The Educational Requirements, Salary and Career of an Epidemiologists
The coronavirus pandemic has underscored that the field of epidemiology, which focuses on discovering the causes of disease outbreaks and tracing the spread of illness, is an academic discipline with real-world relevance. When policymakers propose solutions to the COVID-19 outbreak, they often base their recommendations on advice from epidemiologists.
Epidemiologists, sometimes referred to as “disease detectives,” are trained to recognize, control and mitigate the proliferation of disease within a population and often work in academia, government or the nonprofit sector. They also sometimes work for corporations that require guidance on occupational and environmental health and safety measures.
The median annual salary among epidemiologists as of May 2019 was $70,990, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which states that an entry-level job in this profession typically requires a master’s.
What Epidemiologists Do and Why
Epidemiologists may specialize in examining the prevalence and origins of a specific type of health problem. For example, they may focus entirely on infectious diseases or examine the causes and impact of noninfectious conditions like cancers. They could also investigate the prevalence of traumatic injuries or violence flare-ups within a given community, behavioral health issues or the spread and impact of environmental toxins.
Epidemiologists, generally works alongside other public health experts, including those whose specialty is figuring out precisely what method to use to stop the spread of a disease and designing what that intervention looks like.
Aspiring epidemiologists should know that there are government-sponsored scholarships available for epidemiology students, since their work often involves performing a public service.
How to Study Epidemiology and Become an Epidemiologist
It is possible to take epidemiology courses at the bachelor’s, masters or doctoral level. However, frequently at the undergraduate level, such courses are under the auspices of a public health bachelor’s program that may have a general focus rather than a particular emphasis on epidemiology, according to epidemiology faculty. There are many master’s and Ph.D. programs that grant degrees specifically in epidemiology.
Epidemiology is a great field for an adult learner to enter after pursuing another career. You can also become an epidemiologist even if you have a degree in another subject, but some academic training in epidemiology is necessary for this career path.
How to Decide if Epidemiology Is the Right Field for You
Experts on epidemiology say it’s important for an aspiring epidemiologist to think about whether they are highly motivated by a desire to do good for society.
Experts warns against someone becoming an epidemiologist if money is the primary motivator. Becoming an epidemiologist is a good-paying job, but it’s not the highest-paying job, the profession is ideal for people who are dedicated to the health, safety and welfare of others and who enjoy working on “multidisciplinary teams” with individuals in other fields.
The role of an epidemiologist is personally fulfilling and socially beneficial. This field is extremely dynamic and exciting. One way or another, you are always working with something that is new, challenging, and deeply impactful to the health and welfare of a lot of people. Whether it is studying the effects of a pandemic or the prevention of heart disease from smoking, the epidemiologist’s work is geared to helping humanity.
The Many Types of Epidemiology Jobs
There is a wide range of epidemiologist positions. Epidemiologists have the flexibility to choose between adrenaline-packed careers and more relaxed work situations.
An epidemiologist can have an exciting career where they are on standby teams ready to fly into a geographic zone where a deadly infection has emerged. Others pursue a quiet academic career safe and sound on a university campus teaching.
Epidemiologists are stepping up to provide critical assistance during the coronavirus outbreak. In the setting of the current pandemic, epidemiologists are required across the entire nation to monitor and track the who, what, when, where, and how the infectious agent is spreading across the nation. The epidemiologist is the front-line smart warrior in this effort to combat COVID-19.