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Career as an Epidemiologists

Who are Epidemiologists?

Epidemiologists are scientists who study diseases within populations of individuals. These public health professionals analyse what causes disease outbreaks to treat existing diseases and prevent future outbreak.

What does an Epidemiologist do?

Plan and direct studies of public health problems to seek out ways to stop and treat them if they arise. Collect and analyze data—through observations, interviews, and surveys, and by using samples of blood or other bodily fluids—to find the causes of diseases or other health problems. Communicate their findings to health practitioners, policymakers, and therefore the public.

Manage public health programs by planning programs, monitoring their progress, analyzing data, and seeking ways to enhance the programs so as to enhance public health outcomes. Supervise professional, technical, and clerical personnel.

Types of Epidemiologists

Academic Research Epidemiologist

It involves researching the different factors that cause diseases or conditions and in some cases those in the field will go on to become a professor. Their work usually results in major discoveries which will influence the health field as entire and should also impact policies associated to public health.

Infection Control Epidemiologist

An infection control epidemiologist deals with public health problems within a hospital or a medical facility. They collect and analyze health-related data within the power through observations, surveys, interviews, blood samples and other bodily samples.

Clinical Trial Research Epidemiologist

These experts usually work for health organizations or drug companies. They complete clinical trials of medicines and procedures and monitor side effects and results. The overall goal is obviously to find new treatments and medications for various drugs. They usually add labs in the field, and their focus is on reducing the amount of negative health outcomes.

Field Epidemiologists

They add in health departments and truly are dispatched to varied locations round the nation or maybe the planet when an outbreak of disease occurs. They will work to spot the disease, govern its cause, and work to stem the spread of the disease accordingly.

The focus of the work of the professional is to review the disease and to vary how it spreads. A field epidemiologist can add in many areas, like environmental health, infectious diseases, chronic disease and oral health.

Applied Epidemiologist

These professionals usually work in health agencies or departments at a national, state, or local level. This career area focuses on investigation of disease distribution and risk factors.

They also collect a countless deal of public health information by conducting interviews, making observations, taking blood samples, as well as taking samples of other bodily fluids.

Basically, they work to identify the areas that are vulnerable to a certain illness, why that is, and what can be done to overcome the problem.

Epidemiology Investigator

An epidemiology investigator does assessments in people where typically there are long-lasting disease problems and specific tendencies of infection. These professionals fold biological samples, and also study the demographics of populations to determine how likely they are to get infections.

These investigators also look at environmental concerns that could have an impact on public health. They might interact with the local community to fold more evidence, and also collect biological samples.

Molecular Epidemiologist

A molecular epidemiologist applies advanced techniques of molecular biology to the study of numerous problems in epidemiology. Some of these techniques, like nucleic acid analysis, allows workers in public health to look into what causes diseases in a population, and to quite measure factors in the exposure to a disease.

Veterinary Epidemiologist

Veterinary epidemiologists study the cause and spread of diseases within groups of animals other than humans. Veterinary epidemiologist requirementis to attain a veterinary medicine degree. Next, the individual works to become licensed to practice medicine and then obtain additional training and education to become an epidemiologist.

What is the workplace of an Epidemiologists?

Epidemiologists work in offices and laboratories, usually at health departments for state and local governments, in hospitals, and at colleges and universities. Epidemiologists are also employed in the federal government by agencies such as the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some do fieldwork to conduct interviews and collect samples for analyses. Fieldwork may bring epidemiologists into contact with infectious disease, but the risk is minimal because they receive appropriate training and take extensive precautions before interacting with samples or patients.

Most epidemiologists spend their time studying data and reports in an office setting. Work in laboratories and the field tends to be delegated to specialized scientists and other technical staff. In state and local government public health departments, epidemiologists may be more active in the community and may need to travel to support community education efforts or to administer studies and surveys.


Communication skills. Epidemiologists must use their speaking and writing skills to inform the public and community leaders about public health risks. Clear communication is required for an epidemiologist to work effectively with other health professionals.

Critical-thinking skills. Epidemiologists analyze data to determine how best to respond to a public health problem or an urgent health-related emergency.

Detail oriented. Epidemiologists must be precise and accurate in moving from observation and interview to conclusions.

