health workers and the expansion of local and state public health departments. The funding is projected to create tens of thousands of public health opportunities.
Listed below are five fantastic public health career options with high salary potential for postsecondary public health graduates.
Health education specialists create programs instructing communities about various health conditions impacting their wellbeing.
The top three professional settings for health education specialists in 2022 were government, state, local, and private hospitals, and outpatient centers.
At a minimum, health education specialists need a bachelor’s degree to enter the public health profession.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment options for health education specialists are projected to grow 12% from 2021 to 2031—with an average of 16,000 openings each year over the decade.
Environmental scientists and specialists play a significant role in safeguarding our planet and its population’s health. Environmental scientists use natural sciences to protect our environment and promote healthy lives.
These public health professionals work in various settings, such as offices, laboratories, or in the field, collecting data and monitoring environmental conditions.
Environmental scientists and specialists need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to enter the field.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates the environmental scientist career to grow 5% from 2021 to 2031—with an average of 7,800 openings each year over the decade.
Nationally, environmental scientists and specialists in 2022 earned an average salary of $83,820. In the same year, environmental scientists and specialists in Connecticut made an annual average income of $89,010.
Epidemiologists are public health professionals who examine the causes and commonalities of disease and injury.
Colleges and universities, hospitals, laboratories, local and state government health departments, and offices are workplace environments that commonly employ epidemiologists.
A minimum of a master’s degree is required for all practicing epidemiologists.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 26% growth in epidemiology— much faster than the average of all occupations. From 2021 to 2031, the Bureau expects an annual average of 800 epidemiologist job openings over the next decade.
Biostatisticians analyze information, identify patterns, and apply data-driven decisions to solve public health problems.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the top three employers for statisticians in 2022 as scientific research and development services, the federal government, and postsecondary and professional institutions.
Biostatisticians typically need a master’s degree; however, some positions are available to bachelor’s degree holders.
The U.S. Department of Labor projects a 33% growth in biostatisticians—considerably faster than the average of all careers. From 2021 to 2031, the Bureau expects an annual average of 3,900 biostatistician job openings over the next decade.
Medical and health services managers direct the business undertakings of healthcare providers. Hospitals, medical practices, and nursing homes employ the majority of medical and health services managers.
A bachelor’s degree is desired for a medical and health service manager position; however, degree requirements may vary per public health facility and career function.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the field of medical and health service managers to grow 28% from 2021 to 2031 — faster than the average for all occupations accounting for 56,600 new job openings on average annually.
Public health prevents hazards, reduces human suffering, keeps communities healthy, and improves our quality of life.
Whether public health professionals are addressing the impact of climate change, advocating safety laws, developing school nutrition programs, enacting policy to prevent gun violence, or tracking disease outbreaks, public health promoters implement daily, distinct efforts to ensure the wellbeing of the population.
Are you seeking a career caring for communities?
Learn more about public health programs and professions today!
Discover what a public health degree from Goodwin University can do for you.