In today’s age and era, there are plenty of options to choose from when deciding on a career pathway. However, the best course of action is often to pursue one where you can grow professionally, enjoy job security, and earn lucrative salaries. And a career in the public health sector can help you achieve all three.
Although public health careers have existed for a long time now, the role of public health professionals is more recognized now than ever before. With the emergence of modern medicine, advanced diagnostics, and new scientific research coming to light daily, this industry is snowballing by the minute. Therefore, it’s only wise to align your professional goals with them.
Public health officers can work in diverse roles and positions; however, their ultimate objective is disease prevention, health promotion, and medical awareness. To achieve this, they encompass a broad range of knowledge across various disciplines, including epidemiology, statistics, and health policies.
Additionally, while a physician treats individual patients, those from the public health sector focus on entire populations and communities—to bring forth large-scale differences.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the significance of preventive actions and other public health measures even more. And so, if you’re interested in pursuing a career in this field, here are six high-paying options you might want to consider.
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A Health Services Manager
A health services manager oversees, plans, directs, and coordinates the efficient delivery of healthcare services in various work settings. Since they work in a leadership role, their responsibilities are vast and can range from developing policies to analyzing data. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, their median pay is $101,340 annually.
To qualify for this job, you must have a master’s degree in public health. Fortunately, with the feasibility of an MPH online degree program, you can enroll from home and take classes at your own pace. Best of all, you can work towards career advancement without putting your current job on hold.
Epidemiology is a public health discipline focusing on certain diseases’ incidence, outbreak, or prevalence in specific populations. The job of an epidemiologist primarily involves field and lab work.
These individuals collect samples from potential epidemic sites and identify their causative agents by tracking, isolating, and testing suspected patients.
Using their professional knowledge and skills, epidemiologists design and implement strategies to manage or control prevailing illnesses in a community. They raise awareness regarding proper hygiene and health protocols to ensure more people don’t get sick.
Additionally, they conduct research studies to collect, analyze, and report data to the relevant healthcare authorities.
Although several factors like location, experience, and job responsibilities can influence how much you earn as an epidemiologist, their typical median pay is $78,830 annually.
Scientific research and medicine rely heavily on data to design, improve, and advance existing care. To do this, the role of a biostatistician is vital. While any research associate can collect data, it takes expertise and skills to convert this into something meaningful.
Biostatisticians accomplish this using various quantitative tools and their understanding of statistics and biology. From studying drug trials and vaccine efficacy to predicting what causes cancer and other diseases, these professionals aim to answer these questions.
When you train as a biostatistician, you can determine specific factors influencing population health and overall well-being. Using your data, you can decide which communities are more at risk of acquiring certain illnesses, so they can take preventive measures before it’s too late.
Additionally, you can work in various industries, including hospitals or clinics, academia, technology, pharmaceutical companies, government corporations, or even nonprofit organizations. On average, you can earn a pay of $96,280 per year.
A Public Health Attorney
If your interests lie in both the medical industry and the legal sector, a career as public health attorney might be the perfect one for you. These professionals often advise government agencies or communities to explain their legal rights or advocate for them during a trial.
They represent their clients during cases involving drug safety, disease intervention, treatment plans, or insurance benefits.
For instance, if a town’s legal authority doesn’t provide clean drinking water or other health safety measures, community members can hire you to decide the proper action. Additionally, while you can work for an organization or in a public health office, you can open your private consultancy and enjoy more autonomy. Like most lawyers, you can earn a median pay of $127,990 annually—which can go even higher, depending on who you work for and where.
A Behavioral Health Coordinator
Since a community’s overall well-being also includes its emotional and mental health, public health officials must focus on this aspect. Therefore, behavioral health deals with the emotions, actions, behaviors, life stressors, and crises of individuals in a community.
This branch of healthcare often directs its treatment toward patients dealing with substance abuse, eating disorders, gambling, or other addictive patterns.
A behavioral health coordinator is responsible for determining the source of adverse mental health of the patient and figuring out ways to help them. They work closely with other primary care providers to ensure an effective treatment plan gets developed without harming physical health.
If you pursue this career, you can work in various healthcare settings like rehabilitator centers, outpatient clinics, and hospitals. Employment opportunities for this job are likely to grow by 22% through 2031. The median annual wage for a behavioral health coordinator is $48,520.
6. A Public Health Nurse
Public health nurses are professionals of two highly valued careers in the medical industry—nursing and public health. They advocate for the health and well-being of entire communities by educating the people, raising awareness, and doing all they can to improve health outcomes.
When sick patients in a community seek treatment or care, a public health nurse monitors their vitals to track even the most minor changes. They work closely with other healthcare professionals and refer their patients to the appropriate provider when necessary.
Due to their medical expertise and skills, they can take quick action and prevent patients from falling into worsening health conditions.
Public health nurses can earn $65,851 annually, depending on their certification, skills, experience, and location.
A public health career is ideal if you enjoy working in the healthcare sector and are passionate about making a difference in your community. And even though your interests may vary, plenty of high-paying career options in this field can align perfectly with your desires.
Therefore, start by listing your professional goals, gaining the relevant qualifications and skills, and lastly, determining which job you’re most excited about.