Epidemiologists are public health professionals who investigate patterns and causes of disease and injury in humans. They seek to reduce the risk and occurrence of negative health outcomes through research, community education and health policy.
Most epidemiologists work full time and have a standard work schedule. Occasionally, epidemiologists may have to work long or irregular hours in order to complete fieldwork or tend to duties during public health emergencies.
Epidemiologists typically need at least a master’s degree from an accredited college or university. A master’s degree in public health with an emphasis in epidemiology is most common, but epidemiologists can earn degrees in a wide range of related fields and specialisations. Epidemiologists who direct research projects—including those who work as postsecondary teachers in colleges and universities—often have a Ph.D. or medical degree in their chosen field.
- Detail Orientated
- Problem Solving
- Electronic Disease Surveillance
- Data Analysis
- Public Health Programs
- Epidemiologic Studies
- Outbreak Investigations
Interest in public health and epidemiology has increased over the past decade. The number of master’s degree programs in public health specialising in epidemiology, as well as the number of graduates from these programs, has increased. Some entrants are finding strong competition for jobs, but applicants who are willing to work in any of the various specialties found in this occupation, rather than those tied to one specialty, may have less difficulty finding work. Because epidemiology is a diverse field, opportunities can generally be found if one takes a broad view.