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What can you do with a master's or doctorate in public health?

Discussion in 'Public Health Degrees (Masters and Doctoral)' started by DocDwarf, 06.05.08.

  1. DocDwarf

    DocDwarf

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    And what salaries could be expected?
  2. Generals

    Generals

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    There are numerous other threads and websites with this information. Search the stickies. Salary information can be found on www.bls.gov.
  3. LeafsFan93

    LeafsFan93

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    MPH- a range of things, from Biostats and Epidemiology to Health Behavior and Health Policy & Management

    PhD- research

    DrPH- administration in a public health setting

    I know the search function blows but try to just visit some schools' websites; they often provide answers to these types of questions.

    The money depends on what you're doing. Asking about a salary is like asking what salary you can get with a BS. Well it depends what your BS is in, doesn't it?
  4. Smills91

    Smills91 Defeat Obamunism!

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    I just graduated in May with an MPH and it's pretty much a worthless degree unless you want to go work at some governmental agency/health department. That was a total waste of 45,000 grand.
  5. DrMom

    DrMom Official Mom of SDN Moderator Emeritus

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    I used my MPH (admin and policy) doing administrative work for a nonprofit health organization. I also taught health related courses at a community college and university. There are a variety ways you can use an MPH, somewhat affected by your area of emphasis. That said, an MPH is not usually a gateway to a big salary, so spending big bucks on an MPH probably isn't the best decision.
  6. Questionairre

    Questionairre

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    I'm just curious...What were you expecting to get out of an MPH when you initially started the program?
  7. chartero

    chartero

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    Teaching is another. Teaching health studies, health administration, etc. at the undergraduate level, more often adjunct or community college sort of appointments with a master's, and potentially at the graduate level with a doctorate. It may also be a good companion for an allied health degree, plus relevant licensure or registration, to be eligible to teach that subject as well as generic public health.
  8. corjoy

    corjoy

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    Need advice.

    I have an MBA, specializing in international business and statistics, with 20 experience in sales and consulting. I was also a military officer. I completed an accelerated nursing program last year from a school ranked in the top 5% in the US. I have been researching different areas in my new career endeavor. I am seriously considering a PhD in public health, focusing on management policy and community health.

    With my background, what types of things can I do with my PhD? I love research and consulting. Is there money to be made in research and consulting or would I be better off working over time as a registered nurse?

    I am new to this forum so I apologize in advance if this isn't the proper place to field my question.
  9. Caolainn

    Caolainn

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    A PhD would be great for research, but public health is probably not your best field for making money. I would strongly suggest investigating opportunities you can get as a nurse (there are a lot) and seeing if you really need a PhD.
  10. Stories

    Stories Hockey Scientist Moderator

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    Your earning potential in research (ie. professor) is pretty decent. You won't ever be wealthy, but you can do pretty well. You can start in the $70k range and make upwards of $150k once you're a full professor. There are also government and NGO opportunities, which also vary quite a bit, but you'll generally be making no less than $50-60k/yr there with potential to earn into the mid $100's.

    In consulting, depending on the type of consulting you do, you can earn a boatload or almost nothing. It's highly dependent. Consulting jobs are also very competitive because they pay well.

    The question of whether or not you're better off working as a nurse or earning a PhD and getting to the position you want to get to is a whole other issue. Here's a timeline for the PhD: 4-6 years to get a PhD, 1-4 years working as a post-doc, your first position. You're looking at a minimum of 5 years to get your first position, which you'd start making comparable salary as a well-paid RN. Your earning potential ceiling is much higher, though, of course. Of course, the time you're a student, you're not making much money at all, whereas if you're a nurse, you're making a RN salary for 5+ years.
  11. corjoy

    corjoy

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    Thank you so much for your insight. I am 50 so I am looking for other areas other than working at a hospital. I was considering nurse practitioner but they really only pay $ 20,000 more a year or so and it is a tremendous responsibility. You can make that just doing over time as a nurse. I love research and writing and what I wanted to do was to work as an RN and do my course work part time. These I could research, maybe do some consulting and also still work nursing if I want. I want to have several income streams and not just relie on nursing considering the stress and physical labor required from nurses.
  12. corjoy

    corjoy

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    Thank you so much for your insight. I am 50 so I am looking for other areas other than working at a hospital. I was considering nurse practitioner but they really only pay $ 20,000 more a year or so and it is a tremendous responsibility. You can make that just doing over time as a nurse. I love research and writing and what I wanted to do was to work as an RN and do my course work part time. These I could research, maybe do some consulting and also still work nursing if I want. I want to have several income streams and not just relie on nursing considering the stress and physical labor required from nurses.
  13. Stories

