Careers for MPH Graduates

Play a Leading Role in Enhancing Public Health

One of the greatest challenges our society faces is protecting the health and welfare of all people worldwide. As the COVID-19 pandemic illustrated, health-related issues are often not confined to one person or geographic region. They affect all of us. What starts out impacting one community can have global repercussions.

That’s why the need for visionary public health experts is so critical. From local officials to international policymakers, these professionals play a vital role in ensuring the well-being of our communities and making it possible for our society to grow and prosper.

A Master of Public Health (MPH) from the University of Southern California can prepare you to be one of these difference makers.

We offer six concentrations allowing you to customize your studies in the area where you hope to make the greatest impact.

  • Biostatistics and Epidemiology
  • Community Health Promotion
  • Global Health
  • GeoHealth
  • Health Services and Policy
  • Generalist

Read on to discover more about the many career options you can pursue when you earn a public health degree from USC.

What Is the Job Outlook for Public Health Professionals?

Public health is one of the fastest-growing sectors in our economy. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of medical and health services management positions is expected to increase by 32% between 2019 and 2029 — a gain of 133,200 new jobs. This ranks in the top 10 of all occupations tracked by the BLS. The median salary for these positions is $100,980.

Medical and health services management is one of the 10 fastest-growing occupations nationwide, according to the BLS

Looking at the broader health care industry, the BLS projects that the number of health care jobs will grow 15% from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average of all occupations. This steady growth is expected to create 2.4 million new jobs.

Online MPH graduates can qualify for key roles at various professional levels, including the following:

Health Informatics Specialist | Median Salary – $90,920*

Apply your knowledge of nursing and informatics to assist in the design, development and modification of computerized health care systems. Duties also include educating the staff on using the health care system.

Sample job titles:

Typical responsibilities may include:

  • Educating staff and colleagues on the implementation and use of health care systems
  • Analyzing and interpreting data to improve nursing-related services
  • Developing and implementing health information technology tools and applications
  • Collaborating with nurses, systems engineers, analysts and designers

Medical and Health Service Manager | Median Salary – $100,980** 

Plan, direct and coordinate medical and health services in a variety of environments such as hospitals, clinics, managed care organizations, public health agencies or similar organizations.

Sample job titles:

  • Clinical director
  • Health information management corporate director
  • Health care administrator
  • Health manager
  • Mental health program manager
  • Nursing director

Typical responsibilities may include:

  • Developing and maintaining computerized record systems
  • Supervising personnel including medical, nursing, technical, clerical and maintenance staff
  • Recruiting, hiring and training new employees
  • Implementing new policies and procedures
  • Administering financial operations such as accounting, budgeting, spending and financial reporting

Epidemiologist | Median Salary – $70,990** 

Investigate and describe the determinants and distribution of disease, disability or health outcomes. Experienced professionals may also develop the means for prevention and control.

Sample job titles:

  • Chronic disease epidemiologist
  • Communicable disease specialist
  • Environmental epidemiologist
  • Epidemiology investigator
  • Infection control practitioner (ICP)
  • Nurse epidemiologist (ICP)
  • Public health epidemiologist
  • Research epidemiologist
  • State epidemiologist

Typical job responsibilities may include:

  • Overseeing public health programs such as health care planning, statistical analysis, public health improvement and surveillance systems
  • Studying diseases in humans and animals, preventive methods and treatments offering expertise in the planning, management and evaluation of study protocols and analysis
  • Monitoring and reporting incidents of infectious diseases to government health agencies investigating diseases to determine causes, risk factors, modes of transmission and other critical information

Health Educator | Median Salary –  $55,220*

Provide and manage health education programs that help individuals, families and their communities maximize and maintain healthy lifestyles. Educators also use data to identify community needs, then design programs or policies to promote healthy environments.

Sample job titles:

  • Clinical instructor
  • Community health consultant
  • Health education specialist
  • Health promotion specialist
  • Public health educator
  • Public information officer

Typical responsibilities may include:

  • Preparing and distributing health education materials including reports, bulletins and visual aids that address key public health issues such as smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, and vaccines
  • Developing and maintaining cooperative working relationships with relevant agencies and organizations that have an interest in promoting public health
  • Maintaining databases, mailing lists, telephone networks and other information to facilitate the functioning of health education programs
  • Documenting activities and information such as the number of applications completed, presentations conducted and persons assisted
  • Developing and presenting health education and promotion programs, such as training workshops, conferences and school or community presentations

Health and Safety Engineer | Median Salary – $91,410**

Review, evaluate and analyze work environments and design programs and procedures to control, eliminate and prevent disease or injury caused by chemical, physical and biological agents or ergonomic factors.

