What Can I Become with a Master's in Public Health? - Mastersportal.com

What Can I Become with a Master's in Public Health?

Making the world a healthier place is a key value for all public health organisations and professionals. If you’re a person dedicated to the idea of helping people who need medical assistance, but not necessarily as a medical practitioner, looking into Public Health careers might be the answer. So, you should consider a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Public Health.

So, what can you do with a Master’s in Public Health and, specifically, what jobs can you get with a public health degree? Well Public Health has a long history of implementing policies that improve the health of people worldwide. Vaccination programmes, family planning, or preventive medicine are just a few examples of how public health had a positive global impact. And you can be part of this, too!

>> Here are a few universities we recommend for Public Health studies:

Below, we’ve listed the most popular Public Health careers you can have with an MPH degree and the average annual salaries in the US according to PayScale. As you will discover, the salaries are more than enough to cover the initial investment in your education (i.e. tuition + other fees). So let’s see what jobs can you get with a public health degree. 

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1. Health Informatics Specialist – 62,600 USD/year

Employers: food and drug administration clinics, clinical biostatistics organisations, local governments, and other public health organisations.

As a health informatics specialist or biostatistician, you will analyse various types of healthcare data and apply statistical principles to public health and medical research. You will deal with clinical trials, genome projects and identify population health trends. The work of a biostatistician may also include experimental treatments for diseases or finding connections between lifestyles and public health issues.

Main duties of a health informatics specialist:

  • Develop efficient statistical protocols
  • Analyse and monitor databases and data analysis software
  • Use statistics, mathematics and Computer Science skills for collecting data reports

Find Masters in Health Informatics

Medicine students examine a human mannequin

2. Healthcare Administrator – 65,500 USD/year

Employers: hospitals, clinics, healthcare facilities, wellness centres.

Public Health careers offer quite a few different possibilities, each one requiring different skills and abilities. As a healthcare administrator, you will oversee all the activities required to run a healthcare institution. Your focus will be to organise your staff, delegate tasks, and make sure the institution has all the necessary resources and inventory. As a healthcare administrator you will:

  • Coordinate and manage health services provided to clients, health programs, staff, and budgets
  • Keep contact with various organisations such as health equipment suppliers
  • Get involved in public healthcare policies, improving or solving certain issues of the healthcare system

Check out Masters in Health Management

3. Epidemiologist – 62,900 USD/year

Employers: health institutes, local and national public health departments, private companies (pharmaceutical companies).

Being an Epidemiologist is among the most popular Master’s of Public Health government jobs. Epidemiologists evaluate and monitor the spread of diseases, work to understand their causes and develop solutions and possible treatments. An epidemiologist’s work is similar to the one of a scientist and combines knowledge from Biology, Statistics, and Maths by also taking into consideration various socio-economic factors. As far as Public Health careers are concerned, this one has impact on a large scale. Some of your responsibilities will be to:

  • Train and educate policymakers about diseases and infections
  • Monitor epidemics and provide extensive reports with all the data you collect
  • Evaluate local and government health agencies

Check out Masters in Epidemiology

4. Public Health Project Manager – 75,400 USD/year

Employers: NGOs, social work associations, government agencies, research institutions.

The main goal of public health managers is developing and overseeing the implementation of public health projects that improve the wellbeing of communities. Some of the main challenges are managing budgets, overcoming unexpected difficulties, and achieving the initial objectives of the project without major delays.

The main responsibilities of a public health project manager include:

  • Manage staff members and assign tasks
  • Evaluate how projects progress and find ways to improve the overall efficiency
  • Offer periodic updates to staff, document project activities and write reports

5. Health and Safety Engineer – 76,000 USD/year

Employers: government, construction companies, technology companies.

Public Health careers can also work for designers and engineers. Health and safety engineers design machinery, equipment, and various systems which improve human health or prevent diseases. The main duties of a health engineer are to make sure various products (equipment and machines used in factories, buildings, etc.) are safe to use; they identify potential hazards, evaluate health and safety regulations and programmes, and also investigate accidents.

