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Epidemiology Programs / Careers

Epidemiology Programs / CareersWhat do Epidemiologists do?
Do you want to work in a highly rewarding medical field saving lives and improving the health of the nation? Epidemiology is the study of the rate and spread of diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease within human populations and environments.

Epidemiologists are public health protection practitioners that investigate the links between medical conditions and environmental toxins, human behavior and geographic locations. Once they understand how a disease is spread, they then develop a means for prevention and control. Applied epidemiologists generally work for government agencies responding to urgent epidemics, finding out what caused them, and helping to contain them. 

Research epidemiologists work in universities, scientific laboratories and on-location discovering how to prevent future outbreaks. Epidemiologists (commonly known as medical detectives) can also work in clinical development and research for pharmaceutical companies. Epidemiologic proof is often used to encourage people to make informed decisions about their health including diet change and smoking cessation. 

The main duties of a Epidemiologist include:

  • Investigating the cause disease
  • Containing outbreaks of infectious disease such as swine flu, west nile virus or avian flu
  • Taking steps to prevent future outbreaks
  • Carrying out observational and experimental studies
  • Informing medical groups and the public on the links between alcohol, smoking, and stress to life threatening disease

Education & Qualifications:
The essential high school and college classes in preparation for a career in epidemiology are science and math. You will need a high GPA to get into a graduate epidemiology program. Applied epidemiologists are required to have a Master of Public Health (MPH) or a Master of Science in Epidemiology (MSc.) degree. Many research epidemiologists positions require physicians or Ph.D. graduates. Accredited universities offer graduate epidemiology programs throughout the United States.

Salary & Job Prospects:
Epidemiologists can earn annual salaries between $50,000 and $120,000 depending on their specialty. Career Outlook - Growth in employment is projected due to bioterrorism threats and infectious disease outbreaks such as swine flu or west nile virus.

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