Epidemiologists

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Also known as:  Clinical Epidemiologist, Communicable Disease Specialist, Environmental Epidemiologist, Epidemiology Investigator, Malariologist, Medical Epidemiologist, Pharmacoepidemiologist

ABOUT EPIDEMIOLOGIST CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
Epidemiologists are like medical detectives - they work to determine who gets diseases and why. They train through 4 years of college and an additional two to four years of master's degree or doctoral studies. They may specialize in an area such as environmental epidemiology, which look at the conne ...
ction between environmental exposure and disease.

Most epidemiologists work for federal, state, or local government agencies, such as the centers for disease control, or a local health department. They study the frequency, distribution, and causes of disease in the human populations and develop means for prevention and control.

Epidemiologists collect, analyze, and interpret data, prepare reports and present their findings verbally and in writing. They must have good statistical, analytical, and communication skills.

Their work may take place at universities, hospitals, research facilities, or pharmaceutical companies. But like any detective, an epidemiologist might also go on location to find out more about the cause and effect of a disease in a particular community. He or she might ask questions of people to find out who is at most risk and to develop theories about how a particular disease is spread.

Findings from both laboratory and field research might then be published in a medical journal. They can also lead to new public health programs. From finding the cause to advocating treatment, an epidemiologist needs to have patience, persistence, and precision.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Investigate and describe the determinants and distribution of disease, disability, or health outcomes. May develop the means for prevention and control.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
LOW
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Identify and analyze public health issues related to foodborne parasitic diseases and their impact on public policies or scientific studies or surveys.
Conduct research to develop methodologies, instrumentation and procedures for medical application, analyzing data and presenting findings.
Plan, administer and evaluate health safety standards and programs to improve public health, conferring with health department, industry personnel, physicians and others.
Educate healthcare workers, patients, and the public about infectious and communicable diseases, including disease transmission and prevention.
Investigate diseases or parasites to determine cause and risk factors, progress, life cycle, or mode of transmission.
Plan and direct studies to investigate human or animal disease, preventive methods, and treatments for disease.
Monitor and report incidents of infectious diseases to local and state health agencies.
Communicate research findings on various types of diseases to health practitioners, policy makers, and the public.
Supervise professional, technical and clerical personnel.
Provide expertise in the design, management and evaluation of study protocols and health status questionnaires, sample selection and analysis.
Oversee public health programs, including statistical analysis, health care planning, surveillance systems, and public health improvement.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Medicine and Dentistry Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Sociology and Anthropology Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
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