5 Career Opportunities for MPH Grads in Epidemiology

A Masters in Public Health degree can enable a person to seek a job in many different career fields in Public Health. One of the many fields in Public Health an MPH degree allows you to enter is that of Epidemiology. Epidemiology is the field that studies health-related events and their causes in society. It is a very broad field that is, of course, research-centric. Epidemiologists work for universities, the government, health clinics and companies, among others. As the career is mainly one of research, it is important to have a strong attention to detail as well as to have a background in research-related work in order to succeed in the field. Even though there are many different job titles available to MPH programgraduates who concentrate in the epidemiology field, we are going to look at just five of them.

  • Academic Research epidemiologist - The Academic Research epidemiologist naturally works for a school or university. Their research is usually funded by grants extended either from the school itself or from private benefactors. Their research is more scholarly in nature and used as a means of education in addition to public awareness. Since this job is within a school setting, pay is not going to be as high as other epidemiologist jobs, but if all you care about is the research and knowledge of it, then this is the career for you. Salary varies depending on the school you work for, but is in line with most science faculty salaries at universities.
  • Public health epidemiologist - The Public Health epidemiologist handles all things to do with communicable and chronic diseases for the public. They not only research the problems, but also seek ways to prevent and control the diseases. The Public Health epidemiologist generally works for a government agency. Depending on the agency you work for, the annual salary for a Public Health epidemiologist is between $31,000 and $80,000.
  • Clinical trial research epidemiologist - The Clinical Trial Research epidemiologist conducts research for clinical trials. They formulate the clinical trial and study plans to be implemented. Clinical trial research epidemiologists work for both the public and private sectors, but many find jobs in the private sectors with pharmaceutical companies and laboratories that conduct clinical trials. A background in clinical trials in addition to your MPH degree is essential to get this job. As with other positions, the pay does depend on who you are employed with, but you can expect to make within the same range as the Public Health epidemiologist.
  • Infection control epidemiologist - The Infection Control epidemiologist conducts research in causes, prevention and control of infectious diseases. They do this by collecting data and analyzing it to locate the source of the diseases. Most Infection Control epidemiologists work for government agencies, but some also work in hospitals and universities. Government jobs tend to pay more than university positions. The average annual salary for Infection Control epidemiologists is $60,000, but can be more or less.
  • Chronic disease epidemiologist - The Chronic Disease epidemiologist researches issues and problems that chronic diseases present to public health. They are really like other epidemiologists that have been mentioned in this article, except they focus strictly on chronic diseases and nothing else. Most Chronic Disease epidemiologists work for hospitals, but some also work for government agencies. As with the other jobs, the salary does depend on the employer you work for. The average annual pay runs at about $68,000, but again could be more or less depending on the employer.

Whichever career path you choose as an epidemiologist, it is important to know what your job will entail. If doing a lot of research is your idea of fun and salary is not very important, then this is the type of career for you. Epidemiology is very important in the field of Public Health and every job is important. Just because epidemiologists do a lot of work behind the scenes, it does not make them any less important than other positions in Public Health. Everyone has a part to play in protecting public health. Just remember to choose the career path that will make you happy. If you do that, then your work life will be a happier one.


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