Careers in Epidemiology
Experts in the epidemiology of diseases in humans are often the frontline of disease research. This branch of medical science investigates and describes the causes and spread of disease and develops the means for prevention or control. Epidemiologists may study many different illnesses, often focusing on major infectious diseases or chronic illnesses.
At a minimum, epidemiologists need a master's degree in public health. In many cases a PhD is required.
Research epidemiologists work at colleges and universities, schools of public health, medical schools, and independent research firms. Clinical epidemiologists work primarily in consulting roles at hospitals, informing the medical staff of infectious outbreaks and providing containment solutions. These epidemiologists sometimes are referred to as infection control professionals.
Careers are open in industry, public and private health services delivery organizations, and domestic and international public health agencies.
Where are our graduates working?
Our PhD, MS, and MPH graduates are working in a variety of positions in public health and related fields. Here are a few examples from our graduating classes of 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011.
- Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California
- Statistician, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley
- Research Scientist, Eli Lily, Indianapolis
- Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Ohio State University
- Postdoctoral Fellow, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
- Director of Prehospital Research, Center for Prehospital Medicine, Charlotte, North Carolina
- Director of Research Support, Ohio Health Research and Innovation Institute
- Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta
- Senior Project Manager, University of Pittsburgh
- PhD Program in Epidemiology
- Clinical Research Data Manager, Division of Infectious Disease, College of Medicine, Ohio State University
- Data Analyst, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
- Clinical Research Coordinator, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ohio State University
- PhD Programs in Epidemiology, Pharmacy, and Biostatistics
- PhD Program, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
- MD, DDS, and MBA Programs
- Clinical Research Data Coordinator, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ohio State University
- Director, Regional Research and Medical Support, Pfizer
- Healthcare Analyst, Case Western Reserve University
- Research Assistant, Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
- Research Fellow, Nave and Marine Corps Public Health Center, Portsmouth, VA
- Program Coordinator, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ohio State University
- Laboratory Services Coordinator, College of Medicine, Ohio State University
- Research Specialist, Health Policy Institute of Ohio
- Maternal and Child Health Epidemiologist, Ohio Department of Health
- Staff Epidemiology Center, Rocky Mountain Tribal Epidemiology Center\
- Research Associate, Nationwide Children Hospital, Center for Injury Research and Policy
- Biostatistician Researcher, Battelle Memorial Institute
- Epidemiologist, Ohio Department of Public Safety, Division of EMS
- Attending Medical School, Ohio University (Osteopathic Medicine)
- Attending Medical School, Rush Medical School
- Attending Law School (Public Health), Case Western Reserve University
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, most epidemiologists (57 percent) were employed in government; 12 percent were employed in hospitals; 11 percent were employed in colleges and universities; and 9 percent were employed in scientific research and development services.
An increasing focus on monitoring patients at hospitals and health care centers to ensure positive patient outcomes will contribute to job growth for epidemiologists. In addition, a heightened awareness of bioterrorism and rare, but infectious diseases such as West Nile Virus or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) should spur demand for these workers.