17 Highest Paid Jobs in Public Health​

In a field as multidisciplinary as public health, careers and work environments are diverse. Professionals serve in an array of clinical and administrative roles and come from varying educational backgrounds, from high school graduates to PhDs.

While demand is growing for all kinds of professionals in public health, most top-paying public health careers, including health services management and safety engineering, require a four-year degree. The highest paid public health workers can earn an average of $88,580 to $93,910, especially in administrative or management contexts.

The number and scope of jobs available in public health is expanding. It can be difficult to know where to start and what to expect when youre looking for your first job in the field. To give you a better idea of your options, weve compiled data from the BLS to identify the best paying public health careers by education level. Our brief overviews include average salary ranges, projected job growth and basic requirements. For a full occupational profile, click the BLS source link below each graph.

Highest Paid Public Health Jobs
  • Biostatistician. $92,270.
  • Computer and Information System Managers In Healthcare. $151,150.
  • Doctorate Degree Holders. $80,560.
  • Emergency Management Director. $76,250.
  • Environmental Scientists. $73,230.
  • Epidemiologist. $74,560.
  • Health and Safety Engineer. $94,240.
  • Medical and Health Services Managers.


What does highest paid jobs in public health mean?

The public healthcare field has some of the highest paying professional and technical jobs and many are fast-growing specialties. Public health occupations focus on population-based prevention programs to ward off disease and underlying health conditions in people and communities before they begin. Experience and education requirements for jobs in the healthcare industry vary and these positions earn more salary and wages than average for the healthcare field.

17 highest paid jobs in public health

If you hold a degree in public health or a related field, consider joining the public health sector. Here are the top paying jobs in public health to help you decide which position may be right for you:

Primary duties: A public health communications associate informs, motivates and influences people and organizations about important health issues and prevention techniques. They often work in corporate communications for healthcare companies, hospitals or other institutions and handle all aspects of internal and external communications to employees or the public. Communication associates design and develop marketing and communication campaigns across all forms of media, including print, digital, social or broadcast media.

Primary duties: A dietitian is a nutrition professional with expertise in the dietary requirements of human beings. They review eating habits of children and adults to create healthy meal plans that align with a clients needs, like weight loss or gain, diabetes control or cholesterol reduction. Dietitians give advice for general wellness and explain how nutrition and diet is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Many dietitians work in hospitals, nursing homes, schools or doctors offices and have a bachelors degree or higher.

Primary duties: A social services director determines health and wellness services and programs that best benefit a community or population, like mental health programs, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, reproductive health education or diet and nutrition information. They manage the day-to-day operations and activities of personnel and clients, write grants or do fundraising and work with community leaders to raise awareness for health issues, concerns or prevention methods. A social services director typically holds a degree and experience in social work and is employed by nursing homes, hospitals, schools, nonprofit organizations or government agencies.

Primary duties: A medical investigator or examiner collects and examines the body of a deceased person to find the cause of death, whether from natural causes or as part of criminal investigations. They work in morgues and laboratories to conduct their investigations and may visit private homes or crime scenes as needed. Medical investigators document and report results of their work and sometimes testify in court.

Primary duties: A water treatment specialist is an environmental science and protection professional who performs laboratory and field tests to monitor and investigate water pollution or clarity. They install and operate water purification equipment and work with storage and distribution of clean water supply for public consumption. Water treatment specialists monitor meters and operating controls, track and document usage or pollution rates and typically work for the local, state or federal government.

Primary duties: A disaster recovery manager designs, implements and manages an organizations disaster recovery plan for events like earthquakes and other natural incidents, though they also work with human-caused situations like oil spills or other large-scale incidents. Most of their work is preparatory, like calculating odds of an event and the cost or potential damage or human risk assessment. Disaster recovery managers work closely with healthcare providers, hospitals and other facilities during a crisis to provide medical care or triage.

Primary duties: A microbiologist is a research doctor who studies microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites and algae to understand how they live, grow and interact with other organisms or environments. They are experts on pathogens and often provide the foundation for treatment creation and care. Microbiologists also investigate how well antibiotics or other treatments work, particularly for widespread health events, like an outbreak, epidemic or pandemic.

Primary duties: An emergency services manager handles preparedness training for first responders, volunteers and the public for events like natural disaster relief from hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, fires or landslides. They organize clean water, food, shelter and medical care for people hurt or affected by disasters. Most emergency services managers work for local, state or national agencies alongside other health and safety professionals.

