Public Health Major
Public health is a major that typically falls into the Health Professions category.
There are 90 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in public health, 464 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 573 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 181 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.
Who Is Getting a Public Health Degree?
In 2017, roughly 14,400 public health majors graduated with a bachelor’s degree. This makes it #35 in popularity of all the majors we track. This major is dominated by women with about 79.6% of recent graduates being female.
At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of public health majors is as follows:
- Asian: 12.4%
- Black or African American: 15.4%
- Hispanic or Latino: 15.5%
- White: 46.6%
- Non-Resident Alien: 2.6%
- Other Races: 7.4%
Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in public health. About 2.6% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending public health majors to the U.S. are China, India and Saudi Arabia.
What Will You Learn as a Public Health Major?
An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to public health to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.
Knowledge Areas for Public Health Majors
A major in public health should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:
Skills for Public Health Majors
Public health majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:
Abilities for Public Health Majors
A major in public health will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:
What Can You Do With a Public Health Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with public health:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Occupational Health and Safety Technicians||9.9%||$50,780|
|Health Specialties Professors||25.9%||$97,370|
|Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health||11.1%||$71,130|
|Community Health Workers||17.9%||$39,540|
|Occupational Health and Safety Specialists||8.1%||$73,020|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||20.5%||$99,730|
Public Health Major Salary
Public health majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $60,000 to $114,000. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.
To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.
The area of the country you choose to work in will also affect your career and salary prospects. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.
Amount of Education Required for Public Health Major Jobs
Some careers associated with public health require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.
How much education do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to public health have obtained the following education levels.
|Level of Education||Percentage of Workers|
|Less Than a High School Diploma||0%|
|High School Diploma or Equivalent||1.2%|
|Some College Courses||0.5%|
|Associate's Degree or Equivalent||10.9%|
|First Professional Degree||0.8%|
Online Public Health Programs
There are 464 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in public health, with 60 of them offering at least some courses online.
Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.
Getting your degree online is not easy and includes watching and listening to hours of lectures, participating in group charts, submitting papers by the appropriate deadline and taking tests. Some online programs will also feature internships or in-person clinical hours.
Is a Public Health Major Worth It?
The median salary for a public health grad is $76,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 95% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $735,800 after 20 years!
- Health Sciences & Services
- Communication Sciences
- Advanced Dentistry & Oral Sciences
- Dental Support Services
- Health/Medical Admin Services
- Allied Health Services
- Allied Health Professions
- Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science
- Health/Medical Prep Programs
- Medical Science
- Mental & Social Health Services
- Optometric Support Services
- Osteopathic Medicine
- Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences
- Public Health
- Rehabilitation Professions
- Veterinary Medicine
- Veterinary Clinical Services
- Health Aids & Attendants
- Medical Illustration & Informatics
- Dietetics & Nutrition Services
- Bioethics/Medical Ethics
- Alternative Medicine & Systems
- Alternative Medical Support Services
- Bodywork & Therapeutic Services
- Movement & Mind-Body Therapies
- Energy & Bio-Based Therapies
- Nursing & Nursing Assistants
- Other Health Professions
Featured Public Health Schools
|Request Info||Southern New Hampshire University You have goals. Southern New Hampshire University can help you get there. Whether you need a bachelor's degree to get into a career or want a master's degree to move up in your current career, SNHU has an online program for you. Find your degree from over 200 online programs. Learn More >|