Highest Paid Public Health Degrees

Public health degrees are some of the fastest growing programs in the country, especially at the graduate level. There are countless verticals you can work within, and numerous job responsbilities you can have. The area of public health has very competitive salaries for those with the right degree, skill set, and experience.

We've compiled a comprehensive list of public health degrees and careers - view our Public Health Career Guide for more information. This data has helped us assemble the top list of the highest paying public health degrees.

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Instructions: You can read the full list of public health degrees, along with associated and typical public health careers for each degree below. Or, you can click on the buttons below to sort and filter by the top public health degree options.

Filter The Top Public Health Degrees

Generalist MPH Degree

The Generalist MPH degree program was designed for students that want to have an array of knowledge within the field of public health. This specific degree program is master's level, but programs focusing on the generalist track can be found at both bachelor's and master's levels. Colleges offering this program usually include a 45-65 credit hour requirement and include courses that focus on different aspects of public health, including Public Health Policy and Development, Epidemiology, Finance, Ethics, Research, Education, Community Health, and Global Health. The range in viewpoints for this degree program is what makes this program great for students that wish to pursue careers in public health specific fields or in positions that blend the characteristics of public health with other fields such as Business, Medicine, or Sociology.

Career Options with a Master of Public Health Degree

1. Community Health Workers

Recommended Degree: MPH in Community Health
on average (BLS)
What Do Community Health Workers Do?

Community Health Workers are responsible for working with the community on various health-related issues. For example, a community health worker may interview members of the community that have been diagnosed with Tuberculosis to determine what lead to their acquisition of this illness. This information can contribute to the creation of helpful prevention programs and site diagnoses for other non-affected members of society.

2. Health Educator

Recommended Degree: MPH in Public Health Education / DPH
on average (BLS)
What Does a Health Educator Do?
The goal of Health Educators is to connect the public with information and education about staying healthy. These professionals work hard to create educational programs for different age groups, advertise their programs through various schools and public health agencies, and instruct and mentor interested learners about the different methods for avoiding illnesses, nutrition, and personal health.

Public Health and Safety

Public Health and Safety degree programs take into consideration the need for attention surrounding public health and safety in the natural environment. This is a diverse field that includes many different aspects including the safety in the workplace, schools, and in public. Students that are involved in these degree programs may take courses such as Occupational Safety, Disaster Management, Environmental Health, Global Health, and Public Health Risk Assessment. The most common path for this concentration is the MPH, which can take around 2 years to complete at full time enrollment. Students that desire to contribute to the better health of society are a great fit for this program.

Career Options with a Public Health and Safety Degree

1. Occupational Health and Safety Specialists

Recommended Degree: Online MPH
on average (BLS)
In a day's work, these professionals are employed to investigate and report on the conditions of working environments. Specialists in this field will typically inspect a workplace to ensure that their conditions, disposal of waste, and employee scheduling are all on track with what is required by national standards. A formal report is then filed with the employer in the event that changes are needed in order to promote a safe environment for those that come in contact with the workplace.

2. Emergency Management Directors

Recommended Degree: Online MPH
on average (BLS)
What Do Directors of Emergency Management Do?
Emergency Management Directors are the main source of planning for detrimental events that pose a risk to public health. Directors often lead teams of planners that can help assist communities with reacting when serious circumstances such as natural disasters, mass illness, or terrorist attacks occur. These professionals may work for local community health agencies or local government.

Public Health Administration

Public Health Administration is a sector of public health that is centered around the many different aspects associated with public health providing agencies. Students within this degree program may see courses that include Finance, Leadership and Management, Ethics, Laws, Health Care Delivery, and Diverse Patient Care. The purpose of having such a diverse set of courses is to allow learners to have knowledge in these primary aspects, so that leadership positions and policy development careers can be obtained. The most popular degree path for this concentration is at the master's level, but there are some doctoral programs that focus on Public Health Administration as well. At the master's level, students can expect to take part in 40-60 credit hours for their degree program, which can take around 2 years to complete at full-time enrollment.