    Stories Hockey Scientist Moderator

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    It's not really feasible to do a PhD part-time due to the need to dedicate all your time to both coursework, qualifying examinations, and dissertation (unless you expect to do it over 10 years) nor do I know of any schools that will allow you to do a part-time PhD.

    There are some part-time DrPH options out there, though.
  14. Alzaeem

    Alzaeem

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    Hi there ...
    I am an Iraqi pharmacist and researcher who did a full-research master's program in Malaysia. Now I am applying for Doctor of Public Health (DPH) in Wollongong University in Australia. Please share your experience/ thoughts about comparing the 2 degrees of DPH and PharmD (Doctor of Pharmacy) careers in Australia and according to salaries. Although my master's research was in Psychosomatic Medicine, and though I am a clinical pharmacist, but I like to work in community and preventive field. I pretty well planned not to work in hospitals and wards, but promote health and safety projects. I am facing a difficulty in knowing about Australian treatment to a professional guy his origin country is IRAQ !!! I am trying my best effort to get info and find a supervisor to accept my research proposal about colorectal cancer prevention. I appreciate any feedback if you know any helping tool...
    Thanks
  15. Neopluto

    Neopluto

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    I'm going to bring this back to life because it provided me with some (not so encouraging) but insightful information.
    The position I'm in is that due to "unforseen circumstances", my medical school program may have to waitlist a quarter of their graduating class for a year so more seats open up in the 3rd and 4th year rotations. I'm not going to get into how ridiculous that is.

    The deans offered to put us into a 1 year MPH program in the interim. What can I use this degree for? I am completely uninterested in having any kind of administrative position. Although it's impossible to avoid bureaucracy wherever you go, I think this would put me right in the middle of it. In theory I'd like to implement wide-spread policy changes, but I think I would get the earsplitting headache before I could do any good.

    It seems like the only broadening of my job abilities would be to teach. I'm really on the fence about that as well, it doesn't seem worth my time or money.

    Thank You

    Can people please educate me on kinds of opportunities may open up by being an MD/MPH?
  16. nietzsche754

    nietzsche754

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    Why did you think they called it PUBLIC health? lol
  17. nietzsche754

    nietzsche754

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    What is the salary like teaching with an MPH if I might ask? I saw a UGA job posting for a MPH staff/faculty member (it was a hybrid position) and was shocked to see a $65k salary that's not bad at all! I am sure that isn't the norm though.
  18. EpiWin

    EpiWin Epic-demiology

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  19. Stories

    Stories Hockey Scientist Moderator

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    I think it shows a salary range pretty consistent with white collar master's-level salaries, actually. Most people are centered around $50-60k with the typical tails to each end.

    Those lists also include doctoral-level grads, as well. Those who are becoming professors and scientists at other research (or industry) places.

    The blip in the $100k+ range is likely for folks who add a MPH as a supplementary degree to their JD or MD who were already earning $100k+.
  20. EpiWin

    EpiWin Epic-demiology

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    That's true, my skepticism was aimed at the fact that these salaries are self-reported and don't specify salary breakdown by department in their crude aggregate; I'm curious to see the differences within the PH field. Had the same thought on the $100k+ figure, made me chuckle and imagine a dream world of fabulously wealthy epidemiologists :D
  21. Stories

    Stories Hockey Scientist Moderator

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    You can certainly make $100k+ if you become a senior investigator or full professor ;) That's my plan/hope :)
  22. Kevin36

    Kevin36

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    Also, while public health can be an underpaying job (it's actually a strategic issues identified by the field) many people make decent to great livings. I've been working in governmental public health for about 8 years. Started with only a bachelor's degree and make over $50,000 with excellent benefits (I pay almost nothing for healthcare and I have a pension and 401k). The director of my agency makes about $120,000 and only has a master's. The division directors all make $100,000. This is a pretty small agency of about 100 staff, and I expect that I'll be able to work my way to a division or agency head within the next 10 years. So, while you will never be in the 1%, you could achieve some success.

