9 Jobs You Can Get with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health
Embarking on a journey with a Bachelor's in Public Health opens doors to many possibilities. While some opt for a Master's in Public Health (MPH), the job market eagerly awaits those ready to dive into the workforce.
Public health spans various domains, such as epidemiology, public policy, nutrition, maternal and child health, and infectious diseases. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 13 percent growth in healthcare occupations by 2031, and the field offers financial rewards and a chance to make a meaningful impact.
Exploring Entry-Level Paths with a Public Health Degree
Public health graduates possess a diverse skill set, making them versatile professionals. This article delves into nine entry-level roles attainable with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) and sheds light on salary insights and anticipated job growth.
1. Health Education Specialist
Median annual salary (BLS): $48,860 | Estimated job growth: 12 percent
Health education specialists play a vital role in disseminating crucial information to individuals and communities to enhance overall well-being. Beyond researching prevalent health issues, they design and implement educational programs. This includes reviewing and improving communication efforts and working directly with community members. Their multifaceted role involves a dynamic blend of research, communication, and education, making them pivotal contributors to public health initiatives.
2. Community Health Worker
Median annual salary (BLS): $48,860
Like health education specialists, community health workers act as intermediaries between organizations and communities. Their primary focus is to facilitate access to essential health services. They may even provide some of these services, such as conducting blood pressure screenings. Adept at coordinating and gathering data, community health workers contribute significantly to improving the overall well-being of local communities through education and accessibility to vital health services.
3. Public Health Researcher
Average annual salary (Glassdoor): $77,106
Public health researchers serve as investigators, deciphering the unique health narratives of different populations. Armed with analytical skills, they delve into lab results and other data to present findings in comprehensive reports. These reports, in turn, inform policies and programming in various domains such as substance abuse, vaccinations, and epidemiology. The role demands a passion for finding answers, working with data, conducting interviews, and effectively communicating findings to drive informed decision-making.
4. Environmental Health Officer
Median annual salary (BLS): $74,870 | Job growth: 5 percent
Environmental health officers, also known as sanitarians or occupational health and safety specialists, are instrumental in ensuring the health and safety of communities. They conduct food, water, and facility safety inspections, which are crucial for the public's well-being. This role intersects with various establishments, including restaurants and public swimming pools, ensuring these spaces are safe for public use.
5. Medical Editor
Average annual salary (Glassdoor): $80,078
Medical or health content editors play a crucial role in an era where health information is widely available online. They meticulously review articles and manuscripts to ensure factual scientific claims and maintain grammatical accuracy. By doing so, they contribute to disseminating accurate and verified data on diverse health-related topics. This role requires a keen attention to detail, a passion for information, and proficiency in editing for grammar, usage, and consistency.
6. Public Policy Writer
Average annual salary (Glassdoor): $65,863
Public policy writers, often called policy analysts, delve into the intricate world of legislation, regulation, and funding. Armed with research and analytical skills, they communicate their findings effectively. Their writing serves as a catalyst, bringing together crucial information and inspiring individuals and organizations to take specific courses of action. This role demands research, critical thinking, effective communication, and persuasive writing skills.
Average annual salary (Glassdoor): $111,069
Demographers specialize in unraveling the stories hidden in population statistics, moving beyond the "what" to explore the "why." Their reports provide valuable insights that inform larger health initiatives. While junior-level demographer roles may be accessible with a bachelor's degree, higher positions often require a master's. This role appeals to individuals with a penchant for math and science, strong computer skills, and a passion for conducting research and communicating findings through statistical analysis.
8. Health Care Administrator
Average annual salary (Glassdoor): $71,864
The smooth functioning of medical facilities hinges on the expertise of healthcare administrators. Tasked with overseeing the business side of healthcare, they ensure seamless operations, from staffing to protocol adherence. With strong attention to detail, organizational skills, and a deep interest in business and healthcare, healthcare administrators play a crucial role in creating an environment where medical practitioners can focus on delivering exceptional patient care.
9. Refugee Coordinator
Average annual salary (Glassdoor): $48,433
Refugee coordinators help refugees integrate into their new communities. Their responsibilities range from providing skills and language training to facilitating immigration processes. Additionally, they play a pivotal role in addressing mental health issues and fostering cultural exchange between established communities and new refugees. This role requires strong empathy, effective communication, problem-solving skills, and a genuine commitment to supporting diverse populations in their journey to a new life.
Transferable Skills: Beyond Public Health Careers
A BSPH program opens doors to specific public health careers and hones transferable skills crucial for various industries. These skills include critical thinking, problem-solving, planning, organizing, researching, and coordinating.
Master of Public Health (MPH): Is It Necessary?
While many BSPH graduates opt for an MPH for advanced roles, it's not always mandatory. Your career goals dictate the necessity of pursuing an MPH. Examples of roles and average salaries for MPH graduates include:
- Health Educator: $50,093
- Health Care Policy Analyst: $74,159
- Public Health Nurse: $89,075
- Emergency Management Specialist: $61,091
- Epidemiologist: $78,830 (Median US salary)
For those considering a graduate degree in public health, prestigious institutions like Johns Hopkins University and the University of Michigan offer free courses. Explore diverse options at your own pace, connecting to these universities online.
In conclusion, a BSPH opens doors to a wealth of opportunities. Whether you dive into the workforce or pursue further education, your journey in public health promises growth and impact.
What is Public Health, and how does it differ from healthcare?
Public health is a field that focuses on improving and protecting the health of communities and populations. It differs from healthcare, which is more individual-focused and involves diagnosing, treating, and preventing diseases for individual patients.
What careers can I pursue with a Bachelor's Degree in Public Health?
A Bachelor's Degree in Public Health opens doors to various careers, including roles like Health Education Specialist, Community Health Worker, Public Health Researcher, Environmental Health Officer, Medical Editor, Public Policy Writer, Demographer, Health Care Administrator, and Refugee Coordinator.
What skills can I develop through a Bachelor's in Public Health program?
A Public Health degree hones critical thinking, problem-solving, planning, organizing, researching, and coordinating skills. These transferable skills are valuable in various industries and can enhance your employability.
Do I need a Master's in Public Health (MPH) to succeed?
While an MPH can open doors to advanced roles, it's not always necessary. Many entry-level positions can be pursued with a Bachelor's Degree in Public Health, and career choices may depend on personal goals and preferences.
What is the job outlook for careers in Public Health?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare sector is expected to grow by 13 percent by 2031, indicating a positive job outlook for various public health careers.