Career Options for a Public Health Administration Degree

1. Health Development Specialists

on average (BLS)
What Do Healthcare Development Specialists Do?
In public health careers, it is important the upcoming professionals have the right training and knowledge before entering into such a diverse field. Training and Development Specialists typically work with new or current employees to teach proper methods of working with the public. These professionals may be responsible for the creation and implementation of helpful training programs, curriculum, and delivery services for newly hired workers and current workers needing a refresh. Training Specialists can be employed by public health agencies that offer services directly to the public, local government, or even consultation services available to businesses.

2. Social and Community Service Managers

Recommended Degree: Public Health Administration / MSW
on average (BLS)
What Do Community Service Managers Do?
Managers within this field may be responsible for providing leadership in organizations that provide services to the general public. This can include local health and wellness departments, local government organizations, or with public-funded programs that improve the health of citizens. Some of the job responsibilities may include planning and implementing helpful programs, leading a team of professionals, and financial planning for the specified organization.

Health Care Administration

Health Care Administration is a specific field within the realm of public health that focuses on the needs of medical centers and health care providing agencies. While most public health programs are generalized and can be applied in many different public settings, Health Care Administration is developed specifically for agencies that provide health care to the public. The degree programs for this major include courses such as Population Health, Healthcare Delivery Systems, Healthcare Financial Management, Human Resource Management, and Healthcare Informatics. Master's and Doctoral degree programs are available for interested students and take 2 and 4 years respectively to complete.

Career Options with a Health Administration Degree

1. Hospital / Health Administration Managers

Recommended Degree: Health Administration Degree / MHA
on average (BLS)
What Do Healthcare Administrators Do?
Administrative Service Managers in the health care field may be tasked with upkeep in regards to finances, human resources, and recordkeeping. The goal of this field is to maintain normal operations within medical facilities and work alongside upper management in the maintenance of high numbers of employees and patients. Since most health and medical facilities require a large staff, professionals within this field are increasingly important to smooth operations.

2. Human Resource Managers

Recommended Degree: Human Services Degree
on average (BLS)
What Do HR Managers or Directors Do?
The administrative functions within health care facilities and hospitals can be overwhelming for a small team. In most areas, management is assigned to assist with overseeing teams of human resource professionals so that employees receive ample and quick service while at work. Some responsibilities of Human Resource Managers include recruiting new staff, planning for employee health programs, and management of employee benefits. These professionals play a very important role in the assurance of employee benefits for hospitals and medical centers.

Population Public Health

Population Public Health is a section of public health that focuses on the greater need for public health services. This degree program focuses on the need for widespread education and intervention in health care delivery services, public health education, and research. This program can be found at both the master's and doctoral level. Students that enroll in these programs can expect to take 40-60 credit hours for the master's program and a cumulative total of around 85 - 100 credit hours for the doctoral program. Depending on how students engage in their degree program - full or part time - the length of the program can vary.

Career Options with a Population Health Degree

1. Public Health Relations

Recommended Degree: Public Health Policy Degree
on average (BLS)
What Do Public Relations Specialists Do?
One important aspect of public health is communication with the population. In order to fully connect with members of society, public health organizations and government departments focusing on public health awareness may employ the expertise of Public Relations Specialists. Specialists in this field can help to develop helpful outreach programs for the public, communicate the need for individual public health awareness, and connect members of society with different sectors of public health. These professionals may work for local health departments, government agencies, or even in public health marketing and advertisement.

Public Health Services

In order to be an effective public health professional, students must understand the wide variety of public health services available to the public. Public Health Services as a degree program can provide students with further knowledge and understanding into the field of public health, the different sectors of society that are serviced by these organizations, and proper authorities for reporting and collection of public health data. The MPH program focusing on Public Health Services can be completed in around 2 years for students that are enrolled full-time. This program consists of courses that include Public Health Policy and Development, Occupational Health and Safety, Public Health Administration, and Ethics in Public Health.

Career Options wiht a Public Health Services Degree

1. Healthcare Social Workers

on average (BLS)
What Do Social Workers Do?
People that are receiving health services through hospitals or medical centers may require additional support through the treatment process. In order to ensure that all patients receive a great quality of care, Healthcare Social Workers may be assigned to help patients with obtaining psychological support, caregivers, education, and referrals. Since these professionals provide such a needed service to citizens, their contribution to overall public health is beyond standard.

2. Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers

Recommended Degree: Online MSW
on average (BLS)
What Do Mental Health / Substance Abuse Counselors Do?
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers work with the public to ensure patients suffering from these disorders receive proper initial and follow-up care throughout their treatment plan. In terms of public health, it is vital that people suffering from illness and disorders receive the right support so that they can become contributing members of society. These professionals can provide emotional support, referral services, and developmental services to people at rehabilitation centers or in the general public.

Environmental Health

One of the most important factors surrounding public health is the environment. Public health professionals have realized the importance of studying the environment's effects of the public in an effort to provide helpful programs and policies that are useful over time. Environmental Health degree programs are most commonly obtained through MPH programs at universities across the country. These degree programs seek to inform students about the effects of climate on health, policies that are effective in preventing negative environmental effects, toxicology, global health factors, and occupational safety. Degree programs in Environmental Health usually consist of around 45 credit hours for MPH programs and can be completed in 2 years or less.

Career Options with an Environmental Public Health Degree

1. Environmental Scientists and Specialists

on average (BLS)
What Do Environmental Health Specialists Do?
Environmental Scientists and Specialists learn many different aspects of both natural science and public health during the course of their degree program. Through this learning, these professionals can then apply their knowledge to helpful prevention programs and public planning focused on protecting the public. Pollution, natural disasters, workplace hazards, and other specific environmental threats to human health are topics that are of extreme importance to workers within this field. Specialists in environmental science can work with businesses, public health agencies, or the government in providing safe living and working environments for the general public.

2. Agriculture and Food Scientists

Recommended Degree: Environmental Health MPH
on average (BLS)
What Food & Agriculture Scientists Do?
In another aspect of public health, the food that people eat and the processes for growing foods must be under scrutiny by environmental science professionals at all times. Agriculture and Food Scientists investigate the safety and efficiency of crops and foods provided to the public in an effort to prevent health-related issues from consumption. Professionals within this field may be employed by food-producing agencies, local public health organizations, or local governments.

Public Health Informatics

The rise in the use of technology for public health research has been inviting for students interested in these degree programs. Public Health Informatics is a fascinating field that can prepare students for data analysis of public health information, using technology for public health education and research, and surveying public health data through the use of computer systems. Degree programs in Public Health Informatics are most often found at the master's level, but some post-graduate certificate programs are also available for interested students. The MPH in Public Health Informatics program involves courses such as Principles of Public Health Informatics, Management Principles, Database Development, Geographic Information Systems, and Software Engineering. The MPH program can be completed in around 2 years for students that are enrolled full-time.

Career Options with a Public Health Informatics Degree

1. Health Informatics Systems Managers

on average (BLS)
What Do Healthcare Informatics Managers Do?
In public health agencies, medical centers, and hospitals, Computer or IT Systems Managers are responsible for the upkeep, creation, and repair of computer systems housing public health data. These professionals have a strong blend of computer information systems knowledge as well as the expertise in public health needed to be a proactive member of this field. Computer and IT Managers may lead a team of experts to ensure that all computer systems are up to date with antivirus software, provide troubleshooting in the event of errors, and create innovative programs that help with the storage and analysis of public health information.

2. Informatics Systems Managers

Recommended Degree: MHI Degree
on average (BLS)
What Do Health or Nursing Informatics Systems Managers Do?
Public health organizations that use technology to store their information and research require the expertise of Database Administrators to secure their data. Database Administrators use computer software to create helpful storage programs for public health data, help manage and update the programs administered, and provide support to public health officials that use the programs. As computers continue to be a reliable source of data storage, professionals in this area may become increasingly important to public health agencies.


Biostatistics involves studies and research into the prevalence of illnesses and diseases within populations. Some of the main components of this degree program revolve around the need for proper collection, analysis, and reporting of biological statistics for public health improvement. At universities across the country, students have the option of pursuing a MPH or PH.D. in Biostatistics, which adds to the versatility of this concentration for upcoming learners. While in these programs, students can expect to take courses such as Theory of Statistics, Analysis of Categorical Data, Survival Analysis, and Clinical Trials. MPH programs typically require around 42-45 credit hours for completion.