Primary duties: An epidemiologist is a disease researcher who investigates the cause of a disease or illness, establishes people or demographics most at risk and determines how to prevent, slow or stop the disease. Many within the medical field, like doctors, veterinarians, scientists and others can train for a specialty in epidemiology. These medical professionals often work for government or research institutions, though rarely treat patients directly. Epidemiologists investigate to make conclusions about public health incidents related to:

Primary duties: An information system manager in healthcare plans, designs, implements and oversees all computerized health information, like medical and billing records, patient history, imaging, devices and more. They train and educate healthcare workers on how to use the technology properly, assist in upgrades or new device installations and support the maintenance of security software to prevent any breaches. Information systems managers also create budgets and health information policy and procedure to best protect sensitive and personal data used or stored in healthcare computer and storage systems.

Primary duties: A public health attorney creates laws and regulations that prevent or reduce health issues and encourage and promote the good health and wellbeing of the public. They advise and advocate for people, communities, minorities, age groups and government agencies with the goal of improving conditions and patient outcomes. Public health attorneys often spend more time with advocacy work and policy development than practicing in a court of law.

Primary duties: A statistician is a life sciences researcher who uses mathematics and statistics to study, interpret and plan aspects of public health, environmental science or medicine. They determine the size and type of sample group to survey and analyze the data to identify trends for public health situations like epidemics, infections, rates of disease or mortality. Statisticians often work for government agencies or pharmaceutical companies in laboratories and hold a masters degree.

Primary duties: Clinical trial administrators monitor and handle the administrative responsibilities of a clinical trial testing new medications, vaccines or medical supplies and devices to ensure they are safe and effective. These professionals are highly skilled in math, science and computers, often overseeing spreadsheets, presentations and statistics. Clinical trial administrators work for government agencies, pharmaceutical companies and medical research institutions and are sometimes called trial monitors or clinical monitors.

Primary duties: Policy managers in public health analyze management activity and give recommendations for policy changes at healthcare organizations, corporations or government agencies. They are often considered part of the leadership team and know all aspects of an organizations business to best guide changes, procedures and implementation. They set department timelines, schedules and budgets and stay up-to-date on healthcare trends. Policy managers travel for work and typically hold an advanced degree with extensive experience in the public health sector.

Primary duties: A rehabilitation director oversees the staff, program and facility of a rehabilitation services department or organization. They establish and review guidelines for client care programs in occupational, physical, cognitive and speech therapy or drug and alcohol addiction recovery and treatment. From daily operations to progress reports, rehabilitation directors maintain and implement client care in compliance with internal policies and government regulations.

Primary duties: A medical writer researches, prepares and writes a variety of health-related publications, including scientific documents, educational or promotional literature, manuscripts and abstracts for medical journals or content for healthcare websites, newspapers or magazines. They work in all stages of writing, from research and data analysis to formatting and drafts and also perform peer reviews and editing for projects and publications. Medical writers often hold communication degrees and have a background in health or sciences.

Primary duties: A medical chief executive officer is the head of a hospital, nursing home, healthcare clinic or non-governmental organization and is responsible for daily operations and every aspect of the facility and care provided. They work with budgets, staffing, financial analysis and patient care rates to research and develop initiatives for long-term success. They protect and implement the mission and vision of their organization and establish connections within the community. CEOs in the medical field typically have a business background or are also medical professionals like doctors or nurses.


What are the highest paying public health jobs?

According to the BLS, public health educators earn an average annual salary* of about $62,000 and a pay rate of about $30 per hour. Public health educators in the 90th percentile of wages can expect to earn $101,000 per year or more.

Is public health well paid?

Explore Some of the Highest Paying Public Health Jobs
  • Natural Sciences Manager. …
  • Medical and Health Services Manager. …
  • Health Services Administrator. …
  • Epidemiologist. …
  • Biomedical Engineer. …
  • Biostatistician. …
  • Infectious Disease Specialist. …
  • Health Care Consultant.

Where is the most money in public health?

Career Paths in Public Health
  • Dietitian and Nutritionist. …
  • Emergency Management Specialist. …
  • Epidemiologist. …
  • Health Educators and Community Health Workers. …
  • Microbiologist. …
  • Public Health Nurse. …
  • Social and Community Service Managers.

What are 3 different careers in the public health field?

Career Paths in Public Health
  • Dietitian and Nutritionist. …
  • Emergency Management Specialist. …
  • Epidemiologist. …
  • Health Educators and Community Health Workers. …
  • Microbiologist. …
  • Public Health Nurse. …
  • Social and Community Service Managers.

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