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Nine Rewarding Epidemiology Jobs

November 10, 2020
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Often called ‘disease detectives,’ epidemiologists search for the causes of disease and injury. They identify people who are at risk, and determine how to control or stop the spread of disease and prevent recurrence of illness and injury. Through research, community education and health policy, they work to reduce risk and occurrence.

As detectives, so to speak, they’re looking for clues:

  • Who is sick
  • What their symptoms are
  • When they got sick
  • Where they could have been exposed

This post will explore several epidemiology and clinical epidemiology jobs, with overviews of their responsibilities and salaries.

Epidemiology

The epidemiologist’s work includes:2

  • Planning and directing studies of public health problems to find ways to prevent and treat them
  • Collecting and analyzing data—through observations, interviews, and surveys, and by using samples of blood or other bodily fluids—to find the causes of diseases or other health problems
  • Communicating findings to health practitioners, policymakers, and the public
  • Managing public health programs by planning them, monitoring their progress, analyzing data, and seeking ways to improve the programs in order to improve public health outcomes
  • Supervising professional, technical and clerical personnel

Epidemiologists

Epidemiologists investigate the causes and patterns of disease and injury in the population. Using research, community education and informed health policy, they work to eradicate disease and minimize risk factors that lead to health problems.2

The median annual salary for epidemiologists is $70,990, and the field is projected to grow by five percent by 2029.3 A widely used employment search site reports that the average base salary for epidemiologists in the U.S. in 2020 is $88,969.4

Infectious Disease Epidemiologists

Often found traveling to remote areas and developing nations in order to carry out their studies, infectious disease epidemiologists conduct interviews and collect samples for analysis. They may come into contact with infectious disease, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) calls the risk factor minimal, because they receive appropriate training and take extensive precautions before interacting with samples or patients.5 Although the BLS doesn’t show salary data for infectious disease epidemiologists, one popular job site lists the average salary as $113,482.6

Biostatisticians

Tasked with analyzing data gathered from medical research, biostatisticians work with scientists to design and oversee research studies in the pursuit of meaningful results.7 Their conclusions and predictions are essential in determining how to treat disease and prevent the spread of epidemics.

The BLS doesn’t provide data for public health statisticians specifically. It does note, however, that the 2019 median salary for statisticians was $92,030, and the job demand is expected to increase by 33 percent by 20298. A well-known online job board reports that the average salary for biostatisticians is $134,725.9

Clinical Epidemiology

Clinical epidemiologists’ tasks include:

  • Overseeing research on diseases and disease outbreaks
  • Accumulating research data for later review and study
  • Crafting processes and guidelines related to disease control within a healthcare setting
  • Discussing disease control procedures with medical facility leaders and staff members, educating them about alternatives and advances
  • Creating educational materials on disease control
  • Working closely with public health departments on their disease control efforts
  • Creating, developing, and overseeing studies
  • Analyzing data acquired during research
  • Examining the effects of medicines to learn about their safety and efficacy

Clinical Research Coordinators and Managers

Among other responsibilities, clinical epidemiologists in these jobs accommodate visits for study participants, create source documents for study visits, train staff members who will be a part of a study, and gather lab results and procedure reports. A nationally known employment search site shows the average salary for clinical research coordinators as $51,068,10 and for clinical research managers as $85,886.11

Clinical Trial Managers

Often employed by health facilities and drug companies, clinical trial managers oversee clinical trials of drugs and processes, recording side effects and overall results. Their work involves a significant focus on discovering new treatments and medications, for which, a leading employment site says, they earn an average salary of $85,886.12

Data Scientists

Clinical epidemiologists in this career field gather and evaluate data from varied sources, with the goal of creating better systems for automating and processing data. One widely used job board shows the average salary as $113,309,13 while another lists $122,596.14

Research Scientists and Research Associates

Clinical epidemiologists conducting research are often based at universities and other academic institutions. They study disease conditions, causes, treatments, and preventative steps. In addition, research scientists direct and plan studies of major public health issues, striving to learn more about specific diseases and their effects on people. One last visit to a reputable hiring site reveals the average salary for a clinical research associate as $72,622,15 and for a clinical research scientist as $99,74316

Pursue your career with skill.

If you’re drawn toward research in university or corporate settings, hospital-based disease prevention, or surveillance with health departments, apply to the Kent State online Master of Public Health in Epidemiology program. Your coursework will prepare you to analyze the spread and causes of disease, disabilities, and death in populations.

Alternately, medical data science may be your passion. If you’re moved to create studies and analyze and interpret the information you bring in, you’ll be at home in our online Master of Science (MS) in Clinical Epidemiology. Through this robust curriculum, you’ll gain expertise in the epidemiological and biostatistical methods related to clinical trials and clinical research.


1. Retrieved on September 25, 2020 from cdc.gov/careerpaths/k12teacherroadmap/epidemiologists.html
2. Retrieved on September 25, 2020 from www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/epidemiologists.htm#tab-2
3. Retrieved on October 6, 2020 from www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/epidemiologists.htm#tab-1
4. Retrieved on October 6, 2020 from indeed.com/career/epidemiologist/salaries
5. Retrieved on October 6, 2020 from usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/articles/reasons-to-study-epidemiology-and-how-to-become-an-epidemiologist
6. Retrieved on October 6, 2020 from ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/Infectious-Disease-Epidemiologist-Salary
7. Retrieved on October 6, 2020 from indeed.com/career/biostatistician
8. Retrieved on October 6, 2020 from www.bls.gov/ooh/math/mathematicians-and-statisticians.htm
9. Retrieved on October 6, 2020 from indeed.com/career/biostatistician/salaries
10. Retrieved on October 6, 2020 from glassdoor.com/Salaries/clinical-research-coordinator-salary-SRCH_KO0,29.htm
11. Retrieved on October 6, 2020 from glassdoor.com/Salaries/clinical-research-manager-salary-SRCH_KO0,25.htm
12. Retrieved on October 6, 2020 from glassdoor.com/Salaries/clinical-trial-manager-salary-SRCH_KO0,22.htm
13. Retrieved on October 6, 2020 from glassdoor.com/Salaries/data-scientist-salary-SRCH_KO0,14.htm
14. Retrieved on October 6, 2020 from indeed.com/career/data-scientist/salaries
15. Retrieved on October 6, 2020 from glassdoor.com/Salaries/us-clinical-research-associate-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,30.htm
16. Retrieved on October 6, 2020 from glassdoor.com/Salaries/us-clinical-research-scientist-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,30.htm

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