Public Health Administration Careers

Public Health Administrator Careers

What Is A Public Health Administrator?

The role of a Public Health Administrator is to oversee non-clinical operations of public and private healthcare organizations and departments. They are responsible for the administration, leadership, and management of healthcare organizations such as hospitals and other medical facilities. Public Health Administrators are also responsible for the health departments within other organizations, some of which are county or federal agencies.

Public Health Administrators maintain healthcare standards, coordinate treatment programs, manage finances, and oversee an efficient healthcare operation. Additionally, they may manage human resources and market new treatments and healthcare policies to the public.

Working to improve the welfare of their organization and the communities they serve, Public Health Administrators have expertise and insight necessary to manage people, finances, and information that support public health initiatives. Individuals with a passion to help others and who possess good leadership skills and can work independently will excel in the role as Public Healthcare Administrator.


What Is A Public Health Administrator Responsible For?

Public Health Administrators direct the operation of hospitals, health systems, and other organizations with dedicated health departments. They manage facilities, services, programs, staffing, budgets, public relations, grants, and other management functions.

Public Health Administration is rooted in business management. Administrators must plan their programs as business ventures, focusing on performance, negotiation, innovation, and customer service.

The Public Health Administrator role can vary based on the organization. However, all Public Health Administrators work to improve the quality of public health services, understanding the legal, political, and economic climate in which their organization develops and implements programs.

Public Health Administrators can expect to work on any of the following tasks:

  •        Improve organizational structure
  •        Provide leadership development
  •        Assess community/organizational health issues
  •        Educate the public on health issues
  •        Execute community outreach programs
  •        Implement laws and regulations that secure public health and safety
  •        Manage facilities
  •        Manage finances, including creating and implementing budgets
  •        Ensure government compliance
  •        Direct medical and other healthcare services
  •        Design work environments
  •        Write grant proposals
  •        Manage fundraisers


Where Does A Public Health Administrator Work?

Public Health Administrators work in private and public endeavors. Many Public Health Administrators drive new healthcare policies for local, state, and federal government agencies. They also serve as public safety officers and in recreational arts-associated agencies. In the private sector, Public Health Administrators direct hospitals and healthcare organizations such as insurance networks. They manage nonprofit organizations and work in the field of education.

Public Health Administrators jobs may work outside the office setting by working with a variety of other people in other environments, conducting speaking engagements, and meeting with leaders in other organizations to develop a network of contacts who can advise on healthcare concerns in the community at large.


What Other Career Options Are Available to a Public Health Administrator?

Public Health Administrators have the opportunity to improve the lives of many individuals. They may work in government services where they keep the population healthy and safe. They can enter the private sector in a variety of settings. Whatever their field, there are several organizations where Public Health Administrators can make a difference in the lives of the population.

A few career options available to Public Health Administrators include the following:

Public Administrator Careers


Local, State, and Federal Agencies

Public Health Administrators drive significant healthcare policy at the government level. Leading a public health department or conducting research into matters of public health to protect the well-being of all citizens, Public Health Administrators at the government level manage all aspects concerning community health. Budget planning, board communications, staff and department head communications, recruiting, continuing education on latest medical trends and advances, and evaluating and enforcing government regulations are some of the many varied tasks associated with a Public Health Administrator in government service.



Many Public Health Administrators find themselves drawn to education. As the medical field advances technologically, so does the need to provide instructional leadership to those seeking a career as a Public Health Administrator.


Public Health Journalist

Public Health Administrators in the field of journalism research and write articles about many medical topics. This role informs the general public about issues that affect their well-being. They break down scientific research in a manner that’s easily understood. Some journalists spend time in a traditional office setting while others spend their days in hospitals, research centers, and other venues. Employers who work with Public Health Administrators in the field of journalism include hospitals, magazines, trade journals, and research centers.


Management Policy Advisor

As part of an organization’s executive team, a Management Policy Advisor analyzes company activities and provides insight into the organization’s operations and how they relate to the health of employees and the community at large. These advisors need to know the intimate details about a company’s operations and normally work in the offices of private companies and healthcare organizations, including insurance networks and government agencies.


Public Health Engineer

Public Health Administrators often work in the corporate world to advise executive staff on employee safety issues. Machinery, infrastructure, and equipment require inspection to ensure safe operation and avoid employee injury and employer liability, and the Public Health Engineer directs the review of these issues. Public Health Engineers spend most of their day in an office environment, but because meetings are essential to the job, travel is often required to meet with other leaders in the company and in the field.


Health Center Administrator

Healthcare facilities require knowledgeable leadership to work in general management and individual department direction. Health Care Administrators in this field can find themselves working in hospitals, retirement homes and communities, large physician practices, or at public and private clinics.


Health Information Manager

The duties of Public Health Administrators in the Health Information field include securing, managing, and organizing patient records. Health Information Managers work with IT professionals to research and implement software and hardware options that meet federal guidelines for securely storing patient Protected Health Information.


What Degree Do You Need to Become A Public Health Administrator? What Do They Study?

For most entry-level positions, a bachelor’s degree in sociology, economics, computer science, political science, public health, social work, or public policy will suffice. Students may pursue a bachelor’s degree in public health administration as well. Coursework to earn a Bachelor of Public Health Administration consists of US healthcare, public health principles, ethics, medical law, and business studies.

Healthcare Administration Students

A Master of Public Health Administration, or MPHA, is ideal for those professionals who choose to run major facilities or work in an executive or administrative position. Students in the master’s program will study management principles, public health ethics and methodology, leadership skills, and budgeting, to name but a few.

While not typically required for a career in Public Health Administration, a PhD, or Doctor of Philosophy, may give an edge to students in certain competitive fields, such as educational endeavors and research.


How Much Money Does A Public Health Administrator Earn?

The salary of a Public Health Administrator varies widely and is dependent upon the field of industry in which the Administrator chooses to work. The median annual salary of most Public Health Services Managers is $95,000. Public Health Officers can earn about $129,000 per year. Executives in large organizations earn upwards of $194,000 per year. As in most Business Administrative positions, annual salary varies depending on location, experience, and industry.