Differences Between Public and Environmental Healthcare Workers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the healthcare industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the US. According to their reports, from 2020 to 2030, jobs in the healthcare sector will have grown from 150+ million to 160+ million. That is an annual growth of 0.7%, faster than the average of all occupations.

One main reason for its growth is that many Americans now have access to healthcare because of the Affordable Care Act. Furthermore, specialists like physicians opt for fewer working hours due to increased regulation and lower insurance reimbursements, thus increasing the need for more. 

In addition, rapid technological advancements in the healthcare sector are another reason for the industry’s explosive growth. When new technologies join the market, whether to solve current or future problems, the industry has no choice but to adapt.

While some are against treating patients with novelty drugs, technical advancements are unavoidable in health care. As a result, more personnel will be needed to create, test, implement, and evaluate their effectiveness in the coming years.

With that said, let’s discuss the difference between public healthcare and environmental healthcare

Differences Between Public Healthcare and Environmental Healthcare

The main difference between public healthcare and environmental healthcare is that public healthcare is about health, usually on a large scale, for example, at a statewide, countrywide, or worldwide level. 

Although environmental healthcare is a sub-branch of public healthcare, it is about people and how the surrounding environment affects our overall well-being. 

Another difference is epidemiology vs. biostatistics. Professionals in the environmental healthcare sector use epidemiology to research the causes of disease and illnesses. The overall goal for public healthcare and environmental healthcare is to promote and improve people’s health and communities. Their approach, however, is different. Specialists in environmental healthcare work to create safe communities by initiating policies and programs that decrease chemical and other environmental detriments in water, soil, air, and food.

Meanwhile, professionals in the public healthcare sector use biostatistics to conduct biology, medicine, and public health research to protect and promote people and communities health. Professionals in the field achieve this objective by promoting healthy lifestyles, investigating disease and injury prevention, and detecting, preventing, and responding to infectious diseases. 

The overall goal of public health is to protect the health of entire communities.

Let’s talk about possible careers and salaries in the public and environmental healthcare sectors.

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There are many options for a lucrative career in the public health industry. The minimum requirement is a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Also, keep in mind that your salary could impact your geographical location, living expenses, employer, and role. 

Educational Requirement

The minimum academic requirement to land a job in the public health sector is a bachelor’s degree. However, it is common for employers to prefer candidates with at least a master’s degree in a relevant field. 

With that said, let’s get into the specifics of each career.


In public health research, statisticians are essential. 

To allocate data on people and their health, they design questionnaires, experiments, and surveys. After collecting all the data, they then analyze and explain their findings.

Statisticians can operate in a wide range of settings. The majority, however, work for governments, healthcare companies, or research and development. Biostatisticians, in particular, use statistics to investigate medical and biological issues. Finally, they look at new drugs on the market and ailments and their causes.

In addition to getting a master’s degree, you will need to take relevant coursework like statistics and mathematics and pair them with sociology, biology, and other public health courses.

Biostatisticians’ Salaries

Candidates can expect to earn over $50k every year at the start of their careers. After gaining experience, they can make an average of over $70k every year. Lastly, top-level biostatisticians can make an average of over $110k every year.

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) 

Environmental health and safety (EHS) professionals keep the people and the environment safe by identifying problems, enforcing regulations, analyzing risks, and preventing accidents. To improve safety and health, they examine safety policies for flaws and efficacy, then recommend modifications. As environmental health and safety professional, you will train future candidates in management programs, investigate accidents, obey safety regulations, take proactive measures to develop innovative safety and environmental programs, and improve the quality of already established regulations and practices.

According to Indeed.com, candidates looking to start a career and eventually advance further should have a master’s degree in occupational safety, health, or other relevant fields. 

In addition, you will have to pass the Associate Safety Professional (ASP) certification exam. 

Environmental Health and Safety Professionals’ Salaries

Specialists earned an average of over $95k per year, with jobs growing at an annual growth rate of 6% until 2028. 

You will most likely work for manufacturing and construction firms in this field. However, other firms have recently been hired to improve their employee’s safety and health.

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Epidemiology plays a crucial role in public health and safety. 

Those who choose to become epidemiologists get taught how to investigate the causes and spread of diseases throughout communities. They must learn how to track down a disease’s source, determine the scope of its distribution, and seek to avoid outbreaks that could turn into an epidemic or pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) term epidemiologists “disease detectives.” 

Consider pursuing a Master of Science or Master of Public Health with a concentration in epidemiology to be competitive. You could also earn your doctoral degree in epidemiology or a dual degree in medicine.

You will also need to complete community health, environmental health, research methodology, and biostatistics coursework. Many master’s programs will also require that you complete a research project to get hands-on experience. 

Epidemiologists’ Salaries

Candidates can expect to earn over $45k every year at the start of their careers. After gaining experience, they can make an average of over $65k every year. Lastly, top-level epidemiologists can make an average of over $100k every year.


Public healthcare and environmental healthcare workers are both crucial to our society. Although their overall goal is to improve people’s health and promote healthy practices, their methods for achieving these goals are different. Professionals in these sectors can earn good money and feel good about their impact on the people and the environment.

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