Public health workers in Maine promote healthy lifestyles through education, research, and advocacy to the state’s mostly rural population, 17% of which is 65 or older.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 6% growth in the epidemiology sector by 2026, as well as a 12% growth in the health education field. Epidemiologists earn a median salary of $70,820 per year, while health educators earn a median $44,390.

The BLS projects a 6% growth in the epidemiology sector by 2026, as well as a 12% growth in the health education field.

Many public health programs in Maine attract students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree in the field. A master’s in public health allows graduates to pursue research, education, and policy careers in the public and private sectors.

Although the benefits of earning a master’s in public health are clear to those who already work in the field (and to other professionals seeking a career change), scheduling and financial logistics can complicate enrollment in traditional on-campus programs. Fortunately, students who pursue online MPH programs in Maine need not make on-campus commitments.

Maine’s State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) addresses subjects such as diabetes, immunizations, obesity, tobacco use, mental health, and substance abuse. Through community education and outreach, the Maine CDC hopes to improve the overall health of Maine’s population.

In conjunction with the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program, Maine offers prediabetic residents education on diabetes prevention. Diabetic residents can participate in expanded Diabetes Self-Management Training programs.

Aiming to increase routine immunization rates among children and adolescents, Maine facilitates the dissemination of vaccine information between providers and patients. The state also aims to reduce its childhood and adult obesity rates through media campaigns, school partnerships, provider cooperation, and worksite education.

Similarly, Maine prioritizes reducing tobacco use through educative partnerships with providers, schools, landlords, and employers. The state aims to reduce substance abuse and untreated mental health issues by working with providers, schools, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness to improve education and data collection for these issues.

Public health students may gain training and experience through a short-term internship or fellowship in the field. Internships normally go to undergraduate students, while fellowships generally go to graduate students or postgraduate professionals. Internships may provide general task support to an organization, while fellows may develop research or community programs. They may serve in their position for a few months or a few years. The following internships and fellowships are all available to public health students in Maine.

Hanley Center Undergraduate Health Leadership Internship Program

Hanley Center Undergraduate Health Leadership Internship Program: Maine’s Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership offers paid summer internships designed to help to undergraduate students help low-income and special needs populations. Interns receive mentoring from health leadership professionals. Prospective participants can apply online.
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American Public Health Association Public Health Policy Internship

The APHA offers unpaid internships to undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate students interested in health policy research and advocacy. Interns work closely with the Center for Public Health Policy. Students can apply online.
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New England Public Health Training Center Internships

Each year, the NEPHTC offers a stipend to 20 graduate students who complete fieldwork projects under faculty supervision to address specific public health issues among target populations. Prospective applicants can find more information on the NEPHTC website.
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APHL-CDC Infectious Diseases Laboratory Fellowship

This paid fellowship offered by the Association of Public Health Laboratories and the CDC places master’s degree-level scientists in laboratories throughout the U.S. to receive training and assist in research. Public health graduates may apply online.
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Dr. James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Diseases RISE Fellowship Program

This CDC-funded program offers a nine-week paid summer fellowship to graduate public health students, who participate in mentored research in Baltimore, Maryland, and Atlanta, Georgia.
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Maine values its public health professionals. Depending on experience, credentials, and location, Maine health educators earn an average of $48,070 annually. Community health workers average $34,470 yearly, and healthcare social workers bring home an average of $50,510 per year. Public health workers find employment with research centers, government organizations, and healthcare providers across the state.

Public health workers in Maine work with employers, schools, governments, and the public to support the continued and improved health of the state’s rural and elderly populations. They also promote the development of healthy lifestyles for Maine’s children and play a crucial role in bridging the health gap for its economically disadvantaged communities.

  Employment Hourly Mean Wage Annual Mean Wage
Maine 1,320 $21.32 $44,350
United States 63,260 $32.60 $67,810

Source: BLS

Public Health Employers in Maine

When choosing to enter the public health field, students benefit from choosing a school in a state with large public health employers. This increases student likelihood of getting a job after graduation. Public health graduates may find jobs as researchers and educators in universities, government agencies, hospitals, and research centers.

Employers Number of Employees
MaineHealth 8,501 to 9,000
Eastern Maine Medical Center 4,001 to 4,500
MaineGeneral Medical Center 3,501 to 4,000

Public Health Research Centers in Maine

Public health professionals interested in pursuing a career in research, data collection, or health trend analysis often seek employment in research centers after graduation. Epidemiologists and other scientists promote public wellness through participation in varied research initiatives that identify the health needs of Maine residents. The following four research centers are examples of public health research centers where Maine public health graduates might seek employment.

  • Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention: The MeCDC is an office of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. It sponsors data collection and research in many health-related topics to promote health equity across the state.
  • Public Health Research Institute: The nonprofit PHRI researches, evaluates, and addresses the health needs of Maine’s at-risk and high-need populations. The group aims to increase equity by addressing overlooked deficiencies in health programs, services, and policies.
  • Maine-Harvard Prevention Research Center: The Maine-HPRC is a collaboration between Harvard University and the MeCDC. Headquartered at the University of New England, the organization’s Prevention Research Center focuses on reducing morbid obesity in Maine through research and policy improvement.
  • Maine Public Health Institute: The MePHI, a University of Southern Maine organization, advocates for public health development through research and analysis. The group uses population-based programming, data analysis, and policy evaluation to improve healthcare access, outcomes, and cost efficiencies.

Public Health Professional Organizations in Maine

Professional organizations for Maine public health workers provide networking opportunities, continuing education, and a sense of professional community. Current students may find career path guidance in these organizations, while recent graduates may use them to seek employment opportunities.
The Maine Public Health Association’s annual fall conference draws public health professionals from across the state the discuss health science, policy, and programming. Health researchers can pursue continuing education opportunities through the Association for Professionals in
Infection Control and Epidemiology, and the MPHA offers professional development to health educators. The following organizations benefit public health professionals in Maine.

  • Maine Public Health Association: The MPHA is Maine’s flagship public health professional organization. Members can offer input on MPHA policy advocacy, advertise industry jobs and events on the MPHA website, access networking events and materials, and attend the annual fall conference at a discounted rate.
  • Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology: The APIC Pine Tree Chapter unites professionals across health fields to advocate for infection prevention, policy reform, and health data collection in Maine. Members gain access to continuing education, public policy information, and professional practice recommendations.
  • American Public Health Association: Maine is one of the APHA’s 54 state and regional affiliates. The APHA offers professional and student members access to annual industry meetings, policy advocacy, and education assistance.

To work as a public health professional in Maine, employees must possess a degree in the field. A master’s degree greatly increases public health worker employment prospects, especially in the research and policy sectors.

To work as a public health professional in Maine, employees must possess a degree in the field.

Maine public health workers may also choose to acquire the optional Certified in Public Health (CPB) credential by going through an application process and, if invited, sitting for the CPB exam. This is only available to graduates of institutions accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health under the National Board of Public Health Examiners. CPB credential holders stand out from other prospective public health professionals for voluntarily demonstrating in-depth knowledge of key public health issues and a commitment to continuing education within the field.

A partnership between the MeCDC, NEPHTC, Muskie School, and Hanley Center provides free online Public Health Training modules for public health workers who wish to broaden their knowledge base and remain current with an ever-changing field.

Future professions should be sure to choose an online MPH program from a regionally accredited school. Although many technical and career-based schools receive national accreditation, regional accreditation is more academically prestigious. Colleges and universities are more likely to accept credits from regionally accredited institutions should you decide to transfer to an on-campus program, and a degree from a regionally-accredited school is likely to be most impressive to prospective employers.

When exploring online MPH programs in Maine, look for New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) accreditation. The NEASC’s Council on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) is the regional college and university accreditation agency for all six New England states.

The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) offers field-specific accreditation for degrees in public health. This DoED-recognized agency accredits undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral public health programs based on rigor and determines graduates’ eligibility to sit for the Certified in Public Health (CPH) exam.

University of New England

As Maine’s largest private university, the University of New England continues to expand its reach with campuses in Biddeford and Portland and, as of 2014, Tangier, Morocco. UNE Online sees to the educational needs of the nontraditional student, offering flexible learning from a distance. Founded in 1939, UNE gained university status in 1978 and today serves more than 8,000 students. The school offers 40 majors, plus online graduate degrees in medical leadership, education, social work, and public health.

The 46-credit MPH in Maine prepares students to take on leadership roles in public health, helping with the challenges of health promotion and the prevention of disease and injury. The program accommodates both full- and part-time students and can be completed in 18 months. The curriculum splits into five core courses: three required courses covering the principles of public health, research methods, and an integrated field practicum, and seven elective courses. While the program’s core coursework explores the five disciplines of public health, the elective topics narrow to inspect specific groups, methods, disease, research, and literacy.

A practicum culminates program study, requiring students to demonstrate mastery of public health concepts, theory, and principles through a capstone term paper and oral presentation. To plan for the practicum, which requires 120 hours of public health fieldwork, students will need to begin their search for a study site/preceptor six months in advance. MPH courses occur asynchronously, meaning students can access lectures, assignments, discussion, and all course material at any time. The MPH program aims to help student enhance their skills in analysis, global health, program planning, public health law, ethics, and policy.

