Communities across the nation need knowledgeable health care professionals to serve the public. A Master of Public Health degree prepares graduates for rewarding careers with public health organizations and the broader medical industry. With a projected increase in jobs through 2026 for MPH graduates, there will be many fulfilling and lucrative MPH careers available at the local, state, and global levels.
Career Options with an MPH Degree
Among the many career opportunities for MPH holders, jobs as medical and health services managers, epidemiologists, and health educators provide meaningful work and impressive financial compensation.
Medical and Health Services Manager
Medical and health services managers plan, direct, and coordinate medical and health services in hospitals, clinics, managed care organizations, public health agencies, or similar organizations. Positions are available at many levels, from specific departments and wards to entire health networks. The responsibilities vary from post to post, but generally involve managing fiscal operations, human resources, and other administrative tasks.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities in this sector are projected to grow by 20% from 2016 to 2026, which is higher than the average for all other occupations. In May 2018, the median annual wage for full-time administrative services managers in health care and social assistance was $88,050, according to the BLS.
Necessary Skills for Medical and Health Services Managers
- Analytical skills. Medical and health services managers need to have the ability to find ways to increase an organization’s efficiency.
- The ability to clearly convey information across departments and levels is key to this role.
- Attention to detail. Administrative responsibilities such as equipment purchases and building code compliance require a high degree of precision.
- This role requires the ability to supervise and manage the activities of others.
- The need to manage staff and to interact with many departments within an organization makes social skills essential to this position.
- This role requires competence in health care software and tools.
The role of epidemiologists in health care organizations is to investigate disease and injury patterns and seek to reduce their impact through community education, policy, and further research.
The BLS projects a 9% growth in employment opportunities for epidemiologists from 2016 to 2026, similar to the average for all occupations. Compared to other MPH careers, competition for epidemiology jobs is moderate if graduates are open to diverse specialties in the field, such as mental health and substance abuse.
According to the BLS, in May 2018, the median annual wage for epidemiologists was $69,660. Those performing scientific and research development services earned the most at $98,800; those working in colleges, universities, and professional schools earned the least at $61,790.
Necessary Skills for Epidemiologists
- Analytical skills. This role requires the ability to analyze patterns in large amounts of data.
- Being able to explain complex data to groups with varying levels of knowledge is required.
- Critical thinking. Since transforming data into policy recommendations based on analysis is a key responsibility of this position, this skill is essential.
- Attention to detail. To avoid errors when collecting and calculating data, it is important to be detail
- Math and statistical skills. Epidemiologists should possess advanced math and statistical knowledge, including familiarity with computational software, to be able to design and administer studies and surveys.
- Teaching skills. This role requires community outreach and the ability to clearly educate the public on health risks.
Health educators are tasked with promoting wellness by teaching people about healthy behaviors. It’s their job to develop data-backed strategies to improve health outcomes at the individual and community levels.
The BLS projects a 16% increase in the employment of health educators over the ten-year period from 2016 to 2026. Governments and health care providers are pursuing ways to reduce costs and improve patients’ lives by teaching healthy habits, as well as by explaining available services to prevent costly diseases and related medical care. These efforts will drive the demand for well-trained health educators.
According to the BLS, in May 2018, the median annual wage for health educators was $54,220. State, local, and private hospitals provided the highest paying opportunities, with health educators there earning $64,830, while individual and family services positions were the lowest paying at $41,330.
Necessary Skills for Health Educators
- Analytical skills. Health educators may be required to analyze data to evaluate the effectiveness of wellness programs.
- Instructional skills. Public speaking skills are necessary to lead programs, teach classes, and communicate information and recommendations to clients and families.
- Interpersonal skills. This role requires interacting with people from diverse backgrounds, making active listening and cultural awareness important.
- Problem Complex challenges facing a community require health educators to devise creative strategies and solutions.
- Writing skills. Health educators are responsible for developing written materials to convey health-related information to members of their community.
The Online MPH Program at Ohio University Can Prepare You for MPH Careers
An online Master of Public Health degree from Ohio University gives graduates the skills and knowledge they need to serve communities in need. Enrolled students will work with leaders in their field to understand and resolve the health disparities that vulnerable, underserved communities face. A career as a medical and health services manager, an epidemiologist, or a health educator provides an opportunity to have a positive impact on society. Get more details about the online MPH program, and take the next step toward a career in public health.