Epidemiologists work toward the health of humankind by investigating diseases and injuries. They do this to decrease the incidences of negative health outcomes. Epidemiologists make recommendations regarding health policies, and they also participate in community education. When you earn a degree in epidemiology, different career options are available. You can work in:
• Infection control
• Academic research
• An investigative department
• Clinical research
If you use your degree to become an infection control epidemiologist, you’ll collect and evaluate health-related data from a hospital or medical facility. This kind of data consists of blood and bodily samples. You’ll also need to make observations and take surveys. You may even interview those who are afflicted. As an infection control epidemiologist, you’ll likely handle problems like MRSA when they arise in hospitals or clinics. You could also oversee the enforcement of general cleanliness within healthcare facilities. By entering this career, you’ll be on the forefront of preventing the spread of infections.
In this career area, epidemiologists usually work for universities or academic centers. Your job will involve researching the factors behind diseases or medical conditions. If you have field experience, you may have the option of becoming a professor. When epidemiologists enter the research side of the field, they may make major discoveries that affect the healthcare industry in positive ways. Those who specialize in research may plan and oversee studies involving critical public health issues. They do this to learn how to manage and prevent health problems. The work of epidemiologists brings about public health policy changes that are designed to protect the country’s population.
If you’re interested in investigating the causes of chronic diseases in addition to trends involving infections, then consider seeking a career as an epidemiology investigator. In this line of work, you’ll collect biological samples and study the demographics of various populations to verify how vulnerable they are to infections. It may be necessary to assess environmental issues that influence public health. You may also need to interact with a community to acquire more evidence. In some cases, investigators collect biological samples. Epidemiologists use these samples to develop theories about the cause of diseases and ways to treat them.
Clinical trial experts work in a specialized area of epidemiology. Often, drug companies and health organizations hire those who have an epidemiology degree to oversee clinical drug trials and procedures. They do this to track side effects and results. The intention is to discover new treatments and effective drugs. Clinical trial researchers work in field labs, and they focus on ways to limit negative health outcomes. In this line of work, you’ll be operating behind the scenes to create health and wellness strategies, so it will be unlikely for you to work directly with patients.
Pharmaceutical epidemiologists research the ways that different drugs affect certain human populations. This career will require you to complete clinical studies involving how pharmaceuticals impact human physiology and health. You could also be tasked with assessing social trends as well as behaviors that may be responsible for spreading diseases. This job typically takes place in a laboratory because you’ll need to study how chemicals react when they come into contact with tissue samples. You will analyze the results of these studies to see if they relate to your findings. When it comes to epidemiology jobs, pharmaceutical ones typically pay the most.
A Satisfying Job
With a degree in epidemiology, you’ll have the educational background to research and prevent the spread of diseases. Pharmaceutical companies and hospitals will be interested in hiring you as will universities. Because you’ll be working to prevent diseases and keep people healthy, your career in epidemiology will surely be a satisfying one.