Public health is emerging as a fast-growing field in developing countries, addressing the diverse health needs of the general population. The demand for health professionals in this sector is continuously rising, making it a lucrative and rewarding career path. This article delves into the dynamic landscape of public health in Nigeria, shedding light on the salary prospects and outlining the steps to become a certified public health professional.
The Scope of Public Health in Nigeria:
Public health is a vast and diverse field within the medical sector, offering a wide range of specializations and opportunities. Its significance is underscored by its role in evaluating and regulating public health initiatives. Graduates from various academic backgrounds can enter the field, with some universities offering undergraduate degrees and others providing master’s level programs.
Salary Outlook for Public Health Professionals in Nigeria:
Public health professionals are among the top earners in the medical sector in Nigeria, primarily due to their collaboration with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). The field’s dynamism allows for professionals from various disciplines to contribute, making it both noble and flexible. The involvement of many NGOs, often foreign organizations, contributes to the high salary levels. On average, entry-level public health professionals can earn between N180,000 to N350,000, with variations depending on the employing organization.
Sample NGO Salaries :
- FHI 360: N330,000 – N370,000
- Danish Refugee Council (DRC): N230,000 – N250,000
- Norwegian Refugee Council: N230,000 – N250,000
- International Medical Corps: N180,000 – N200,000
- Catholic Relief Services: N330,000 – N360,000
- Action Against Hunger: N180,000 – N220,000
It’s important to note that salaries tend to increase significantly with time, accompanied by bonuses and other incentives.
Becoming a Public Health Professional in Nigeria:
For those aspiring to enter the field of public health in Nigeria, the following steps are crucial:
Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health or a Related Discipline:
- Due to limited availability of bachelor’s degree programs in public health, aspiring professionals can pursue relevant degrees in biological or medical sciences at the undergraduate level. Acceptable courses include Biochemistry, Microbiology, Pharmacy, Chemistry, and other life science-related degrees.
Obtain a Master’s Degree in Public Health:
- To enhance qualifications, obtaining a master’s degree in public health is essential. Even if one holds a bachelor’s degree in the field, pursuing a master’s degree further solidifies expertise and credibility.
Public health is not only a top-paying career in Nigeria but also a field offering diverse opportunities for professionals from various backgrounds. The collaboration with NGOs, the dynamic nature of the work, and the potential for career growth make it an attractive option. As the demand for public health professionals continues to rise, individuals following the outlined steps can embark on a fulfilling journey towards becoming certified public health experts in Nigeria.