Math and statistical skills. Epidemiologists may need advanced math and statistical skills to design and administer studies and surveys. Skill in using large databases and statistical computer programs may also be important.

Teaching skills. Epidemiologists may be involved in community outreach activities that educate the public about health risks and healthy living.

Strong understanding of medical and biological processes

Equally as important as proficiency of statistical concepts, an understanding of medical and biological processes is critical for effective analysis of how to prevent and treat diseases. Finding a treatment or vaccine for a disease is not possible without first understanding how the disease works in the human body

Technical Skills

Since much of the work is done as data collection, storage and analysis that is done through computer and data analysis. Therefore, an epidemiologist must know how to use the technology to access and process these. Should be aware of the advancements in Big Data, data mining and predictive analysis etc.


Extrovert- People need to be extrovert who can communicate with others rather than shying and being with themselves. The profession requires team work wherein the members need to interact and communicate. They should have persuading, influencing, able to lead for organizational goals.

Innovative/Artistics- The person should be creative, should have the ability to think out of the box and come up with new innovative ideas.

Analytical- The person should have analytical ability and help in analytical reasoning and understanding the situation or diseases in a better way.

Patience- The individual should have high level of patience so that he can work in a stressful situation.

High tolerance Level- Individuals who wish to pursue this profession should have high tolerance level and should not collapse and get anxious during a stressful situation.


Epidemiologists need at least a master’s degree from an accredited college or university. Most epidemiologists have a master’s degree in public health (MPH) or a related field, and some have completed a doctoral degree in epidemiology or medicine.

Bachelor’s Degree – Most universities and colleges do not offer undergraduate programs in Epidemiology and those who want to pursue epidemiology careers usually choose to pursue medicine or other health fields prior to graduate studies.

MPH graduates generally seek employment in a practice-oriented arena, such as a local or state public health department.

MS graduates usually pursue careers in research with responsibilities including study design, data collection and analysis, assisting in grant and report writing, publication preparations, and study coordination.

PhD graduates often undertake the role of Principal Investigator on research projects. This involves, among other things, defining the question or issue to be studied, determining the study design, data collection and analysis methods to be employed, grant writing, research team management, and publication writing.

Epidemiologists typically specialize in one or more of the following public health areas:

· Infectious diseases

· Chronic diseases

· Maternal and child health

· Public health preparedness and emergency response

· Environmental health

· Injury

· Occupational health

· Oral health

· Substance abuse

· Mental health

Job Look

Employment of epidemiologists is projected to grow 5 percent subsequent next ten years, about as fast because the average for all occupations. Epidemiologists are likely to possesses good job prospects overall.

Epidemiological and public health programs are largely dependent on public funding, and uncertain budgetary conditions are likely to moderate growth.

Epidemiological and infection control capacity is predicted to expand in hospitals as more hospitals join programs like the National Healthcare Safety Network and realize the benefits of strengthened infection control programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to get involved in scientific firm?

By either getting a doctorate or PhD degree. One can also get medicine degree after masters.

What is the expected salary on this field?

Epidemiologists are well-educated and very skilled individuals who must undergo extensive training in order study diseases and how they affect a given group of people. As a result, epidemiologists’ average salaries are well above the national average, depending on the position. For example, many epidemiologists have masters or doctorate level degrees as well as years of practical experience.

The average salary for an Epidemiologist in India is ₹696,343.

Is this a good career?

According to Bureau of Labour Statistics, it is a fast growing and emerging profession that need to be taken. The profession involves highly educated people.

How long does it take to be an epidemiologist?

A bachelor's degree in biostatistics generally takes four years to complete. However, that timeframe can be longer or shorter, depending on whether the student is a part-time or full-time student or desires to graduate college early.

How can I apply for mph in India?

For applying to the course, candidates need to have attained a Bachelor's degree in any discipline of Health Science from a recognized university, with a minimum aggregate score of 60%. Top Institutes/Universities offering Master of Public Health are: University of Lucknow. Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Best colleges in India to study the course?

All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, West Bengal

Christian Medical College, TamilNadu

Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences University, Maharashtra

SRM University, Kattankulathur

Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai

Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar

Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna


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