Why Many Healthcare Professionals are Switching to Epidemiology
By Staff Writer

Despite the fierce competition that exists for the top paying healthcare-related jobs, the demand for qualified and certified professionals continues to grow by an impressive, double-digit figures. As of 2016, the median hourly pay stood at $34.05 per hour, and the annual salary was $70.820 and still surging. Here’s a complete guide for practicing healthcare professionals or public health students intent on becoming epidemiologists.

Epidemiologist Job Description

Epidemiologists are tasked with tracking and investigating the underlying causes of diseases. Once they unearth the disease vectors or the causative-risk factors, the epidemiologists devise scientific means and avenues to either reduce or eliminate the risks.

Armed with data and info on the distribution of the prevalent diseases, the experts are in a better position to develop effective control measures that target the most severely affected locations.

These experts often need to undertake fieldwork to collect disease samples for lab analysis and to conduct surveys and interviews with the locals under their research study scope. Additionally, it is their duty to identify the causes and then come up measures to curb or eliminate the common injuries in communities.

It is their duty to keenly study the existing scientific literature and advice on necessary amendments to reflect current circumstances. Thanks to the research by this professionals, the authorities have banned and severely fined brands and manufacturers who use harmful contaminants in their products.

They are responsible for developing proposals to address the health care issues recognized in the communities. They then partner up with other involved stakeholders like the community leaders, the government, and doctors to supervise efforts to annihilate the crises within a set time frame.

Working Environment

Aspiring epidemiologists find themselves interning, and later working in labs and offices. Most researchers end up working for the state and the local health government offices in public universities, medical colleges and in hospitals. Others, get absorbed by the reputable Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) agency.

Epidemiologist Education Requirements

Students and practicing professionals hoping to thrive as epidemiologists are required to be holders of a master’s degree. The degree must be from an accredited and well-recognized institution of higher learning in the nation. The professional resumes of most, if not all, of the successful epidemiologists, shows them being holders of a public health master’s degree (MPH). For one to serve as epidemiology research project leader at a university or with the government, they require at least a Ph.D.

Pay Projections

Today, medical doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals are jumping ship and joining this lucrative medical arena in droves. This career ‘migrants’ are buoyed and motivated by the projected growth of over 10% per annum until 2022. As it stands, the highest paid epidemiologists are those undertaking research linked to life sciences and engineering industries. The researchers employed by hospitals come in second while those who serve in universities and colleges are the least well-paid category. The median salary scales for this cadre of researchers varies from one state to the next.

Epidemiologist Certification

There exist two professional charter associations governing epidemiologists. These are the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists and the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology associations. As a starting professional in this particular realm, it’s imperative to connect with these organizations for an opportunity to network with different professionals and to receive the technical support needed to propel your epidemiology career to the next-level.