Master of Public Health: Salary, Benefits, and Opportunities

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A health care administrator stands in front of physicians.

Disadvantaged individuals, struggling communities, and organizations throughout the globe rely on public health professionals to protect their health. In some cases, people employed by public health agencies, such as community wellness clinics, educate communities about healthy food choices and the benefits of exercise. In other instances, public health professionals prevent or minimize health problems by implementing educational programs, such as how to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. They may also spearhead initiatives designed to improve health care accessibility to underserved populations.

Public health is a challenging field that requires dedication and a willingness to work hard. For those who are up to the task, there are a number of personal and professional benefits associated with this career path.

Individuals interested in pursuing a career in public health are likely to find that earning an advanced degree, such as an online Master of Public Health (MPH), can provide them with the knowledge and skills to succeed. In addition to preparing students to aid underserved communities, these programs help graduates understand how to create a healthier future for the populations they serve.

Benefits of Completing a Master of Public Health

The benefits of completing an MPH are numerous. For example, data suggests that the average Master of Public Health salary is higher than the annual earnings of those without an advanced degree. Enhanced earning potential is only one of the benefits associated with completing an MPH. Graduates of Ohio University’s online program often also have the ability to make a direct impact on individuals and communities, work in a variety of public health settings, and serve as leaders in this dynamic field.

Make a Direct Impact on Individuals and Communities

Public health professionals strive to improve the lives of individuals and communities by helping to prevent people from getting sick. They promote wellness by encouraging healthy behaviors, such as limiting the consumption of alcohol and fast food; they also encourage populations to vaccinate children and adults to prevent ailments such as measles, chickenpox, and whooping cough. Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that a person’s sense of well-being, which includes one’s overall health, is associated with a decreased risk of illness and increased productivity at work or school. Completing a Master of Public Health can help individuals make a stronger impact on the people they serve.

Work in a Variety of Public Health Settings

Individuals who pursue a career in public health can work with a diverse range of health organizations in a variety of settings. From working as a health care administrator at a community clinic to pursuing opportunities with the World Health Organization or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the job prospects are numerous. Other examples of public health positions include health educators, nutritionists, public policymakers, and occupational health and safety professionals. As such, MPH graduates may feel energized and invigorated, since holding an advanced degree provides them with access to many rewarding career paths.

Earn a Higher Salary

Master of Public Health graduates tends to earn more than peers without a graduate degree. For example, according to October 2019 PayScale data, the average public health administrator salary is around $65,000 per year, whereas individuals with a Master of Public Health earn an average of $81,000 per year.

Become a Health Leader

Public health professionals who aspire to change the health landscape for the better may be unsure how to reach those goals. However, Master of Public Health graduates often are equipped to lead teams, such as groups tasked with developing policies designed to support community health efforts, and drive organizations, such as community health care clinics, toward making a larger impact. The online MPH program at Ohio University combines social, environmental, cultural, and behavioral determinants of public health. Coursework also teaches students how to assess, design, implement, and evaluate health interventions with the individuals and communities they serve. In turn, graduates often are able to leverage their expertise in ways that help them with their professional pursuits.

Learn More

Individuals interested in taking the next step in their public health careers, gaining access to greater job prospects, and earning a Master of Public Health salary may find that completing an advanced degree can help them move toward these goals.

Ohio University’s online Master of Public Health program is an ideal choice for professionals interested in learning how to protect and promote the health of vulnerable communities. In addition to enjoying the flexibility of 100% online coursework, many students are able to graduate in two years. Discover how the online Master of Public Health at Ohio University can help you grow your expertise and prepare for an exciting public health career.

Recommended Reading

3 Lucrative MPH Career Opportunities for Graduates
MPA vs. MPH: Which One Is Right for You?
MPH vs. MBA: What Students Need to Know


American Public Health Association, “What Is Public Health?
CDC Foundation, “What Is Public Health?”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Well-Being Concepts”
PayScale, “Average Public Health Administrator Salary”
PayScale, Master of Public Health (MPH), Health Care Administration Degree
PLOS Medicine, “Climate Change, Urban Health, and the Promotion of Health Equity”
Politico, “Mass Shootings Renew Call on ‘Public Health Crisis’”
Preventing Chronic Disease, “Public Health 3.0: A Call to Action for Public Health to Meet the Challenges of the 21st Century”
Rural Health Information Hub, Healthcare Access in Rural Communities
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Healthcare Occupations