An epidemiologist plays a very important role in society.

  • They research the causes and consequences of illness and disease

  • They collect and analyze their findings

  • They present their findings to the public, health practitioners, and local and federal governments

  • They also help prevent these diseases from spreading and threatening societal health

Ultimately, their work shapes the health policies we live with today.

A man in a biohazard suit throwing confetti

Preparing For This Career

Although you can come from any area, a Bachelor's degree in health or natural science is preferred. Additionally, you would need to obtain a Masters's degree in Epidemiology or a related field.

Students enrolled in a graduate program work closely with professors who are genuinely dedicated to the study of diseases.

man in lab coat saying STUDY

You could be working on writing grants to attain funding for your research one day, and the next day, chatting with international public health officials about next steps for preventing a disease outbreak!

A Day In The Life Of An Epidemiologist

Where would an epidemiologist find work?

  • government agencies whether federal or even for a small city

  • private research facilities

  • pharmaceutical companies

  • hospital systems

  • universities

an epidemiologist wearing gloves and safety glasses works in a lab settingPhoto by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

On a given day, an epidemiologist:

Flaticon IconWorks in a clean, well-lit location like a laboratory or office

Flaticon IconTraves to a location to research and monitor the outbreak of a disease

Flaticon IconAnalyzes data related to a current outbreak

Flaticon IconEducates the public, patients, doctors, and policymakers about diseases and infections

What Could You Earn?

Flaticon IconThe average epidemiologist salary in the United States is $98,708  

Flaticon IconAn epidemiologist in Canada typically earns around $88,000

Is This For You?

a detective is holding a magnifying glass to their eye looking for clues

If you enjoy using math, science, and the notion of unraveling the unknown facts of a disease, this might be for you!

To excel in this career you need to:

  • think creatively and critically

  • communicate ideas in reports and papers

  • use math and statistics to analyze data

  • research and be curious about tdiseases

  • work on a team

This may not be the right career if you:

  • prefer a consistent schedule that does not change

  • are not interested in working with data and numbers

  • do not enjoy using new software and technology

Let's look at these two prospective Epidemiology students:

Flaticon IconThomas

  • has a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry

  • is the president of the student body

  • has experience working with high school students that compete in science competitions

Flaticon IconJaya

  • enjoys working with the public

  • has a Bachelor's in Communications

  • excelled in math classes

  • has volunteered with a local charity group

Quiz

Which of these students would be good fit for an Epidemiology program?

Jaya

Thomas

Take Action

If you feel this is the career for you, take a moment to write down any questions you have and then follow these suggestions:

Woman holding a stack of papers with data saying I have done the research

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This Byte has been authored by

JA

Jeanine Abuahmad

Instructional Designer & Developer