Sample job titles:

  • Health and safety specialist
  • Industrial hygienist
  • Industrial safety engineer
  • Safety and health consultant

Typical responsibilities may include:

  • Investigating occupational diseases to determine causes and preventive measures
  • Maintaining and applying knowledge of current health and safety policies, processes and regulations
  • Reviewing employee safety programs and recommending improvements
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of industrial control mechanisms
  • Conducting research to evaluate health and safety levels in a work setting

Medical Director | Median Salary – $139,354***

A Medical Director directs and manages a medical practice, clinic, lab or public health program. This may include organizing and managing staff physicians, policy implementation and ensuring that standards for medical care are communicated and maintained.

Sample job titles:

  • Clinical supervisor
  • Unit manager
  • Clinical director
  • Hospital administrator

Typical responsibilities may include:

  • Monitoring the quality and appropriateness of medical care
  • Overseeing the health care organization’s financial operations and ensuring it operates within its budget
  • Assisting in the hiring, training and promotion of the medical staff
  • Ensuring organizational compliance with the federal rules, regulations and codes
  • Enhancing cohesion among nurses, physicians and relevant medical departments

Social and Community Service Manager | Median Salary – $67,150**

Plan, supervise or coordinate programs and activities that support public well-being. Social and community service managers often lead local government agencies, nonprofits or community outreach organizations.

        Sample job titles:

  • Clinical services director
  • Community services director
  • Psychiatric social worker supervisor
  • Social services director
  • Transitional care director
  • Vocational rehabilitation administrator

        Typical responsibilities may include:

  • Collaborating with community members and other relevant stakeholders to determine necessary programs and services
  • Supervising the activities of staff and volunteers
  • Managing outreach to generate awareness within the community, increase participation or raise funds
  • Suggesting and implementing enhancements to programs and services
  • Analyzing data and reporting on the effectiveness of programing

Public Health Officer | Median Salary – $68,413***

Work to promote public health and disease prevention and provide information about public health issues. Work for a public health program and provide services, or coordinate and deliver public information about public health issues and crises such as outbreaks of disease.

        Sample job titles:

  • Public health advisor
  • Supervisory medical officer
  • Assistant public health officer

        Typical responsibilities may include:

  • Coordinating the resources of health care organizations and government agencies to enhance community health
  • Developing tools to address causes of diseases
  • Managing and coordinating the work of medical professionals including doctors, nurses and statisticians
  • Leading programs in areas such as environmental medicine, infectious disease and work-related disease
  • Educating the public about potential health risks and possible treatments

Health Policy Analyst | Median Salary – $63,385****

Provide expertise on government policy in public health and safety. Gather background information on issues and track legislative initiatives. Work with or advise elected officials or nonprofit organizations on interest groups involved with the legislative process.

        Sample job titles:

  • Senior health care data analyst
  • Public health policy analyst
  • Global health policy analyst
  • Health policy manager

        Typical responsibilities may include:

  • Gathering and analyzing data to evaluate effectiveness of health policies
  • Assessing and finding ways to modify or improve upon existing initiatives
  • Consulting with health care professionals and community leaders to develop programs for enhancing public health
  • Conducting site visits to assess operations and costs of health care programs
  • Preparing policy briefs, reports and presentations related to public policy initiatives

Sources:   *O*NET Online   |  **BLS   |   ***Burning Glass Technologies   |   ****PayScale

Where Do USC’s MPH Graduates Work?

 One of the benefits of earning your Master of Public Health from USC is the number of options available when it comes to your work environment. MPH graduates are employed in a wide variety of industries and locations, in both the public and private sector. Depending on the nature of their work, they may not be confined to one static place.

Industries employing graduates
of our program include:

  • General medical and surgical hospitals
  • Colleges, universities and professional schools
  • Offices of physicians
  • Insurance carriers
  • Executive, legislative and other general government support
  • Scientific research and development services
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers
  • Legal services
  • Navigational, measuring, electromedical and control instruments manufacturing
  • National security and international affairs
  • Nonprofit agencies
  • Outpatient clinics

Some of the top employers of
USC Master of Public Health alumni are:

  • Kaiser Permanente
  • University of Southern California
  • Cedars-Sinai
  • Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
  • Keck Medicine of USC
  • Stanford University
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of California
  • University of California San Francisco
  • AltaMed Health Services
  • Anthem Blue Cross

Explore Your Options with
an Online Master of Public Health

If you aspire to make a meaningful impact on population health — in your community or around the globe —
earning your Master of Public Health online can be your next step toward achieving this goal.