According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth in the healthcare industry is going to be far above average. In fact, the BLS has projected the number of healthcare jobs will grow 18 percent between 2016 and 2026. That will add approximately 2.4 million new jobs to an already burgeoning industry.
Public Health Careers
Part of the job growth in healthcare as a whole will happen in the area of public health. The goal of the public health industry is to encourage and safeguard the health of individuals and the communities where they live, work and play. If you enter one of the top public health careers, you’ll have the opportunity to make a difference in a wide variety of occupations.
A biostatistician is responsible for developing and using statistical techniques to analyze scientific research coming from health-related fields such as genomics, neuroscience and genetics, to name a few. An example of the outcome of their work would be determining how many adults who smoke contract cancer.
Biostatisticians may work for a technology company, a governmental organization at the state or federal level, at a university or a pharmaceutical company. They’re the people who can take raw data and turn it into actionable information. That skill is becoming increasingly valuable in many industries.
Biostatisticians’ days vary depending on where they work, but in general, they may obtain data and use statistical models to analyze it, prepare and present reports to stakeholders and design surveys or conduct experiments to gather information for a study.
According to Payscale, the average salary for a biostatistician is $75,188. However, salaries range from $55,698 to $112,673.
An epidemiologist studies how diseases move through a population. Their goal is to identify how a disease spreads and to find ways to stop it or slow it down. They typically work at state or local government health departments, in hospitals and in universities. They can also work for the federal government at agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A day in the life of an epidemiologist will be as different as the place where they work, but some of their duties may include managing public health programs, investigating diseases in the lab and designing study materials for collecting information
The BLS has reported that the median salary for epidemiologists in 2017 was $69,660. Epidemiologists in the lowest 10 percent earned less than $42,810, and those in the highest 10 percent received a salary of more than $113,560.
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Public Health Educator
To further the goals of the industry, public health educators design and manage initiatives that help individuals and communities stay healthy.
Public health educators are typically involved in identifying needs within a community, then planning and implementing programs to address those needs. They are also responsible for monitoring the programs and evaluating effectiveness.
Educators are very involved in the communities where they serve and spend time developing strong relationships. These educators may work in hospitals, nonprofit organizations, private businesses and government offices.
The BLS has reported the median salary for public educators was $53,940 in 2017, however the range runs from $31,440 to $87,160.
Public Health Researchers
Individuals who are epidemiologists and biostatisticians might decide to devote their talents strictly to doing research. The goal of public health researchers is to improve public health, and they often use clinical trials and other types of investigations to develop conclusions.
They may create and test medical devices or analyze medical samples to investigate causes and treatment for pathogens and chronic diseases. For example, researchers may experiment with different drugs to find ways to fight cancer. Researchers could work for pharmaceutical companies, governmental agencies, universities or an independent lab.
The BLS has reported the median salary for medical researchers, the umbrella that includes public health researchers, was $82,090 in 2017. The range runs from $45,120 to $160,520.
Emergency Management Director
When there is a natural disaster or other emergency that threatens the health of the public, people turn to emergency management directors to help respond to the problem.
Most of these directors are employed by state or local governments, but there are career opportunities in hospitals, companies, universities and nonprofit organizations.
Emergency management directors are responsible for developing plans their organization can use to respond to a disaster. They train personnel in emergency procedures and help direct the response during the emergency.
The BLS has reported the median salary for emergency management directors as $72,760. The lowest 10 percent of these directors earned less than $38,270, and the highest 10 percent earned over $141,620.
How to Get Started
If you are interested in shaping healthcare policy and programs to help communities prosper, public healthcare careers are waiting for you, and thriving in the top public health careers requires a postgraduate degree.
St. Ambrose University offers an online Master of Public Health degree that will prepare you to establish or elevate your career in public health. If you have just received your bachelor’s degree, or if your goal is to advance your career, our online program will let you manage your schedule while earning a degree.