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Epidemiologists Career

Career Description

Investigate and describe the determinants and distribution of disease, disability, or health outcomes. May develop the means for prevention and control.

What Job Titles Epidemiologists Might Have

  • Epidemiologist
  • Infection Control Practitioner (ICP)
  • Nurse Epidemiologist
  • Research Epidemiologist

What Epidemiologists Do

  • Oversee public health programs, including statistical analysis, health care planning, surveillance systems, and public health improvement.
  • Plan and direct studies to investigate human or animal disease, preventive methods, and treatments for disease.
  • Provide expertise in the design, management and evaluation of study protocols and health status questionnaires, sample selection and analysis.
  • Monitor and report incidents of infectious diseases to local and state health agencies.
  • Investigate diseases or parasites to determine cause and risk factors, progress, life cycle, or mode of transmission.
  • Communicate research findings on various types of diseases to health practitioners, policy makers, and the public.
  • Plan, administer and evaluate health safety standards and programs to improve public health, conferring with health department, industry personnel, physicians and others.
  • Educate healthcare workers, patients, and the public about infectious and communicable diseases, including disease transmission and prevention.
  • Conduct research to develop methodologies, instrumentation and procedures for medical application, analyzing data and presenting findings.
  • Identify and analyze public health issues related to foodborne parasitic diseases and their impact on public policies or scientific studies or surveys.
  • Supervise professional, technical and clerical personnel.
  • Standardize drug dosages, methods of immunization, and procedures for manufacture of drugs and medicinal compounds.
  • Teach principles of medicine and medical and laboratory procedures to physicians, residents, students, and technicians.

What Epidemiologists Should Be Good At

  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.

What Epidemiologists Should Be Interested In

  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

What Epidemiologists Need to Learn

  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Diploma iconThis career requires a graduate degree.
Median Salary: $70,820

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.