University of Sourthern California


Careers with an MPH for Graduates

Take Your Next Step

Receive information about the benefits of our programs, the courses you'll take, and what you need to apply.

Step 1 of 2

The efforts of public health experts and workers are crucial to the overall health and wellness of communities and individuals. Those in the field aim to provide equity in care delivery; a goal that involves leveling the playing field in terms of accessibility and quality. Achieving this noble goal takes on many facets of disease and injury prevention research, infectious disease detection and response and the promotion of healthy lifestyles are just some of the approaches public health pros take to bring about unfettered access to optimal health services.

For those interested in a public health career, earning a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree is an essential step in achieving this professional goal.

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.

Master of Public Health (MPH) from USC can prepare you to be one of these difference makers.

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

Regardless of concentration, a public health degree from USC can prepare you for several dynamic options within the public health field. You can pursue a wide range of careers with an MPH, each of which shares the common goal of building a better, healthier world for everyone.

What Is the Typical Salary and Job Outlook for Careers with an MPH?

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 28% between 2021 and 2031 — a gain of 136,200 new jobs. This ranks in the top 15 of all occupations tracked by the BLS for the time period. The median salary for these positions is $101,340.

Looking at the broader health care industry, the BLS projects the number of health care jobs will grow 13% from 2021 to 2031, which is significantly faster than the average for the nation’s job market as a whole. This steady growth is expected to create roughly 2 million new jobs.

Health Informatics Specialist | Approximate Median Salary – $69,900*

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 | Approximate Median Salary – $101,340** 

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 | Approximate Median Salary – $101,340** 

In this career with an MPH, 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 and Safety Engineer | Approximate 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 | Approximate Median Salary – $211,500*

Direct and manage a medical practice, clinic, lab or public health program as a medical director. 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 | Approximate Median Salary – $74,000**

Plan, supervise or coordinate programs and activities that support public well-being with this MPH career. 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

Health Policy Analyst | Approximate Median Salary – $66,400*

style="padding: 0 5%"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:

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. Careers for MPH graduates span a wide variety of industries and locations, in both the public and private sectors. Depending on the nature of their work, they may not be confined to one static environment or location.

Industries employing graduates of our program include:

  • General medical and surgical hospitals
  • Colleges, universities and professional schools
  • Physicians’ offices
  • 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 Medical Center
  • 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. Explore USC’s Online MPH program and its five concentrations to find out which one best fits your career goals.