What Can I Do with a Degree in Public Health?

Work Activities

Public health is the science and art of preventing illness and disease and promoting evidence-based health practices with the goal of improving the quality of life. It is concerned with threats to health based on population health analysis. The population in question can be as small as a handful of people, or as large as the inhabitants of several continents. The dimensions of health can encompass a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, as defined by the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO).

Public health incorporates the interdisciplinary approaches of epidemiology, biostatistics, and a vast array of health services. A host of specialists including educators, journalists, researchers, administrators, environmentalists, demographers, social workers, laboratory scientists, and more work to protect the health of the public. Public health professionals serve local, national, and international communities in settings such as environmental health, community health, behavioral health, health economics, public policy, insurance and occupational health. Public health is a very rewarding field offering great personal fulfillment in serving others.

Work Settings

Public health practitioners work in a variety of settings to include professional offices, community health clinics, hospitals, community centers, classrooms, and environmental health field work.

Typical Earnings:

Annual Wages for Occupations: Bachelor’s level public health professionals $37,000 - $50,000
Master’s level public health professionals $60,000 - $150,000

Career Pathways:

  • Public health education
  • Health promotion
  • Environmental health
  • Community health
  • Epidemiology
  • Nutrition
  • Health informatics
  • Biostatistics
  • Global health
  • Maternal and child health
  • Health economics
  • Health services research
  • Health policy
  • Health planning and assessment

Helpful Skills & Preferences

Common Characteristics of Graduates:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Comfort with technology
  • Leadership experience
  • Passion for learning and challenges
  • Ability to work well within a diverse environment
  • Strong ethical perspective


Professional Organizations:

  • American Public Health Association

For More Information:

For more information on what to do with a Public Health degree contact: 231-591-2270. For more program options and requirements see the Ferris catalog.

If you are interested in career counseling assistance or would like to comment on 'What Can I Do With This Degree', please send a message to ecds@ferris.edu.

Educational Counseling & Disabilities Services
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Big Rapids, MI 49307
Phone: 231-591-3057