Public health is a diverse discipline that offers professionals a choice of serving in many roles and work environments. Most importantly, it can also be very lucrative. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), public health workers in administrative and managerial positions are now earning an average of $90,000 a year. Although working in this sector usually requires a 4-year degree, assistants or aides need only a high school diploma. Here are six of the highest paying public health jobs.
1. Occupational Therapy Assistant
An occupational therapy assistant helps injured patients recover skills they need to get back to their daily lives. They also help people with learning disabilities to overcome the handicap. To be an occupational therapist aide, one only needs a high school diploma. The average salary for this job is about $49,000 a year.
2. Occupational Health and Safety Technicians
These technicians conduct tests and collect data on health and safety conditions in workplaces. They then make recommendations on how to protect employees, the general public, and environment from hazards. The minimum education qualification one needs to work in this field is also a high school diploma. The salary is approximately $47,500 a year.
3. Community Health Workers
The main role of a community health worker is to educate the public on hygiene and health. They also develop ways of improving the health of communities and collect health data specific to the population they serve. To work as a health educator, one needs either a high school diploma or an associate degree. One can expect to earn an average salary of just under $42,000 a year.
4. Registered Nurse
Nurses care for patients and provide support for their families and friends. They also educate the public on causes, prevention, signs, and symptoms of diseases. In addition, they conduct community outreach programs such as vaccinations and immunizations. An associate degree is the minimum educational qualification for working as a registered nurse. The salary in this field is $65,500 per year.
5. Medical and Health Service Managers
The role of these professionals is to direct and streamline healthcare service delivery. They also update healthcare services in accordance with public health laws and technology. Medical and health service managers have a bachelor’s degree and earn about $88,600 a year.
Statisticians study and test the effectiveness of drugs by using statistical methods and data. They also use polls and questionnaires to track disease outbreaks. For instance, statisticians gathered the data for the University of Arizona’s online MPH degree study on the flu to project how serious the flu season will be this year. Having a master of public health degree is a plus to be a statistician, but it is recommended that you get at least a bachelor degree in statistics. The average annual salary is in the range of $75,500.
Earning a bachelor’s or a master’s in public health opens the door to many lucrative career opportunities. From occupational health assistant and registered nurse, all the way up to statistician, the possibilities are endless. So don’t be afraid to look at what the public health sector has to offer and choose a career path that fits your needs and expectations.