Career Options with a Biostatistics Degree

1. Biostatisticians

Recommended Degree: Biostatistics Degree
on average (BLS)
What Do Biostatisticians Do?
Professionals in biostatistics are primarily concerned with population statistics related to public health. These professionals may organize the collection of health-related data, analyze the results, and promote planning and development in areas that show a need for change. The purpose of this field is to identify areas within the community that need improvement, due to a large number of illnesses, injuries, or diseases. The contribution this field provides towards the improvement of population health is profound to community health.


Epidemiology degree programs are available at both the master's and doctoral level. This section of public health involves a deeper look into the illnesses, injuries, and diseases that are prominent in society. The foundation of epidemiology includes courses such as Microbiology, Causation, Statistics, Logic & Probability, and Infectious Disease Epidemiology. Students that are enrolled in the master's program can expect to engage in 2-3 years of additional learning after their bachelor's degree. Ph.D. students may be expected to take an addition 4 years of studies after the completion of their bachelor's degree, or 2 years post-masters.

Career Options with an Epidemiology Degree

1. Epidemiologists

Recommended Degree: Epidemiology Degree
on average (BLS)
What Do Epidemiologists Do?
The purpose of the epidemiologists is to discover more about the diseases and illnesses that are present within their area of research. Starting from the very beginning, these professionals look at the biological development and transmission of different diseases in order to learn more about their lifespan. By developing this better understanding, professionals in epidemiology can provide important insight into how to care for and prevent mass spread of illness. Epidemiologists can work for private research companies, medical facilities, or even in government positions.

Doctor of Public Health (DPH)

The Doctor of Public Health (DPH) program is an excellent resource for MPH graduates that are looking for the most education and experience for leadership opportunities. This program can be found in 3 and 4 year formats at universities across the country. The DPH program involves a look into the complex attributes of public health, including Sociology, Statistics, Biostatistics, Health Methodology, and Problem Solving. While Ph.D. programs are more focused on the research aspect of public health, the DPH focuses more on the applied nature of public health positions. This degree program can prepare you to obtain high-level leadership positions for agencies that assist with the development and implementation of public health programs, positions in government-related public health programs, and even with large-scale medical facilities and healthcare centers.

Career Options with a DPH Degree

1. Medical and Health Services Managers

Recommended Degree: Doctor of Public Health / DPH Degree
on average (BLS)
What Do Healthcare Service Managers Do?
The role of the Medical and Health Service Manager includes planning, leadership, and change throughout healthcare facilities. These professionals may be responsible for managing staff within a specific area of a medical center, or have leadership responsibilities for an entire hospital. There are several duties associated with this career role, including financial planning, purchases, hiring/training new employees, scheduling, and improving service delivery. Professionals with a wide range of knowledge in public health are sought out to work in these positions.

PhD in Public Health

Most Ph.D. programs are designed to encourage more thorough investigations into the research and study of public health constituents. Ph.D. programs typically require students to engage in 4 years of additional learning from the bachelor's level, and 2-3 years post-master's learning. This experience can include taking courses that promote proper research practices, data collection, analysis, and policy development related to public health agencies. While many lower degree programs related to public health may be more focused on the applied aspects of public health development, Ph.D. graduates work towards providing helpful insight into the development of more helpful programs that are effective for the public in general.

Career Options with a PhD in Public Health

1. Medical Scientists

Recommended Degree: Doctor of Public Health / DPH
on average (BLS)
What Do Medical Scientists Do?
The Medical Scientist may play a huge part in the public's understanding of human health and the factors that can affect it. This field is primary research-driven and involves a look into the medicines, treatments, and environmental factors that can work to improve human health. Professionals that work in medical science may be involved in developing and implementing clinical trials and other experimentation in an effort to discover more helpful methods for improving public health. Medical Scientists may be employed by hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, or government agencies concerned with public health.

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