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Public health is a multidisciplinary field that aims to protect the health of people, communities, and populations. It plays a critical role in modern society, as it contributes to preventing and controlling diseases. 

The field of public health offers a wide variety of careers, allowing professionals to specialize in different areas of interest. It encloses a wide range of disciplines, including epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, and health policy. 

If you are passionate about positively impacting people's lives and improving public health, there are many exciting and rewarding career paths to explore in this field. Let’s take a look.

1. Epidemiologists

Epidemiologists are public health professionals who study the patterns, causes, and effects of diseases and other health-related conditions within populations. They play a crucial role in public health by identifying disease risk factors, detecting outbreaks, and developing strategies to prevent or control the spread of illness. Their work involves:

  • Collecting and analyzing data.
  • Designing and conducting studies.
  • Monitoring public health trends to help inform policy and decision-making. 

Qualification required

A master's degree in public health (MPH) with a concentration in epidemiology or a related field, such as biostatistics, is required. Aspiring professionals seeking to advance their expertise can benefit immensely from pursuing an online masters of public health (MPH) program. This flexible learning option accommodates their existing commitments and enables them to comprehend public health principles and practices. 

Advanced research or leadership positions may also necessitate a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or DrPH).

Job outlook and salary

The job outlook for epidemiologists is promising, with the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics projecting a growth rate of about 5% between 2019 and 2029. The median annual salary for epidemiologists in the United States was around $74,560 as of May 2020.

2. Biostatisticians

Biostatisticians play a pivotal role in public health, employing statistical methods to analyze data related to health and disease trends. Their findings inform health policies, prevention strategies, and medical research. They collaborate with epidemiologists, healthcare professionals, and researchers in various settings.

Qualification required

To excel, one typically needs a master's degree in biostatistics, epidemiology, or a related field, but many hold doctorates. Strong mathematical, analytical, and computer skills are crucial. 

Job outlook and salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics projects a 33% growth in the field from 2019 to 2029. Salaries vary widely by location and experience, but the median annual wage for statisticians, including biostatisticians, was $91,160 in 2020.

3. Health Education Specialists

Health Education Specialists play a crucial role in public health by promoting healthier lifestyles and implementing educational programs to address various health concerns. They collaborate with stakeholders across diverse settings to meet community needs and empower informed decision-making. 

Qualification required

A bachelor's degree in health education or a related field is typically required, with a master's degree offering further advancement opportunities. Essential skills include communication, cultural competency, and program design. Certification, such as the CHES credential, can enhance credibility. 

Job outlook and salary

From 2019 to 2029, there is an expected growth of about %13 in this field. The median amount paid annually as salary in May 2020 was $56,500. 

4. Environmental health scientists

Human well-being and public health are affected by various environmental factors, making it essential for specialists like environmental health scientists to investigate these impacts. They identify and assess possible environmental dangers like air quality, soil contamination, or water pollution. Following risk identification and assessment, they create plans to decrease potential hazards while preventing illnesses. Their work involves aiding the formulation of policies and regulations at government agencies, consulting firms, research institutions, or other organizations.

Qualification required

A bachelor's degree in environmental health, environmental science, or a related field is typically required, with advanced degrees offering more specialized opportunities. Essential skills include analytical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and a strong foundation in biological and physical sciences.

Job outlook and salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics projects a 5% growth in the employment of environmental scientists and specialists from 2019 to 2029. As of May 2020, the median annual wage for these professionals was $71,360, with variations based on factors such as experience, location, and industry.

5. Public Health Nurses

Public Health Nurses serve as vital liaisons between communities and healthcare systems, working to improve population health and reduce health disparities. They provide care, education, and support to individuals and families while addressing social determinants of health and advocating for public health policies. 

Qualification required

A bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) and a registered nurse (RN) license are typically required, with some positions necessitating a Master of Public Health (MPH) or Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). 

Job outlook and salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics projects a 7% growth in registered nurse employment from 2019 to 2029, with a median annual wage of $75,330 in May 2020, varying by experience, location, and work setting.

6. Health Policy Analysts

Health Policy Analysts are responsible for examining and evaluating existing health policies, regulations, and programs. Proposing evidence-based recommendations for improvement is their duty. They research, analyze data, and collaborate with stakeholders to shape and implement effective health policies. 

Qualification required

A bachelor's degree in public health, public policy, or a related field is often required, with a master's degree, such as an MPH or MPP, enhancing career prospects. Essential skills include research, data analysis, communication, and critical thinking. 

Job outlook and salary

While specific job outlook and salary data for Health Policy Analysts are unavailable, the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics projects a 6% growth in political scientists, a related occupation, from 2019 to 2029. In May 2020, the median annual wage for political scientists was $125,350, with variations based on experience, location, and industry.


In short, the field of public health encloses a diverse range of careers. Each plays a critical role in promoting and safeguarding the well-being of communities worldwide. These professionals utilize their unique skills, education, and expertise to address difficult health challenges and reduce disparities. 

As the importance of public health continues to grow in today's rapidly changing world, these dedicated individuals remain at the forefront.  They work collaboratively to create healthier environments and empower individuals to lead thriving lives.

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