Epidemiologists study the causes, effects, distribution, and patterns of disease. The work they do forms the very basis of medicine and impacts the health of millions of people across the globe. Because there are so many approaches to disease and healthcare, epidemiology is naturally a versatile occupation. Epidemiology jobs encompass government researchers, university professors, scientists, medical practitioners, public health educators, and field workers at the frontlines of disease outbreaks. Epidemiologists can work for the government, private institutions, nonprofits, and pharmaceutical companies. Some epidemiologists specialize in certain areas like oral health or infectious diseases, or on diseases in animal and plant populations.
Epidemiology Job Education Requirements
An epidemiologist job requires a master's degree. A master's in public health is the most common, but epidemiologists earn degrees from many fields and disciplines. Epidemiologists who want to direct research projects need to earn a doctorate in the field of their choice. Medical epidemiologists have medical degrees. Epidemiologists work with a lot of statistical data, and may use specialized database and statistical software.
Epidemiology Job Market
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, epidemiology employment will grow at a rate of 10 percent until 2022. Current technologies for record-keeping and data systems will continue to develop and the accuracy and extent of epidemiologists' analyses of health patterns will also improve, creating more need for their skills. New and exciting approaches to healthcare are always emerging; epidemiologists will remain important for assessing, studying, and reporting the state of diseases and conditions as healthcare continues to evolve.
Epidemiology Job Salary Information
The average annual pay for epidemiologists working for state and local government is $59,090. Epidemiologist jobs at the university level earn a median of $66,960 and in hospitals they earn about $73,810 per year. Research epidemiology jobs in the life sciences are by far the highest annual wage earners at $92,070 a year.