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7 Interesting Careers in Public Health

A public health career rewards you with an unusual selection of positions and stimulating work environments. We’ve created a list of some of the most interesting careers in public health:

  • Community health educator—Community Health educators teach people about behaviors that promote wellness. They develop and implement strategies to improve the health of individuals and communities. Community health workers collect data and discuss health concerns with members of specific populations or communities. Health educators work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nonprofit organizations, government, doctors’ offices, private businesses, and colleges. They generally work full time. Community health educators need a bachelor’s degree in Public Health. Many employers require the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential. Community health educators require a BS in Public Health or related degree for entry-level positions and the median annual wage for health educators is $46,080 per year.1

  • Epidemiology research associate—An epidemiology research associate investigates the causes, patterns, and effects of disease and injury in people. Epidemiology research associates work in community health settings and offices of state and local health departments or hospitals. Some epidemiology research associates spend most of their time in the field collecting samples and conducting interviews to help increase their understanding of disease. The entry-level education requirement is a master’s in public health (MPH) degree. The median salary is $53,769 per year.2

  • Epidemiologist—Epidemiologists are public health professionals who investigate and describe the determinants and distribution of disease, disability, or health outcomes. Many epidemiologists develop the means for prevention and control activities and conduct research aimed at improving the overall health of the community. They seek to reduce the risk and occurrence of negative health outcomes through research, community education, and health policy use epidemiology research methods and investigative techniques to reach their findings. Epidemiologists are scientists who typically need doctoral-level training such as a PhD in Public Health. Some also have a medical degree. Those at the top of their profession can earn up to $98,800.2

  • Refugee coordinator—These professionals help develop, implement, and maintain refugee settlements. Refugee coordinators help provide relief, protection, and resettlement services for refugees, asylum seekers, human trafficking victims, and other displaced people. Refugee coordinators work in office environments coordinating with other team members and also work directly with refugees. The minimum requirement for this position is a bachelor’s degree in public health, health studies, human services, or related degrees. The median salary is about $44,600.4

  • Government public health policy analyst—In this position, public health professionals research a range of complex problems including public health systems, national and international healthcare systems, and national defense, and then employ policy solutions. They work to raise public awareness of health and social determinants of health issues such as poverty, crime prevention, and protecting the environment. A master’s in public health is an appropriate entry-level degree and a doctorate in public health is an advanced degree for those who work as leaders and managers of public policy-related institutions. Policy analysts earn an average of $67,691 per year.4

  • Public Health Community Health Researcher – Community Health Researchers conduct research aimed at improving overall human health in academic or community settings. They often use applied research methods to reach their findings and share these findings with others to improve the health of a community. The median salary is $84,810.5

  • Public health director—Walden’s Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) is for public health professionals who wish to assume a leadership role in health promotion and disease prevention in a community health setting and serve as a director of a health department, nongovernment organization, or other community health organization. They work in areas of public health advocacy, communication, critical analysis, leadership, and associated research activities as leaders and administrators in practice-based settings and apply research to advocate for change. The median salary for public health directors and administrators is $99,730.6

Online Public Health Degree Programs at Walden University

Walden offers a broad range of online public health and health sciences degrees to prepare you for a variety of public health careers.

Doctoral Degrees in Public Health

  • Doctor of Healthcare Administration (DHA)
  • Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
  • PhD in Health Education Promotion
  • PhD in Health Services
  • PhD in Public Health

Master’s in Public Health Degrees

Bachelor’s in Public Health Degrees

  • BS in Health Studies
  • BS in Healthcare Management
  • BS in Public Health

Graduate Certificates in Public Health

  • Graduate Certificate in Public Health

Explore Walden University's online public health degree programs that fit your career goals. Earn your degree in a convenient, flexible online format that fits your life and schedule.


1Source: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/health-educators.htm
2Source: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/epidemiologists.htm#tab-5
3Source: https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/refugee-resettlement-coordinator-salary-SRCH_KO0,32.htm
4Source: http://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/policy-analyst-salary-SRCH_KO0,14.htm
5Source: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/medical-scientists.htm
6Source: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm#tab-1

*Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2013). Epidemiologists. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/epidemiologists.htm
*GlassDoor.com. Salaries. Refugee Resettlement Coordinator Salaries. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/refugee-resettlement-coordinator-salary-SRCH_KO0,32.htm
*GlassDoor.com. Salaries. Policy Analyst Salaries. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/policy-analyst-salary-SRCH_KO0,14.htm
*Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2013). Medical Scientists. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/medical-scientists.htm
*Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2013). Medical and Health Services Managers. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

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