Common tasks of health and safety engineers are:

  • Check plans for new machinery and equipment to make sure they meet safety requirements
  • Identify potential hazards in facilities, machinery, and safety equipment
  • Install safety devices on machinery
  • Verify employee safety programmes and suggest improvements

Check out Masters in Safety and Safety Engineering

6. Public Health Educator – 45,800 USD/year

Employers: government agencies, public and private organisations, NGOs

Public health careers include educators specially trained to inform people about health and safety concerns and teach them how to take care of themselves and the people around them. For example, a typical lecture or presentation might focus on HIV/AIDS. Public health educators offer all the information necessary, share flyers and brochures and encourage people to be proactive and go for regular health check-ups.

Here are other common responsibilities for a public health educator:

  • Develop lectures and workshops that are flexible and can be adapted to different communities
  • Create informational materials and share them during the presentations/meetings
  • Answer questions coming from the public and offer them relevant suggestions

7. Healthcare Consultant – 76,900 USD/year

Employers: usually large private healthcare organisations

Among the Masters in Public Health jobs is also that of being a Healthcare Consultant. Healthcare consultants evaluate the activities and management of a healthcare facility to identify major problems and ways to solve them and improve efficiency. You will compare different options, write reports, and participate in meetings with your clients, where you will propose the best solutions.

Other typical tasks for healthcare consultants are:

  • Creating manuals and other informational documents that help staff members improve individual and overall efficiency
  • Designing, evaluating, and suggesting ways to implement healthcare procedures and technologies

Public health consultant examining patient

What can you do with a Master’s in Public Health if you’re a nurse?

To become a Registered Nurse (RN), you do not need a Public Health degree, but rather a 3 or 4-year Bachelor’s in Nursing. 

However, Master's in Public Health jobs are more than suitable for Nursing graduates. if you do a Master’s in Public Health, you will gain the necessary knowledge and skills to become a Public Health Nurse (PHN). 

What is a Public Health Nurse? First, to become a Public Health Nurse you must already be a Registered Nurse. This explains why PHN is not an entry-level public health job and that the job requirements of Public Health Nurses are different from those of regular nurses. In fact, PHN practitioners don’t focus on the day-to-day care of patients, but rather on educating entire communities or groups of people. So nurses who enjoy teaching and training people can find such jobs, with a public health degree being the condition. They usually work for healthcare providers or government agencies, and some of their main tasks are:

  • Educate individuals, families, and groups about health issues and preventive measures
  • Offer suggestions and inform patients about the best support services for their problem(s)
  • Collect and store data about interactions, trends, etc.

The average salary of a Public Health Nurse in the US is 58,200 USD/year.

Do MPH and MSPH degrees lead to different Public Health careers?

The main difference between a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) and a Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) is their focus.

MSPH degrees train students in advanced research and prepare them for careers as researchers or educators in academic or research institutions. In contrast, the MPH is more focused on helping students develop transferable and practical skills, which can be applied in various Public Health careers.

You shouldn’t rely only on the degree’s name, though. Every university can use a different naming scheme for its study programmes. To avoid confusion, you should always check the curriculum and academic expectations of your Public Health degree. This way, you’ll discover if the academic programme matches your professional and academic objectives.

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Why should I get a Master’s in Public Health?

  • Not only will you be well paid, but you can also impact the lives of millions of people through your work, whether it is research, education, project management, etc.
  • You can study a Master’s in Public Health degree online. There’s no need to quit your job or spend a ton of money moving and living abroad. Online MPH courses make things a lot easier and allow you to advance your career from the comfort of your home.
  • The demand for professionals in Public Health careers is growing, which means your job will be safe, and you’ll have many opportunities to choose from. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of healthcare occupations is expected to grow 14% by 2028.
  • You won’t get bored. From new virus mutations to surprising changes in health trends, anything in the Public Health area keeps you guessing. Public Health careers offer a constantly developing field of work which allows you to explore the latest developments and discoveries and see how you can use them for the wellbeing of the entire human race.

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