Epidemiologist Job Profile and Description

Epidemiologists are medical doctors who specialize in researching the causes and drivers for diseases to spread.  They often work with government disease control agencies to identify disease causing agents in epidemics to develop antigens and programs to prevent and control further spread of the disease.  These are applied epidemiologists in contrast with research epidemiologists who conduct their work in laboratories of pharmaceutical companies.

Epidemiologist Duties and Responsibilities

  • Coordinate with local health officials in monitoring and reporting incidents of infectious diseases to forestall any epidemic outbreaks,
  • Oversee state and local health programs, health care planning, statistical analysis, health surveillance systems, and health improvement.
  • Plan, design and direct researches to investigate animal or human disease, to form basis in developing preventive programs and treatments for the disease.
  • Publish or communicate research results of target diseases to health officials and practitioners as well as the general public.
  • Determine and analyze health concerns raised against food and pet-borne parasitic diseases and their significance to public policies.
  • Mentor and supervise health care professionals and scientists assigned to research project.
  • Keep abreast in latest medical technologies and relevant discoveries in epidemiology by attending seminars and conferences.

Epidemiologist Skills and Specifications

  • Must have knowledge in the use of high technology devices and tools in the research, diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
  • Must have excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Must have excellent interpersonal and people management skills

Epidemiologist Education and Qualifications

  • A doctor of medicine with a state license to practice as a doctor is basic.
  • Post graduate degree biophysics, cellular biology, epidemiology or history is a must.

Epidemiologist Salary

Depending on the hospital and state, the median salary of an Epidemiologist in 2009 stood at $61,700 annually with the middle 50% earning between $49,900 and $75,400.  The topmost 10% earned about $92,700 while the lowest 10% earned around $40,900.