Public health epidemiologists find evidence indicating the outbreak of a particular disease or healthcare issue in a community, group, or the entire population. Due to this profession’s diverse, dynamic, and unpredictable nature, public health epidemiology is an exciting field for medical and public health professionals.
For this reason, this post will discuss different types of epidemiology fields, epidemiologist salaries, and career options.
What is an Epidemiologist?
When we experience a disease outbreak, epidemiologists examine patterns and sources of the disease. There are many biological, environmental, and other markers that increase the threat of any chronic outbreak. Epidemiologists discover these patterns, combat adverse outcomes and offer public health support.
Take coronavirus or COVID-19, for example. As a severe or chronic illness burdens the entire world and several communities, epidemiologists find the source of its origin and understand mitigation strategies, such as social distancing.
Public health epidemiologists focus on public health, collecting data, understanding policies, and supervising better healthcare outcomes.
These professionals achieve this by using different quantitative methods, well-structured studies, and research methodologies. As a result, public health epidemiologists become responsible for:
- Managing technical, medical, and professional staff in different environments.
- Administer, develop, and test populations at the time of health interventions.
- Support health at the local, state, and international levels.
- Identify quantitative and qualitative methods to ensure public health.
- Determine population or community-level challenges related to a specific outbreak or disease spread.
7 Different Types of Epidemiologists
We have identified seven types of epidemiologist career options in the public health field. Explore different specializations that you can pursue after graduation in public health, statistical science, health science, medicine, and similar areas.
1. Pharmaceutical Epidemiologist
Many types of epidemiologists study research and analysis in the pharmaceutical industry. Naturally, these epidemiology experts work with pharmaceutical organizations to evaluate how different drugs impact the population. They assess conditions related to a drug, its impact, and treatment efficiency.
These types of epidemiologists work in laboratories researching and analyzing drug profiles, their efficacy, and safety.
2. Infection Control Epidemiologist
As the name suggests, this type of epidemiology expert curates policies important for controlling disease or the spread of infection. This field of epidemiology is a result of increasing infections in hospital settings.
The responsibility of infection control epidemiologists is to control and enforce hygiene, monitor the spread of infection, and improve the safety of patients in hospitals or other healthcare establishments.
3. Infectious Disease Epidemiologist
Infectious disease epidemiologist involves studying and identifying the impact of a disease in a group, community, or the entire population—this field studies infections like COVID-19, AIDS, HIV, and influenza.
In this field, we require innovation to develop cutting-edge models that can help solve health problems in populations.
These professionals don’t work in labs; they visit the field of the outbreak and prevent the spread of the disease.
4. Medical Epidemiologist
Medical epidemiologists are from a medical background. Therefore, they have the knowledge to study outbreaks, understand the clinical pathology of a disease, and find potential treatment options for acute and chronic illnesses.
Since this type of epidemiologist requires clinical medicine knowledge, the field involves doctors who have completed their MD or other similar education.
These professionals can specialize further, such as become a viral epidemiologist understanding the cause of viral epidemics or pandemics.
5. Molecular Epidemiologist
We have many different types of epidemiology fields, but this one is relatively new. It combines the knowledge of epidemiology with molecular biology. Hence, an epidemiologist in this field evaluates complex relations of proteins, cells, and genes to understand a series of diseases. This field seeks answers for preventing the transmission of disease.
In this field, epidemiologists use genes and molecules to find risk factors that lead to the spread of a particular disease.
For example, researching whether genes impact susceptibility to weight gain or comorbid conditions or not.
6. Field Epidemiologist
Field epidemiologists work closely with communities facing health crises. This means these professionals work on the ground level to understand significant issues and unexpected problems communities face. In essence, these professionals have to offer time-sensitive responses on-site, depending upon the situation.
For example, managing a disaster site or responding to a disaster situation in an appropriate manner.
These types of epidemiologists work for the government, such as a disease control center.
7. Veterinary Epidemiologist
Veterinary epidemiologist is a different type of epidemiology that studies diseases in animals. It includes disease control, measurement, and mitigation in animal species. These types of epidemiologists are usually veterinarians who have completed a medical degree in the same field.
Career Options and Salary
Public health epidemiologists have many career options (with a high pay scale) in different industries like government, academic, hospital, research, etc.
Let’s explore career options and epidemiologist salary in detail:
Epidemiologists work in different work settings depending upon their specialization (as discussed above) and educational qualifications. Therefore, epidemiologist jobs require professionals with experience or specialization in pharmaceutical, medicine, policymaking, field experience, veterinary experience, etc.
Evaluate some common epidemiologist career options:
- In government organizations working on molecular, infectious disease, and field epidemiology.
- In hospital settings working on infection control or medical epidemiology and similar healthcare profiles.
- In academic settings working on research-based epidemiology in different fields, such as a medical, pharmaceutical, veterinarian, etc.
- The research sector offers epidemiologist career options to every epidemiology professional in molecular, pharmaceutical, medical, and every other field.
The salary of an epidemiologist reaches up to R572,054 in South Africa and neighboring regions.
How much does an epidemiologist make in different sectors?
- In government organizations, an epidemiologist’s salary reaches up to USD 68,000.
- In hospital settings, an epidemiologist’s salary reaches up to USD 81,000.
- In academic organizations, an epidemiologist’s salary reaches up to USD 62,000.
- In research organizations, an epidemiologist’s salary reaches up to USD 99,000.
Building a Career In Different Types of Epidemiology
Epidemiology is known as a quantitative specialty in public health, so it requires professionals to understand different research disciplines. It includes developing hypotheses, study measurements, disease risk measurements, identification of bias, etc.
It is evident that public health epidemiologists also require strong skills in mathematics, including powerful calculation skills and statistical understanding.
Besides this, public health epidemiologists need to exhibit communication skills to ensure good collaboration with different stakeholders in public health. These skills help communicate results, prepare analysis reports, and explain findings from research or trial or study in a simple manner to policymakers, healthcare professionals, or a community.
Completing Certification in Epidemiology from Texila American University
Texila American University has designed a certification in epidemiology to help public health professionals specialize in this field. This certification focuses on:
- Study of natural history, etiology, and disease causes.
- Patterns and frequency of disease spread in populations or communities.
- Analysis and interpretation of epidemiological study results.
- Effectiveness of therapeutic and preventative disease measures.
- Different epidemiology concepts and applications of epidemiology.
Benefits of Completing Epidemiology Certificate from TAU
Texila American University has curated the certification course to provide knowledge in preventing and identifying illnesses and diseases. The certification course delivers hands-on experience, optimum support, and expert mentors for appropriate skill development.
Evaluate the benefits of completing an epidemiology certification from TAU:
- The 3-month course offers a certificate once you have completed the course. You can share this certification and add it to your profile or curriculum vitae.
- It is a 100% online course ensuring a feasible learning experience without hindrance.
- It is possible to set up flexible and achievable deadlines for yourself, which offers a flexible schedule for deadlines.
- You can transfer your credits to a master’s course easily.
Many public health professionals prefer specializing in epidemiology because of the value offered by this field. Completing a certification in epidemiology from Texila American University can provide your profile the required credibility.