What can you do with a BS in Public Health?

What Can I Do With a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health?

Are you looking for a career that improves lives and health with a focus beyond the clinical setting? You can help promote and protect community-wide health and wellness by earning a Bachelor’s in Public Health and launching a career in public health.

Now, wondering what can you do with a bachelor's degree in public health? Read on as we cover all you need to know about this exciting, in-demand degree that helps you make a real and significant impact on public health, at the community level or across the globe. You’ll even learn the average salary for several careers in public health.

What Is a Bachelor's Degree in Public Health?

A bachelor's degree in public health is an undergraduate degree that prepares you to enter the workforce in any number of jobs that fall under the public health umbrella. Most will include a focus on disease prevention, and the promotion and protection of the health of a community either through education or as a policy creator or advocate.

A BS in public health degree also makes a great pre-medical, pre-veterinary, or pre-dental degree.

Common Career Paths and Jobs for a Bachelor’s in Public Health

After completing your bachelor’s in public health, you could take a job in emergency preparedness, become a health education specialist, or work to mitigate health inequities as an advocate. Here are just a few examples of what you can do with a bachelor’s in public health.

Health Education Specialists

Job Description: These public health professionals create and organize programs that make communities aware of healthy behaviors — from getting an annual flu shot to wearing a mask during a pandemic — as well as risky behaviors like vaping or drug use. Health education specialists could work for hospitals, government, schools, clinics, non-profits, and more.
Education Requirements: A bachelor’s degree; a graduate degree may be required. See below for a certification you can earn to prepare you for this job.
Average Annual Salary: $55,200*
*Source

Emergency Response Planner

Job Description: Emergency response planners (also known as emergency preparedness planners) plan, coordinate, and implement planning and response activities within their own communities, as well as in other jurisdictions. They can also work with outside counties or states to help plan and maintain coordinated responses in the event of a major disaster or emergency, such as hurricanes, fires, and the current COVID-19 pandemic. Work can be done at the local, state, federal, or other agency level.
Education Requirements: Bachelor's degree
Average Annual Salary: $63,252*
*Source

Public Health Advocate

Job Description: Public health advocates address pressing issues seen in communities through law and reform by creating environments that rely on justice and equality. They can work to advocate for children, the elderly, the sick or any other vulnerable population. Their ultimate goal is to promote healthy living and policy while educating others in a community on how to live the healthiest lives possible. A huge part of a public health advocate’s job could be working to identify potential threats in the community.
Education Requirements: Bachelor's degree
Average Annual Salary: $57,170*
*Source

Disease Prevention Specialist

Job Description: A career as a disease prevention specialist means working to manage disease control and prevention to ensure a community is as safe as possible from disease. You might advocate for public health policies, promote vaccine awareness and administration, conduct communicable disease surveillance, and more.
Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree
Average Annual Salary: $53,606*
*Source

Public Health Planner

Job Description: A public health planner gathers health-related community statistics and information for analysis. They use what they learn to make effective, informed healthcare policies and implement healthcare initiatives that drive a community toward a safer, better, healthier future. A large part of what a public health planner does could include grant writing and pursuing funding for the programs and initiatives they want to put into place. They also may work with other healthcare professionals and review analysts’ technical reports.
Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree
Average Annual Salary: $66,919*
*Source

Do I Also Need an MPH?

A master’s in public health is not required for the careers listed above, but many public health workers hold an MPH, since the advanced degree offers more opportunities in the field. With GMercyU’s 4+1 MPH program, you can earn both a Bachelor of Science in Public Health and a Master of Public Health in just five years.  

Learn more about getting an MPH degree in our What Can I Do With a Master’s Degree in Public Health article.

Get Started on Your BS in Public Health with GMercyU!

Considering earning your bachelor’s in public health? Learn about Gwynedd Mercy University’s Bachelor’s in Public Health degree.

The program is CHES-eligible, meaning you’ll prepped and ready to sit for the CHES (Certified Health Education Specialist) credential exam before entering the workforce, a valuable certification when applying for a job in public health.