Explore various career options in the field of epidemiology – Part 2

November 24, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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Pre-medical students in the hospital laboratory Clinical Trial Research Epidemiologist

Most pharmaceutical companies and many healthcare organisations conduct numerous clinical trials. While dealing with clinical trials that are associated with diseases and spreading of these diseases among people, these companies hire clinical trial research epidemiologists. These professionals may work in a lab or engage in field work in order to find solutions to the problems that arise. However, they usually work behind the scenes and do not take part in any interactions with the patients. To become a clinical trial research epidemiologist, you need to obtain a Master’s degree either in the field of epidemiology or in public health.

State Epidemiologist

A state epidemiologist does the same work as a regular epidemiologist. However, this work is more state-oriented. As a state epidemiologist, you may have to work alongside the state government or in an organisation that focuses on protecting the interests of a particular state. This can be a very big responsibility. Among other things it involves playing a major role in policy-making with regards to implementing new public health programs and policies within a state. All the data will have to be collected and analysed with a view to reducing the incidence of diseases and infections that commonly occur in that particular state.


Epidemiology Investigator

These specialists conduct detailed investigations amongst populations where there are specific trends of infection and chronic disease problems. In your role as an epidemiology investigator, you would be responsible for collecting biological samples from the population that reside in the area you are investigating. You would also have to study the demographics of the population in that area in order to determine their likelihood of getting infections. To work in this specialty area, you would have to first obtain an MPH degree. This usually takes about two to three years to complete. 

Academic Research Epidemiologist

Academic research epidemiologists usually work in universities or academic institutions that are dedicated to academic research. Some of these professionals also teach part time or full time as university professors.

Academic research epidemiologists are vital to the public healthcare sector since they are often the ones responsible for finding various solutions to handling diseases or discovering information that is of great use to the public. To get into this field, it is necessary to have an MPH. A number of institutions will also require a Ph.D. degree.

Supervisory Epidemiologist

A supervisory epidemiologist typically works in the capacity of a manager. If your ultimate goal is to get into management, this is definitely an option you should consider. In your role as a supervisory epidemiologist you can expect to manage large teams or organisations that are dedicated to epidemiology. You would also assist in research and help with analysing of data and compilation of reports. Supervisory epidemiologists are in charge of a particular project or team and it is up to them to ensure that all the necessary rules and regulations are being followed by everyone. Several years of work experience in the field as well as an MPH degree are required to get to this position.


Part 3 discusses a few more career options in this field.