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning and have earned a 3.0 GPA or better. GRE scores are not required, though prospective master’s in public health candidates who lack the prerequisite college-level science and/or mathematics courses should include scores from GRE tests.

Edwina Foye Award for Outstanding Graduate Student

The Foundation for Seacoast Health offers scholarships to graduate students who reside in coastal Maine. Scholarship recipients demonstrate a commitment to community service, academic achievement, and health-related studies.

Amount Offered: Up to $5,000
Scholarship Deadline: April 1
Eligibility Requirements: Students must be residents of Kittery, Eliot, or York, Maine, for at least two years prior to receiving the award. They must pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree in a health-related field at an accredited institution. Recipients must demonstrate academic achievement, community service, dedication to their field of study, and financial need.

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Buolos Family Scholarship

Maine veterans who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan since September 2011, regardless of financial need, can apply the Buolos Family Scholarship toward any program at any regionally accredited Maine college or university.

Amount Offered: $5,520
Scholarship Deadline: First-come, first-served
Eligibility Requirements: Recipients must have been Maine residents prior to their military service. They must use their scholarship within two years, or it will become available to other veterans.

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MaineGeneral Health Scholarship

MaineGeneral Medical Center offers need-based financial awards through its Office of Philanthropy to students in the Kennebec Valley area pursuing direct-service, non-nursing healthcare degrees for professions currently practiced within the MaineGeneral network.

Amount Offered: $250-$2,500
Scholarship Deadline: First Wednesday in April of the award year
Eligibility Requirements: Recipients must demonstrate academic achievement, a history of community service, and financial need.

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New England Board of Higher Education Tuition Break

The NEBHE’s New England Regional Student Program offers tuition assistance to New England residents who pursue approved majors at out-of-state New England public colleges and universities. The average full-time RSP student received $8,055 for the 2016-2017 school year.

Amount Offered: Varies
Scholarship Deadline: Continuous
Eligibility Requirements: Students must be permanent residents of a New England state and enrolled in an approved degree program at a public college or university in another New England state.

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Veterans Dependents Educational Benefits

Maine waives 100% of college tuition and related fees for spouses and dependents of veterans who were killed or disabled while on active duty. Such veterans and their dependents may apply this tuition waiver to schools within the University of Maine System, Maine Community Colleges, or Maine Maritime Academy.

Amount Offered: 100% of tuition and related fees
Scholarship Deadline: Continuous
Eligibility Requirements: Recipients must be veterans with a 100% total permanent disability rating related to their military service; the dependent of such a veteran; or the dependent of a veteran who was killed in action, died from a service-connected disability, was totally and permanently disabled at the time of death due to military service, or has been listed for more than 90 days as missing in action, captured, or forcibly detained by a foreign government or power.

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Peter Fenney Scholarship

In honor of the University of Southern Maine student who passed away in 1999, the Peter Fenney Scholarship offers grants of $1,000 or more to USM students in the Muskie School of Public Service.

Amount Offered: $1,000 or more
Scholarship Deadline: March 1
Eligibility Requirements: Students must be enrolled in the Muskie School, have completed 12 credits, show financial need, and demonstrate a commitment to public service.

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Key Bank Scholarship in Honor of Ken Curtis Fund

Full-time graduate students in the University of Southern May’s Muskie School of Public Service who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and a commitment to public service may receive this non-renewable scholarship.

Amount Offered: Varies
Scholarship Deadline: March 1
Eligibility Requirements: Recipients must be full-time graduate students in the Muskie School and have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and a commitment to public service. An interest in state policy is beneficial but not required.

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USM Graduate Studies Scholarship

Full-time graduate students at the University of Southern Maine can receive scholarship and tuition waivers through the Office of Graduate Studies. This aid can last from one to four years.

Amount Offered: Up to $3,000
Scholarship Deadline: December 11, February 12
Eligibility Requirements: Student must be enrolled full-time and making satisfactory academic progress in a graduate program at USM.

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Expanding Horizons Scholarship

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Southern Maine offers scholarships of $1,000 to 10 first-time graduate students each fall.

Amount Offered: $1,000
Scholarship Deadline: August 7
Eligibility Requirements: Student must be a first-time graduate student at USM.

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ChrisAlice Scholarship

Graduate students in the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service can benefit from the ChrisAlice Scholarship, which rewards academic achievement and voluntary public service.

Amount Offered: $1,000 or more
Scholarship Deadline: March 1
Eligibility Requirements: Students must demonstrate academic achievement, a history of public service, and financial need.

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