EKU Online > Public Health Career Opportunities

The Value of a Public Health Degree

A master of public health (MPH) is a professional degree that can open the door to leadership positions with higher level responsibilities and higher pay. Many hospitals and health care facilities require job candidates hold a master’s degree. The NACE Summer 2021 Salary Survey report found that individuals with an MPH earned 38% more than those with only a bachelor’s degree. So, considering the long-term salary potential, obtaining an MPH is beneficial.
The COVID 19 pandemic now drives the demand for health-related careers, including those in public health. Many regions suffered a public health workforce shortage prior to COVID 19, which only exacerbated the situation. As the world rebounds and works to ensure the health of vulnerable populations, rebuilding the public health workforce is key to preventing, preparing, and responding to recovery activities related to COVID 19, as well as other public health emergencies.

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Increase earnings and advancement opportunities

Raise Your Salary and Increase Your Opportunities with a Master’s Degree

Regardless of U.S. labor market conditions, one constant holds true: Education boosts earnings and reduces unemployment.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers(NACE) investing in a master’s degree can pay big dividends when it comes to starting salaries.

The NACE Summer 2021 Salary Survey report found that individuals with an MPH had an average starting salary of $60,624. In contrast the average starting salary for bachelor’s holders was $44,017, a difference of 38%

People with an MPH earn

more starting out than those with only a bachelor's

Popular Public Health Careers

Community Health Worker

National Median Annual Salary
12% growth increase thru 2031
Local Estimated Base Salary
updated April 2023
Top Companies for Health Education Specialist in Kentucky
Family Health Centers
U.S. Veteran Health Administration
UnitedHealth Group
Bachelor typically required for entry-level positions


National Median Annual Salary
26% growth increase thru 2031
Local Estimated Base Salary
updated April 2023
Top Companies for Epidemiologist in Kentucky
RTI International
Center for Disease Control & Prevention
Bachelor typically required for entry-level positions

Substance Abuse Counselor

National Median Annual Salary
28% growth increase thru 2031
Local Estimated Base Salary
updated April 2023
Top Companies for Substance Abuse Counselor in Kentucky
Seven Counties Services
The Ridge Behavioral System
Rivendell Behavioral Health Hospital
Bachelor typically required for entry-level positions

*National job opportunities data is based on national medians and figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics occupational outlook handbook.
*Local job opportunities data is based on estimated base pay and figures from Indeed.com.

Common Job Titles for Public Health Graduates

  • Health Education Specialist
  • Epidemiologist
  • Social and Community Service Manager
  • Medical and Health Services Manager
  • Statistician
  • Community Health Worker
  • Health Analytics Specialist
  • Disease Prevention Specialist
  • Surveillance Manager
  • Policy Analyst
  • Disease Intervention Specialist
  • Communicable Disease Investigator
  • Informatics Epidemiologist
  • Harm Reduction Program
  • Data Analyst
  • Program Manager
  • Court Advocate & Coordinator
  • Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Professional Family Support Worker
  • Manager, Physician Recruitment & Alignment
  • Immunization Information System Manager
  • Health Education Coordinator
  • Supervisor Counseling Center
  • Case Manager
  • Health Coach

EKU Public Health Program in the Workforce

Where Have EKU Public Health Graduates Worked?
  • Local Health Departments
  • Kentucky Department for Public Health
  • Universities, Including:
    • University of Kentucky
    • The Ohio State University
    • University of Florida
    • Eastern Kentucky University
  • Insurance Companies, Including:
    • Aetna
    • Cigna
    • United
  • Mental Health and Substance Use Services, Including:
    • New Vista Kentucky
    • Kentucky Counseling Center
  • Vanderbilt Medical Center
  • Pharmaceutical Companies, Including:
    • Pharmaron
  • Medasource
  • TESSA (Trust. Education. Safety. Support. Advocacy)
Why Earn a Public Health Degree?

A master of public health (MPH) is an interdisciplinary graduate degree designed to build a variety of immediately applicable skills in a range of areas, including epidemiology, health policy, biostatistics, and program planning and evaluation.

MPH students explore a variety of health behaviors, cultural and lifestyle choices, and community challenges that influence public health.

An MPH degree offers an impressive variety of career paths. If you are passionate about the health industry, an MPH can position you to take on exciting new roles and play an important part in maintaining the health and safety of your community.

MPH graduates go on to hold positions in:

  • Disease tracking and research
  • Policy or legislation development
  • Education
  • Business

EKU Online Career Services

Career planning is tough, but with EKU you don’t have to tackle the process alone.

The EKU Office of Academic and Career Services is a one-stop shop for all of your career and professional development needs. We offer a variety of services to current online EKU students and alumni to help you with your career development, decision-making and job search.

Services include:

  • Creating/Updating Your Resume and Cover Letter
  • Interviewing Tips and Coaching
  • Career Documents Review
  • Job Search
  • “I can confidently say that — as someone who doesn’t even live in the United States — EKU’s online program has been extremely accommodating and flexible. I can discuss advising appointments over email, and I can have my textbooks shipped to my address overseas.” – Sydney Garner Lewis
  • “After the birth of our first child, I knew I needed to go back and finish what I started,” said McKenzie. “I was happy that I could pick up where I left off at EKU even though I lived in a different state.” – EKU Online student and mom
  • “I chose EKU because I am a unique student with unique needs, and EKU provides an avenue for students like me to succeed.” – EKU Online Psychology student Jason Tate
  • “I am very lucky to be apart of the MPA online program at EKU and would recommend this program to anyone in the administration field.” – EKU Online MPA student Madison Hill
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