In essence, a public health director manages and oversees public health care programs and organizations. They are responsible for planning, developing, implementing, and evaluating various public health programs that aim to improve the community's overall wellbeing.

When you look closer at the job responsibilities of a public health director, you'll find that they are also responsible for managing departmental budgets, identifying areas of improvement when it comes to public health, ensuring compliance of public health workers with federal and local laws, as well as developing emergency response plans to help ensure the safety of the community during natural disasters, mass fires, and outbreaks.

Most employers look for candidates with a master's degree in public health, health care administration, or another relevant field. However, Bachelor's degree holders may still qualify. Other than tertiary education, public health directors must have substantial experience in the industry, ideally with three or more years of leadership experience.

This position comes with outstanding job security, benefits, and an above-average salary of around $91,000 per year.

What Does a Public Health Director Do

There are certain skills that many public health directors have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, detail oriented and leadership skills.

Learn more about what a Public Health Director does

How To Become a Public Health Director

If you're interested in becoming a public health director, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 61.9% of public health directors have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 25.4% of public health directors have master's degrees. Even though most public health directors have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Average Salary for a Public Health Director

Public Health Directors in America make an average salary of $85,569 per year or $41 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $131,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $55,000 per year.
Average Public Health Director Salary
$85,569 Yearly
$41.14 hourly
10 %
90 %

What Am I Worth?


Public Health Director Education

Public Health Director Majors

18.0 %
10.1 %

Public Health Director Degrees


61.9 %


25.4 %


5.8 %

Top Colleges for Public Health Directors

1. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

3. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

4. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

5. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition

6. Georgetown University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition

7. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition

8. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

9. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition

10. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

Top Skills For a Public Health Director

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 19.4% of public health directors listed public health on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and detail oriented are important as well.

Public Health Director Demographics

Public Health Director Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among public health directors, 62.2% of them are women, while 37.8% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among public health directors is White, which makes up 67.5% of all public health directors.

  • The most common foreign language among public health directors is Spanish at 50.0%.

Online Courses For Public Health Director That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  
Foundations of Public Health Practice: The Public Health Approach

The Public Health Approach course is the first instalment of the wider Foundations of Public Health Practice specialisation from Imperial College London's Global Master of Public Health (MPH). The scope and content of this course has been developed from the ground up by a combined team of academics and practitioners drawing on decades of real-world public health experience as well as deep academic knowledge. Through short video lectures, practitioner interviews and a wide range of interactive ac...

Data and Health Indicators in Public Health Practice

Epidemiology is often described as the cornerstone science in public health. Epidemiology in public health practice uses study design and analyses to identify causes in an outbreak situation, guides interventions to improve population health, and evaluates programs and policies. In this course, we'll define the role of the professional epidemiologist as it relates to public health services, functions, and competencies. With that foundation in mind, we'll introduce you to the problem solving meth...

Foundations of Public Health Practice: The Public Health Toolkit

The Foundations of Public Health Practice: The Public Health Toolkit builds on public health thinking (introduced in the previous course) and introduces a variety of core public health approaches (the toolkit) to conceptualising problems, conducting analysis and bringing forward recommendations. In this course we cover health needs assessment, evaluation and public health intelligence-approaches...

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Best States For a Public Health Director

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a public health director. The best states for people in this position are New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, and Delaware. Public health directors make the most in New Hampshire with an average salary of $121,532. Whereas in Massachusetts and Maine, they would average $121,256 and $118,237, respectively. While public health directors would only make an average of $115,095 in Delaware, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. South Carolina

Total Public Health Director Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. New Hampshire

Total Public Health Director Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Minnesota

Total Public Health Director Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Public Health Directors

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Top Public Health Director Employers

Most Common Employers For Public Health Director

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Jefferson County Health Center$121,076$58.212
2UC Santa Barbara$103,188$49.612
4University of California, Berkeley$99,025$47.612
5Rutgers University$96,848$46.562
6Ventura County Community Foundation$93,274$44.842
7The State of Oregon$89,836$43.193
8Lassen's Health Foods$87,740$42.182
9USAF Police Alumni Association$87,609$42.123
10University of Virginia$75,708$36.402