The University Network

12 Jobs For Public Health Majors

At large, public health majors work to safeguard the health of humans and the environment. A degree in public health can open up many job opportunities in medicine, education, law and more. Oftentimes, public health majors end up working for the government, hospitals and universities, among others. While some of the jobs on this list can be achieved with solely a bachelor’s degree, many of them require further, more specialized education or training.

Here is a list of 12 possible jobs for public health majors:

Most Common Jobs for Public Health Majors

1. Occupational Health and Safety Specialist

Occupational health and safety specialists protect workers by evaluating and analyzing work environments to make sure they are following set safety regulations. They can work for a wide range of industries, including hospitals, manufacturers, and local, state and federal governments, among others. Typically, in addition to a bachelor’s degree, aspiring occupational health and safety specialists must complete on-the-job training and become certified before starting a full-time job.

Median annual wage: $67,720

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree & certification

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 17%

2. Environmental Scientist

The health of humanity relies on the well-being of the environment, so many people who study public health are inclined to work on the environmental side of the field. Environmental scientists, typically, are tasked with studying, analyzing and potentially providing solutions to environmental problems, including pollution, sustainability, conservation and climate change. Oftentimes, they are employed by the government or research universities. While some environmental science jobs can be earned with only a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree will open up many more prestigious employment opportunities.

Median annual wage: $69,400

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s/Master’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 3%

3. Health and Safety Engineer

Health and safety engineers design and develop systems and procedures that ensure workers are safe from injury and harm. At big companies, they could work on the floor, constantly monitoring and improving safety devices and systems. This field is best fit for those who also have an interest and background in engineering. Although some jobs are attainable with just one bachelor’s degree, most require some type of degree in both public health and engineering.

Median annual wage: $88,510

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s/Master’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 3%

Specialized, Unique Jobs for Public Health Majors

4. Public Health Nurse

Public health nurses are responsible for monitoring the health of multiple people, and sometimes entire communities, at one time. They work to educate groups about the health threats they face in their communities and develop widespread solutions to those threats. An example of a specific, day-to-day task could be organizing and administering health events, such as flu-shots or screenings. To become a public health nurse, you likely will also have to major in nursing.

Median annual wage: $57,321

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree in nursing

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 6%

5. Epidemiologist

Epidemiologists are responsible for investigating the origin and spread of disease and injury in humans. They also are tasked with developing ways to prevent illness and harm, which they can do by spreading awareness and educating community members, policy makers and others. They typically work in labs in hospitals, universities, and state and local governments. Aspiring epidemiologists often have to earn their master’s degree in public health or epidemiology before they are eligible for a full-time job.

Median annual wage: $69,660

Common entry-level degree: Master’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 20%

6. Health Services Manager

Health service management is a position best fit for those who enjoy the administrative side of the health industry. They are commonly tasked with planning and overseeing the operations of a hospital, clinic, public health agency and others. In addition to having an interest in improving human health, they also must have a business-geared mind and a knowledge of healthcare laws and regulations. Generally, aspiring health service managers need a master’s degree in business administration, or a similar field, and must be certified to work full-time.

Median annual wage: $69,660

Common entry-level degree: Master’s degree & certification

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 0.7%

Non-Traditional Jobs for Public Health Majors

7. College Professor

As with many students in the sciences, many public health majors go on to become professors of their discipline. Patience, communication, organization and enthusiasm are some of the most important characteristics of a good college professor. To earn a job teaching at the post-secondary level, a master’s degree (and sometimes a doctorate degree), is required. In addition to teaching, some college professors also conduct research and write scholarly articles.

Median annual wage: $67,140

Common entry-level degree: Master’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 3%

8. High School Teacher

Public health majors typically have a good understanding of biology and other science disciplines, so some of them go on to teach science in high school. However, those aspiring to teach often have to complete an internship in a school classroom, pass the state-required test for teachers and receive a teaching certificate/license.

If you are dead set on being a teacher, the best advice would be to major in education. But if you’re still uncertain about what you want to do, a public health degree could ultimately help you land a teaching job.

Median annual wage: $59,170

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree & teaching license

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 1%

9. Social Worker

A life in social work seems like an unconventional career path for most public health majors, but the two fields often coincide. Someone interested in both fields could, for example, help impacted individuals and their communities with the mental health issues that stem from disease, illness or injury.

Generally, social workers work at hospitals, schools, military bases, prisons and more. All social workers are required to be licensed, and most of the time, a master’s degree in social work is also needed to earn a job.

Median annual wage: $47,980

Common entry-level degree: Master’s degree & license

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 0%

Other Potential Jobs for Public Health Majors

10. Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

If you’re interested in helping sick people, but don’t have any interest in being out in the field or in a lab, you might consider becoming a sales representative for a pharmaceutical company. Sales representatives work on behalf of a pharmaceutical or biotechnology company to sell their products, whether it be medications or medical devices, to doctors, physicians and hospitals. Becoming a sales representative only requires a bachelor’s degree, though many pursue additional education in business as well.

Median annual wage: $78,830

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 25%

11. Environmental/Health Reporter

Technically, there is no required degree to become a reporter, but you will have a hard time finding a job without one. Skilled reporters are master storytellers with strong writing and grammar skills. To learn the essential skills, most aspiring reporters study journalism in college. However, the knowledge gained through a public health degree will give you an advantage in reporting on health and the environment.

Median annual wage: $40,910

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 11%

12. Public Health Lawyer

Public health lawyers play a very important role in environmentalism. They represent individuals and communities that may have been injured or developed an illness due to environmental conditions in a town, workplace, building or more.

However, to become a public health lawyer, completing a bachelor’s degree program is just the first step. Aspiring lawyers will also have to pass the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), apply to law school, earn a Juris Doctor degree and pass the Bar examination — all before they can begin to practice law. Generally, it takes 3 years to graduate from law school, so the entire process takes 7-8 years. If you’re interested in earning your master’s degree in public health while working towards your Juris Doctor degree, some universities, such as the University of Connecticut, offer joint programs.

Median annual wage: $119,250

Common entry-level degree: Juris Doctor degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 4%

10 Famous People Who Studied Public Health

  1. Nathan Adrian, swimmer
  2. Rebecca Alexander, author
  3. Margaret Chan, physician
  4. Susan Desmond-Hellmann, business executive
  5. Andrew Laming, politician
  6. Roberto Morales Ojeda, politician
  7. Mirta Roses Periago, epidemiologist
  8. Louise Slaughter, politician
  9. Christy Turlington, model
  10. Dr. Lee Jong-Wook, director general of WHO