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Why Consider a Career in Public Health?

The public health field extends through many industries and sectors of business across the globe. In the United States, employment of health care occupations is projected to grow 15 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.4 million new jobs.1

A master’s degree is not mandatory for all positions; however, if you’re seeking a leadership or administrative role that requires a high level of skill, an advanced degree in a health-related field is recommended.

The George Washington University offers two online graduate degrees designed for aspiring health care leaders:

  • The Master of Public Health (MPH@GW) empowers future visionaries to enhance the health of local, national and international communities.
  • The Master of Health Administration (MHA@GW) prepares experienced health care professionals to pursue leadership roles in private and public organizations.

Once you earn an advanced health-related graduate degree, you’ll be well-positioned to pursue the following careers.



Individuals with a public health degree are important to government agencies, universities and other health research organizations. Often working in government or private research organizations, their work informs the policy decision-making process. The median annual wage for statisticians was $91,160 in May 2019.2

Learn about biostatistics online at GW.



Epidemiologists investigate and track the origins and spread of diseases and other public health threats. They might work in a laboratory or a hospital, and often they perform research out in the field to better understand the pattern of a disease. The median annual wage for epidemiologists was $70,990 in May 2019.3

Learn about epidemiology online at GW.


Community Outreach Program Manager

Managers of community outreach programs coordinate and supervise health related programs and community organizations. They manage staff that provides health related services to the general public. Managers of this caliber made a median annual salary of $67,150 in May 2019.4

Learn about health communication online at GW.


Environmental and Occupational Health

Professionals in environmental and occupational health work to better understand the impact that various environmental and occupational hazards may have on human health. Organizations such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration may employ individuals with this specialty. The median annual wage for occupational health and safety specialists was $74,100 in May 2019.5

Learn more about environmental and occupational health online at GW. 


Political Scientist

Political scientists work to enhance, change, and design public health policies that affect large populations at the local, national and international levels. Political scientists work in both public and private organizations. These professionals gather data, leverage research, and forecast socioeconomic trends. Political scientists can earn up to $122,220 annually.6

Learn about health policy online at GW.


Emergency Preparedness Director

Directors in the emergency preparedness field prepare plans and procedures for responses to natural disasters and other emergencies. They manage the response of fire and law enforcement officers, government agencies and volunteers after disasters occur. The BLS reports that emergency preparedness directors can earn approximately $74,590 annually.7

Learn more about disaster management online at GW.


Organization Director

C-suite level executives in health care direct and manage organizations in both public and private sectors. Organization directors create strategies and policies to ensure that the organization achieves its public health goals. The BLS reports that executives in these positions can earn $184,460 on average.8

Learn more about health administration online at GW.

Become a Leader in Public Health with GW Online

Offering online graduate degrees since 2013, the George Washington University’s No. 11-ranked Milken Institute School of Public Health is committed to training the next generation of leaders in public health.9

GW’s Washington, D.C., campus is located at the nation’s hub of health policy which positions students to develop invaluable connections to influential professionals and institutes.

Learn how GW’s online master’s programs — MPH@GW and MHA@GW — can give you the experience, skills and connections you’ll need to influence health care at the highest level.

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