If you would like to gain a better education and career and already hold a bachelor’s degree, then the MPH (Master in Public Health) may be a good option. With an MPH degree, you will be able to drive policies that affect the health of various communities, which is incredibly rewarding. Below are some of the positions that you can expect to take on:
As a biostatistician, you will collect and analyze data in order to find out what issues affect various living organisms. While biostatistician positions do exist for those with a bachelor’s degree, those are entry-level, assistant positions. An MPH degree will greatly further your career.
Typical daily duties include:
- Analyzing disease occurrence and genetic data
- Developing new clinical trials to determine the effectiveness of drug treatment
- Review of population data where communities have been exposed to pollutants and chemicals to determine the effect of such exposure
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), statisticians employed in federal government, where most MPH-degree holders will work, can expect to earn an average annual salary of $100,750.
There are two main options available for those who hold an MPH degree and want to work as an epidemiologist. The first is to work in research, which is usually conducted in universities and federal government facilities. The second option is to work in the clinical field, which includes outpatient centers and hospitals.
Duties of a research epidemiologist include:
- To study illnesses and diseases in order to find a cure and prevent them
- To conduct research on diseases and illnesses that affect the whole body, such as HIV
- To perform studies on diseases and illnesses that affect just one part of the body, such as heart or lung disease
Duties of a clinical epidemiologist include:
- Working with doctors in the identification of diseases
- Coming up with methods to prevent disease outbreaks
- Developing plans to address disease outbreaks
According to the BLS, average annual earnings for epidemiologists range from $63,840 to $99,560, depending mainly on the type of organization they work for.
#3 Environmental Health Scientist
An environmental health scientist is also known as a forester, a conservation scientist, or an environmental engineer, depending on the nature of the work. They usually take on consultancy positions for environmental organizations or for the federal government. These professionals work both in the field and in laboratories, where they perform research to determine who is responsible for certain environmental pollutants and what can be done about them. This means that they have to take measurements of various samples and determine how polluted they are and by what.
Environmental health scientists often develop certain specializations, because the field is so broad. Those who work for the federal government, for instance, may be responsible for monitoring waste removal systems and the water supply, creating new environmental policies, inspecting sites that are known to be polluters, and developing plans for better conservation. If, on the other hand, they work for gas or oil collection companies or other forms of processing environments, they may be responsible for monitoring the work environment to ensure employees avoid exposure to hazardous materials. Meanwhile, environmental health scientists employed in land developments measure the soil conditions below the surface to determine the appropriate structure of the foundations, ensuring new constructions remain stable.
Typical duties of an environmental health scientist include:
- Working with the government, companies, and farms to eliminate hazards to the environment and to reduce pollution
- Testing the quality of water, soil, and air
- Testing the pollution levels
- Developing safe and efficient manners of eliminating waste
- Establishing protocols for the collection of data
- Creating strategies to limit the environmental impact of a particular site
- Writing reports and presenting the findings to the scientific community
According to the BLS, an environmental scientist and specialist can expect to earn an average annual salary of $68,910.
#4 Health Educator
Health educators can be employed in a variety of different settings, including nonprofit organizations, corporations, federal and state government agencies, K-12 public schools, colleges, medical clinics, and hospitals. Their role is to ensure that the public, corporations, communities, families, groups, and individuals are properly educated on how to live healthy lifestyles and prevent diseases. To achieve this, health educators develop a variety of outreach and educational programs. They usually focus on specific health risks, which are determined by the needs of a particular community.
If they work in hospitals, health educators are responsible for educating patients and their carers about surgical procedures, other forms of treatment, and the diagnosis that they have received. They also provide knowledge about necessary lifestyle changes following a diagnosis or medical procedure, and they refer them to support groups and other forms of follow-up care. Furthermore, they ensure that all medical staff in the hospital are fully up to date about new health topics.
If they work in schools, they often manage the health center on the campus. They have a strong involvement in educational programs that the school offers, which often focus on drug abuse, alcohol abuse, smoking, sexually transmitted disease, and nutrition. In K-12 schools, the focus tends to be on more age-appropriate issues. Often, health educators also create educational programs that their region’s school district can implement.
Those who work for the government, which can be local, county, state, or federal, help to create awareness of threats to public health. One of the key employers is the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which monitors, manages, and addresses disease awareness, health threats, public health policy, and environmental health policy. Often, these health educators are very much involved in research.
Those who work in the private or nonprofit sector often address the needs of underserved communities. They deal with whatever health problems that the community is facing, such as gerontology or AIDS prevention. They act as advocates for their community, ensuring actions are taken to reduce asbestos, clean up contamination, improve drinking water, and so on. Within corporations, they act as advocates for staff, developing physical fitness programs and offering health screenings.
According to the BLS, a health educator can expect to earn an average annual salary of $44,390.
#5 Medical and Health Service Manager
Medical and health service managers handle the administrative functions of a healthcare facility. This may be a nursing care facility, a doctor’s office, or a hospital, for instance. Usually, this position is handled by those who have a business administration background because they are responsible for the development of business strategies. Their goal is to improve productivity and outcomes, while remaining cost effective. Depending on the degree completed before the MPH, they may also have clinical involvement with patients.
The BLS reports annual earnings of between $80,340 and $104,340 for medical and health services managers, with the variation in earnings being mainly due to the type of organization they work for.
Completing an MPH degree opens a range of new careers. These are well-compensated and will give you the opportunity to do something meaningful in the lives of members of your chosen community. Advancing your education and career by completing an MPH, therefore, offers a fantastic opportunity to enhance your quality of life as well as that of others.
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- What is a Master of Public Health (MPH) Degree? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://mph.ufl.edu/prospective-students/mph/
- MPH Degree Programs. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://ph.ucla.edu/degrees-and-academics/degree-programs/mph-degree-programs