Professionals who want to make a difference in society’s health and to reduce incidence of disease and illness often choose to become a public health professional. Public health professionals play a vital role in educating communities about good health practices.
To attain the high level of knowledge to work effectively in this complex field, it generally is required to earn a Master of Public Health, or MPH. The MPH is generally recognized as the standard degree required for public health professionals. It is required for you to have a high skill and knowledge level to work in most public health careers: epidemiologist, biostatistician, environmental scientist, etc.
Earning your MPH can be an important step to take the next step in your public health career.
Why Earn a Master in Public Health
Earning an MPH degree has many professional and personal benefits. Consider:
- Increase your job options: Some professionals can get entry level public health work with a bachelor’s degree, but most higher level, technical positions require at least an MPH. An MPH is also a great background in public health that is important for other professionals, such as lawyers and doctors.
- More advancement opportunities: You will always find more opportunities for higher level managerial positions once you have earned your MPH. Having the MPH on your resume will show that you have a high level of knowledge, skill and discipline. Earning an MPH is tough, and people who have one have accomplished a lot.
- Boost earning potential: Earning your graduate degree will boost your earning potential. An MPH often can help you to obtain a management or supervisory position in environmental science, epidemiology or biostatistics, among other possibilities. Some of these upper level positions can pay starting salaries as high as $70,000.
- Enhance your public health skills: A higher education level in public health will provide you with greater skills and expertise in public health. The additional, demanding coursework will give you a better understanding of topics such as public health financial management, and how behavior influences public health outcomes. Also, you will enhance your speaking and presentation skills in complex public health topics.
- Specialize: A bachelor’s in public health provides a good overview of the field. But an MPH gives you a chance to focus for two or more years on a specific branch of public health.
Featured Online Master of Public Health
- Master of Public Health: (Highly Recommended & Online!!) This online Masters in Public Health MPH from the University of New England will provide you with enhanced skills in analysis, communication, program development and public health practice and management. This degree program can be completed in two years online. It is fully accredited by the Council of Education for Public Health (CEPH).
- Master of Public Health: (Highly Recommended & Online!!) The MPH@Simmons program explores the core areas of public health: epidemiology, biostatistics, health policy and health services, environmental health, and social/behavioral health. The Simmons College online Master of Public Health program is designed to give you the real-world skills you need to address health inequity on a local, national, and global scale. Additionally, the practice-based curriculum incorporates courses specifically designed to help you develop leadership and advocacy skills. Simmons College is featured in our master’s online degree programs without no GRE report for 2017.
- Master of Public Health: This MPH degree from Grand Canyon University is specially designed for professionals who want to learn the most advanced concepts of disease prevention and community health. The curriculum is based upon national public health standards. It uses psychological, behavioral and social factors that influence health disparities in human populations.
- Master of Public Health: An MPH from Kaplan University will help to prepare you for leadership and managerial positions in nonprofits, government and private organizations in the arena of public health. You will be able to develop the ethical, administrative and professional skills that you need to be successful in applying public health principles to health education and communication programs.
- Master of Public Health: The University of Wisconsin offers an MPH that can be earned fully online. This program is fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). You may complete this degree part time in about three years. You will be able to develop the public health skills that you need to have a highly rewarding career that will have great effects on community health.
- Master of Public Health: With its community focused approach to epidemiology, biostatistics and health ethics, the MPH program at Creighton University will give you the knowledge that you need to match your compassion for the world community. You can choose to focus your graduate education efforts on health policy and ethics, or on public health services administration.
Popular Career Paths for Master of Public Health
Public health has many exciting job opportunities for professionals with many skills and interests. No matter if you are interested in working with numbers, conducting important research, or just helping humankind, there will be a place for you in this field.
Generally, for the most promising job opportunities, you need to have at least a master’s degree in public health (MPH). Once you obtain your master’s degree, you will have the opportunity to work in the following fields with the corresponding salaries:
- Health services administration: $37,000-$65,000
- Biostatistics: $33,000-$68,000
- Epidemiology: $41,000-$94,000
- Health education: $45,000-$85,000
- Nutrition: $43,000-$72,000
- International health: $46,000-$87,000
Public health professionals are employed in both the public and private sectors. Many people with a master’s degree in public health work in the public sector in local, state, or federal government.
Below are more details about public health careers with a great degree of potential for MPH holders:
Epidemiologists are highly trained public health experts who study disease patterns and injury in human beings. Their goal is to reduce the occurrence and risk of diseases and other negative health outcomes by conducting research, health policy development and education of the community.
Common duties for epidemiologists are:
- Planning and directing studies of serious public health problems to find ways to prevent them if they arise
- Collect and analyze public health data by conducting interviews and surveys, and doing observations. They also use blood samples and other bodily fluids to find the cause of various health problems and diseases
- Compile their findings and present them to doctors, the public and policymakers
- Manage new public health programs and monitor the effect they are having on the community to reduce disease or illness
An epidemiologist may collect and analyze large amounts of demographic data in a community to determine which groups are at the most risk for getting a disease. They also often research and investigate disease trends in populations who are known to get certain diseases.
Epidemiologists usually work in applied public health or in research. In applied epidemiology, these workers usually are employed by state and local governments and death with public health problems head on. Research epidemiologists usually work in academia and study public health problems at the research level.
Biostatisticians use advanced statistical techniques to collect and analyze public health data to help to solve problems in public health and health care. Some of their duties include the following:
- Determine which types of public health data is needed to answer certain public health questions about disease and illness
- Determine the best methods for collecting that public health data
- Devise surveys, experiments and opinion polls to collect that public health data
- Engage with other public health professionals to collect that data as needed
- Study, analyze and interpret public health data
- Report conclusions to management or other stakeholder
Biostatisticians devise questionnaires, surveys and experiments to get the data that they need. Surveys can be done by mail, phone, Internet and in person. Biostatisticians usually need to collect specific public health data from a certain population of people. They will decide which specific group needs to be studied by using statistical analysis.
Biostatisticians use very specialized software to analyze public health data. They use the software to identify what the trends and relationships are in that data. They also do tests to determine if the data is valid, and to determine the sampling error. Some biostatisticans sometimes build their own new software to analyze data more accurate.
Biostatisticians usually work for hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and public health agencies at the state or local level.
Statisticians generally will see a big rise in demand of 34% by 2024. Growth is occurring because advances in technology make it possible to use statistical analysis to make better healthcare and business decisions. There are also massive amounts of data available online that is making better statistical analysis possible to drive critical business decisions.
Biostatisticians specifically are needed in greater numbers in the pharmaceutical industry. The older US population will require drug companies to create new drug treatments and technologies. Biostatisticians are needed to do the research and clinical trials that are needed for these companies to get FDA approval for the new products.
- University of Arizona. 5 Reasons to Earn a Master of Public Health Degree. (2016, Oct. 16). Retrieved from http://mphdegree.arizona.edu/resources/articles/5-reasons-to-earn-a-master-of-public-health-degree/
- Epidemiologists. (2015, Dec. 17). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/epidemiologists.htm
- Statisticians. (2015, Dec. 17). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/math/statisticians.htm#tab-2