Public health can be defined as the science of protecting and improving the health of communities through a variety of solutions, including promoting healthy lifestyles, preventing disease and injury, and detecting and responding to infectious diseases.
With the goal of addressing the health of specific populations instead of the individual, public health initiatives can occur at many different levels and through a variety of strategies. Accordingly, the occupational landscape for public health professionals is full of opportunity.
In addition to the diverse range of careers and the opportunity to make an impact, the average public health salary may exceed the national salary average for all occupations, depending on the position and area of work an individual chooses to pursue.
For those considering earning a master’s in public health (MPH), the following list offers insight into some of the highest paying public health jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Epidemiology is the study and analysis of patterns and determinants of health and disease conditions among populations. Epidemiologists use their work to conduct research, influence health policies, and inform community education needs. Professionals in this role will spend time developing and directing studies and analyzing data. Another key duty of epidemiologists is communicating findings to the public and health policy makers.
Health and safety engineers are responsible for developing procedures and systems that protect people from illness and injury. This role combines engineering with health and safety to ensure machinery, chemicals, software and other products do not harm people or cause property damage. Individuals in this profession may also be involved in investigations of industrial accidents and injuries to determine if the cause was preventable and provide solutions for preventing similar incidents moving forward.
The role of an emergency management director is to create plans and procedures for responding to emergencies, such as natural disasters. Emergency management directors also are responsible for leading the response during an emergency and in the aftermath. This is typically done in coordination with political officials, public safety professionals, government organizations and nonprofits.
Medical and health services managers are tasked with planning, directing, and coordinating healthcare services for an organization or department within a larger entity. Some may work as the manager for a facility while others head up clinical areas within a healthcare establishment or a medical practice. In this role, medical and health services managers are responsible for understanding laws, regulations, and technology related to healthcare.