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.
Epidemiologists work in offices and laboratories, usually at health departments for state and local governments, in hospitals, and at colleges and universities. 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.
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.
The median annual wage for epidemiologists was $69,450 in May 2015.
Employment of epidemiologists is projected to grow 6 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Epidemiologists are likely to have good job prospects overall.
Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for epidemiologists.
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Learn more about epidemiologists by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.