Public Health Degrees Online: Job Security for the 21st Century
regardless of the future of industry, the world will always need health care professionals. The rules of health insurance and health care are changing rapidly and many of those changes are controversial. Nevertheless you can be certain that careers in public health are likely to be the jobs of the future with the best salaries and with the most stability, as long as you can adapt to the changes imposed on the health care system by the federal government. Furthermore, you can earn your degree online through distance learning, and can design your program around your current schedule.
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You will find that most schools offer primarily graduate degrees in public health fields, requiring you to already have an LPN or some other bachelor degree designation and a current job in the field.
Many schools offer the MSN, a Master of Science in Nursing. However, a Master of Public Health degree is a career in community health where you help to educate the public, or perhaps work as a family consultant through which you help families provide care for loved ones who need home care or nursing home care. The possibilities go far beyond traditional nursing.
The goal of the public health official is to prevent disease by recognizing situations that create risk and by educating the people on how to protect themselves against illnesses, thereby improving the overall health of their communities. In addition to the necessary education about medicine, you will also complete courses in law, education, social sciences, cultural anthropology and more.
The person who pursues the MS in Public Health can count on working in communities rather than on individuals. You might find yourself in a senior center helping the educate families on the special needs of the elderly or in a school setting where you help ensure that a healthy environment is maintained for both students and faculty. Depending on your degree and experience, you could end up in a career that brings significant authority and influence.
All of the following titles are possible job descriptions for a person with a master of public health degree.
- Director of Environmental Health
- Industrial Waste Director
- Infection Control Officer
- Public Health Officer
- Radioactive Water Specialist
- Public School Health Coordinator
- Geriatric Family Consultant
–and many more.
Salaries vary by experience and geography
Unlike nursing, there are actually no licensing requirements for a public health professional–unless nursing or patient care is actually involved. That is, a nurse who simply wants to work in a more general setting could become a health care professional, and may actually even have more job opportunities. In general, however, your salary will be determined by the degree level, the experience and the geographic area as well as the social sector. A job with the federal government, would pay more than that of a public health officer in a small town.
Salaries usually begin in the low 30s; if you have a doctoral degree, you could eventually be earning 6 figures. As with many jobs, you need to be patient as it is likely to take a few years and a few promotions to get to the level to which you might aspire.