What Can I Do with a Public Health Degree?

The field of public health encompasses a wide range of careers. The options you have if you earn a degree in this field may include administrative, research and medical positions. Read on to learn about possible careers and their educational requirements. Schools offering Public Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Options

Environmental health specialist, biostatistician, health educator and health service administrator are only a few of your many career options if you hold a degree in public health. Most career options involve keeping the community safe and healthy. Educational requirements for these positions vary, with a bachelor's degree usually as the minimum.

Important Facts About Public Health Careers

Job Outlook (2016-2026) 18% growth (Healthcare Occupations)
Required Education All these occupations require 4-year degrees or higher.
Work Environment Offices in healthcare facilities, a great deal of computer work using specialized software, fieldwork collecting data or samples, non-profits organizations
Similar Occupations Epidemiology, environmental engineering, human resource management, social and community service management.

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Environmental Health Specialist

Environmental health specialists ensure food, water, air, and the general environment are safe. In this area of public health, you may do research, analyze specimens, develop standards or work on regulations. Your work will largely focus on trying to prevent health hazards and maintaining a healthy living environment for humans and animals. You may work for government agencies, private companies or health care organizations.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a bachelor's degree may be sufficient for some entry-level positions in environmental health (www.bls.gov). However, employers may prefer a master's degree, and a doctoral degree may even be needed for some positions, such as professor and researcher.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, environmental scientists and specialists, (including health) earned a median salary of $71,130 in 2018. The largest employers of these workers were management, scientific, and technical consulting organizations who paid a mean average wage of $78,570.


Biostatisticians use data to figure out the causes of diseases or injuries. You may analyze drunk driving statistics to determine the age group most likely to drink and drive, or you may study health habits and how they relate to obesity. You may work in the government, for private companies or with research facilities or non-profit organizations. You may be able to enter the field with a bachelor's degree, but graduate degrees are a common requirement.


The BLS notes that a master's degree is the most common educational requirement for a statistician. Some work in the field with only a bachelor's degree, while others earn a doctorate. These degrees are usually in statistics or a similar subject.


As of June 2019, Payscale.com reported a median salary of $75,691 for biostatisticians with most making between $56,000 and $115,000 annually.

Health Educator

Health education can include jobs as a teacher or nurse. You may help supply the community with information on disease prevention, encourage healthy habits or assist with the development of health programs. You may also assist with the development of policies related to health education.


A master's degree or doctoral degree is typically necessary to work as a public health educator, according to the BLS. If you're interested in this career, you might earn a degree in public health education or community health education.


The BLS reported that as of 2018, the median annual salary of health educators was $54,220. Most health educators were earning between $32,000 and $98,530 at this time.

Health Service Administrator

Work in the field of health service administration can include jobs in health departments, schools, hospitals or private companies. You may work with other administrators to create policies and procedures that help maintain the health and safety of workers, patients, customers or the community. Some of your work may be managing funding to keep health programs on a budget.


The BLS noted that a bachelor's degree is often required for entry-level health service administrator positions. You might also earn a master's degree related to health or business. This career also requires that you have work experience in healthcare, and licensure is often necessary for those who work in nursing homes.


The BLS salary data for medical and health services managers (2018) reported median earnings of $99,730. The majority of these professionals earned between $76,050 and $130,820.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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