Epidemiologists investigate the patterns of disease and other health-related problems. They research diseases’ causes and frequencies, as well as the common characteristics of people most likely to fall victim. They use this information to devise or refine solutions to control or prevent diseases.
• conduct research among large populations to determine disease trends.
• develop and test theories regarding the causes and spread of disease.
• investigate and identify risk factors for disease.
• determine strategies to combat the spread, occurrence or mortality from disease.
• compare the effectiveness of various methods for combating the disease.
• conduct public health surveillance to monitor the distribution of diseases.
Among the many subspecialties within epidemiology are:
• cancer epidemiology.
• environmental/occupational epidemiology.
• psychiatric or psychoneuroepidemiology.
• cardiovascular epidemiology.
• genetic epidemiology.
• communicable disease epidemiology.
• veterinary epidemiology.
Epidemiologists may work at research-oriented universities, in the pharmaceutical industry for large health care providers or HMOs, or in federal, state or local public health departments. Many also are employed by the World Health Organization and by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Epidemiologists may work in large laboratory settings or on-site in a community that is experiencing a disease epidemic. Epidemiologists work with many types of health care and public health professionals to investigate and control diseases.
Average Salary Range
$40,000 – $100,000
Those interested in becoming an epidemiologist should have a strong interest and background in math, science and English.Future epidemiologists need to attend a university school of public health and earn
either a Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) or Master of Science (M.S.) degree or Ph.D. in epidemiology. Some epidemiologists also choose to earn a medical degree.
American Public Health Association
800 I St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 777-2742 (APHA)
Society for Epidemiologic Research
P.O. Box 990
Clearfield, UT 84098
Fax: (801) 774-9211