In 2014, the United Health Foundation rated Kentucky number 47 among all states due to the state’s high rates of smoking, impoverished children, and preventable hospitalizations. As a result, Governor Steve Beshear has solicited public health officials and community leaders to help actualize several health goals by 2019.
By increasing access to health care coverage, strengthening public-private partnerships, and utilizing the power of legislative and executive actions, the state government along with skilled public health workers is developing strategies to reach these ambitious yet attainable health goals for 2019:
- Reduce the rate of uninsured residents by 5%
- Reduce the smoking rate by 10%
- Reduce the rate of smoking by 10%
- Reduce the cancer death rate by 10%
- Reduce the rate of cardiovascular deaths by 10%
- Reduce the rate of untreated dental decay for children by 25%
- Reduce the rate of drug overdose deaths by 25%
- Reduce the average rate of poor mental health days by 25%
As a result of the state’s concentrated vision of a healthier future, well-trained and highly educated public health workers are likely to experience increased job opportunities that offer great salaries.
In fact, according to the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, several professions that often work closely with the public health sector were among the state’s list of twenty occupations with the most annual job openings requiring a doctoral, professional, or master’s degree:
- Physicians and Surgeons, All Other: $91.54/hr.
- Physical Therapists: $40.12/hr.
- Pharmacists: $57.21/hr.
- Healthcare Social Workers: $21.88/hr.
- Mental Health Counselors: $17.54/hr.
- Clinical, Counseling, and School Pathologists: $26.54/hr.
- Rehabilitation Counselors: $16.47/hr.
An In-Depth Look at Public Health Salaries in Kentucky
When the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet released its Kentucky Occupational Outlook to 2022 publication, education was discovered as a major contributing factor to occupational demand and salary potential in the state. For example, the report found that jobs requiring a master’s degree were projected to grow by approximately 20% between 2012 and 2022, which was a much faster rate than for jobs requiring lesser degrees during this period.
Here are the average salaries for several public health occupations in Kentucky as of 2014:
- Medical and Health Service Managers: $88,756/yr.
- Social and Community Service Managers: $56,222/yr.
- Statisticians: $75,197/yr.
- Health and Safety Engineers: $76,509/yr.
- Epidemiologists: $52,292/yr.
- Microbiologists: $56,000/yr.
- Environmental Scientists and Specialists: $57,044/yr.
- Social Scientists and Related Workers: $57,442/yr.
- Social Science Research Assistants: $47,093/yr.
- Biological Scientists: $56,994/yr.
- Community Health Workers: $33,344/yr.
- Health Educators: $43,623/yr.
- Healthcare Social Workers: $44,319/yr.
- Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors: $36,8843/yr.
- Rehabilitation Counselors: $37,529/yr.
- Miscellaneous Community and Social Service Specialists: $40,959/yr.
- Occupational Health and Safety Specialists: $65,086/yr.
A Full Analysis of Public Health Salaries in Kentucky
The United States Department of Labor furnished the following data to provide a more complete portrait of public health salaries, wages, pay ranges, and percentile groups in Kentucky (2014):