    But if you don't have some sense of working toward 'social justice' a traditional public health program probably isn't for you. I would suggest skipping the MPH and doing an M.S. or PhD in epidemiology, biostatistics or health policy since these skills still lend themselves well to industry jobs.
  23. FutureKDEpi

    FutureKDEpi

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    .
    Last edited: 05.29.14
  24. roger0770

    roger0770

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    become an industrial hygienist, we make close to 100k starting - at least in the sf bay area we do.
  25. RAMPA

    RAMPA Pimpiro

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    A RN with an associates degree and no experience makes a little over 100K to start in the Bay Area :cool:
  26. EpiWin

    EpiWin Epic-demiology

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    That salary is ridic. Since we're listing high-paying non-MD health jobs, may I offer pharmacy? A friend will graduate from a 6 year BA/PharmD program and will pull 100k+ with benefits easy in his retail position. At 23. Dealing drugs is lucrative business.
  27. Stories

    Stories Hockey Scientist Moderator

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    Oh, yeah? Well I'm making $40k for a post-doc. Booyah!



    .....


    After getting a MPH and then a PhD.
  28. RAMPA

    RAMPA Pimpiro

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    6yrs vs a 2yr program :eek:

    However pharmacist sounds sexier than nurse :cool:
  29. roger0770

    roger0770

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    i turned down my pharm school interviews and decided it was not the career path i wanted to take. i have many friends in the field, some already graduated, and some are still in school. i don't doubt they make great money, just not my cup of tea.
  30. RumbaToMD

    RumbaToMD

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    I think It is obvious that in the beginning of our career we should expect to make on the lower range of predicted salaries. My question is, is it stupid to take on a $100,000 loan if one may be making $45,000-60,000 after graduating? This forum points out the ugly truth that we are going into a career that won't pay much but that has a high cost of education tagged to it.
    *
  31. Stories

    Stories Hockey Scientist Moderator

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    I don't think there's a right or wrong answer. It really depends upon who you ask: financial people would probably say no. People who value career satisfaction would probably say yes.
  32. EpiWin

    EpiWin Epic-demiology

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    I wouldn't say it's stupid, given the $100,000 is more or less an investment to get you to a position that brings satisfaction for the rest of your life.
  33. roger0770

    roger0770

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    i wondered if the education is worth it awhile ago, too. i did a rough calculation to see if i were to forgo my current job and take out loans to go back to school, vs. keep on working and seek other opportunities to move up. i find that the difference in salary will not make up for the money i'd make in the two years + loans for at least 10 years. it was a tough decision given that i have a great paying and satisfying job right out of college in 2010. however, i want more. i would say getting a mph is more of a gamble for me because i know it'd help me get to where i want to go. and it is a risk i am willing to take. there are factors in all situations. i think you have to be very honest with yourself to know the risks in each scenario to make the best decision.
  34. ebp

    ebp

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    I agree with this. There are ways to make loan payments affordable, but yes, it's a lot of money that you will spend a long time paying off. For me, I think about how much time I spend working, and I think it's worth it to have job prospects that will make me happier. I know too many people who hate their jobs, and I don't want my life to turn into that.
  35. healthdisparity

    healthdisparity

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    +1

    The reason I post below is because I feel someone should play devil's advocate:

    Remember that $100,000 in loan debt is NOT what you pay. In fact, you will pay a lot more over your lifetime. Government interests rates are sitting around 6%, which means you will add $6,000 to your total in the first year. Maybe you set aside $10,000 from your salary for loan repayment, you really only made a $4,000 dent. Interests rates from banks will be much, much higher.

    This is a very serious financial calculation that you must consider. However, as stated above, we spend 80,000 hours of our lives working. Make sure you enjoy it or life will stink.

    BTW, if you choose work in public service, take the 120 month loan forgiveness program. 10 years of income contigent loan payments are you are free!

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