The need for public health professionals is higher now than ever. With the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) ravaging worldwide health systems, an organized public health policy is the need of the hour.
A public health degree can lead to numerous careers, depending on the level of education achieved. Professionals in this field can find work in small communities, as well as avail global public health employment opportunities.
The following guide on what can you do with a public health degree will walk you through a number of possible careers, salary potential, and career outlook. You will also find information on the education required to get into this field.
What Is Public Health?
Public health focuses on large-scale disease prevention and overall improvement of human life. This goal is achieved by promoting a healthy lifestyle, preventing diseases through research, and responding to infectious diseases.
What Can You Do with a Public Health Degree?
Depending on the level of education, a public health degree can take you to a variety of career paths. Some of these are discussed in detail below. The information has been obtained from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Community Health Workers
These individuals teach people about behaviors that promote wellness. They plan and develop programs to improve the health of overall communities. They collect data and discuss the concerns of any affected population segments.
|Annual Median Salary, 2019||$40,360|
|Job Outlook, 2018-2028||11%|
|Annual Mean Salary, 2019||$44,390|
|State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019||New York||7,750|
|State with the Highest Salary, 2019||District of Columbia||$62,780|
Epidemiologists are public health professionals who identify the causes and patterns in the spread of different diseases in humans. They work towards reducing the risk of negative outcomes through community education and research.
|Annual Median Salary, 2019||$70,990|
|Job Outlook, 2018-2028||5%|
|Annual Mean Salary, 2019||$78,290|
|State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019||Texas||730|
|State with the Highest Salary, 2019||Massachusetts||$114,220|
These public health professionals create and manage health education programs that are aimed at helping families, individuals, and communities in maintaining healthy lifestyles. They collect and analyze data before planning and implementing solutions and monitoring results.
|Annual Median Salary, 2019||$55,220|
|Job Outlook, 2018-2028||11%|
|Annual Mean Salary, 2019||$60,500|
|State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019||California||7,230|
|State with the Highest Salary, 2019||District of Columbia||$92,630|
What to Expect from a Public Health Degree?
Public health degrees are offered at various levels – the most common degree level for entry-level positions in the field is a bachelor’s degree, though many employers prefer those with a master’s degree in public health. Common coursework you can expect to study in a public health degree includes biostatistics, nutrition, and public health, health disparities, public health biology, public health policy, research methods, etc. Most programs would also have an experience component in the form of an internship.
How to Choose a Public Health Degree?
When looking for a public health degree, there are several things you should keep in mind. These include:
- Accreditation status of the degree
- Program length and cost
- Campus facilities
- Coursework offered
- Admission requirements
- Online study options
- Career placements
Public Health Degree Admission Requirements
The admission requirements for a public health degree would be largely dependent on the level of education you go for. For instance, entry into a bachelor’s degree in public health would typically require the completion of high school, letters of recommendation, a minimum GPA, and SAT scores. These requirements would vary according to the program and university you select. Therefore, you are advised to get in touch with the admission boards of the universities you intend to apply to.