Self-directed professionals with an educational background in science or medicine and prior work experience in a health-related field make excellent candidates for online master's in public health (MPH) programs. Strong communication, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills remain critical for succeeding in this field.
Public health professionals work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, universities, research facilities, and government agencies. Specializations include public health administration, epidemiology, biostatistics, and public health policy. Earning your MPH online enables you to continue working while completing your degree. Many online MPH programs offer the flexibility to progress through coursework at your own pace and intern at a facility near you. For those with a passion for protecting and improving the health of a population, an online MPH can open the door to in-demand, well-paying careers in the public health field.
As seen below, MPH graduates working as community health workers make an average of $42,340 per year in the United States. They can earn above-average salaries in the highest-paying states. California employers hire the most community health workers, and the state ranks among the top-paying. Community health workers can earn more than $60,000 annually in District of Columbia and San Francisco metropolitan areas. A master's degree also qualifies professionals to become public health directors, who earn average starting salaries of $70,000.
|State||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
|District of Columbia||950||$66,290|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Online MPH programs prepare degree holders for a variety of careers in government, social services, healthcare, and industry. Some public health professionals conduct research, while others focus on disease prevention and educating the public and policy-makers about health-related issues. Oriented toward problem-solving and public service, these professionals display an interest in science, health and wellness, and public policy. See below for sample career paths.
Annual Median Salary: $69,660
Projected Growth Rate: 9%
Working in government, higher education, and hospitals, these researchers study and report on diseases. They examine the patterns of human disease and seek to prevent outbreaks and reduce the spread of illness. They may collect data in the field, analyze data, report to policymakers, or educate the public. This position frequently requires an MPH.
Annual Median Salary: $45,360
Projected Growth Rate: 16%
Health educators work in community agencies and for healthcare providers to educate the public on health-related topics and promote wellness. Community health workers gather health-related data and educate specific groups about health concerns. Health educator positions require at least a bachelor's degree, and some may require a graduate degree.
Annual Median Salary: $75,555
Projected Growth Rate: N/A
Some biostatisticians work in health-related fields, such as public health, and analyze medical data. They design experiments and collect and analyze data to help medical professionals, scientists, and policymakers understand public health issues. Most biostatisticians hold a graduate degree.
The courses offered in online MPH programs vary by school, but they typically provide training in biostatistics and epidemiology, public health policy, and public health program design. They prepare public health professionals to assess community health needs and respond appropriately, and MPH programs typically include a capstone or internship. See below for some example MPH program courses.
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