Finding a job that provides you with everything you need is absolutely vital for your overall happiness and wellbeing. That means finding a job with good pay, great job growth potential, good benefits, and strong personal rewards. Entering the health field is an option that offers all of those things and then some, and if helping others while earning a great salary is something that interests you, becoming a clinical epidemiologist may be worth considering.
A clinical epidemiologist doesn’t work on a one on one basis with patients, providing patient care at a bedside. Instead, they work behind the scenes to improve health and wellness in a variety of ways. To learn more about what they do and how to become one, keep reading.
What Is a Clinical Epidemiologist?
A clinical epidemiologist is a medical professional who works on studying disease and the way it spreads. Primarily, they use research to work on improving clinical and patient oriented healthcare. They’ll work in labs and in the field, and may have a lot of responsibilities. Ultimately, the focus is on reducing the occurrence of negative health issues.
?Job duties for a clinical epidemiologist include the following.
- Oversee research on various diseases or disease outbreaks
- Compile research data for review
- Develop procedures or policies related to disease control in a medical facility or school
- Consult with healthcare facilities about disease control procedures
- Develop educational resources to minimize disease issues
- Work with public health departments to control disease related issues
- Design, develop, and participate in studies while overseeing them as well
- Interpret and analyze data gathered during research
- Investigate the results of medications to better understand their safety or effectiveness
- Work to locate sources of disease outbreaks
- And more
There are numerous areas that one may work in, and specific focuses on areas like environmental health, chronic disease, infections disease, and oral health are just a few examples of different subjects that one may study and research as a clinical epidemiologist. The specific area of study will likely depend upon employer as well as upon your own training in the field.
Nature of the Work
Those working as a clinical epidemiologist will work in laboratories, in the field, and in offices. Along with conducting research, they’ll likely spend a good deal of time consulting and conferring with other medical professionals including doctors, public health officials, researchers, and more. They’ll generally work in research facilities or universities, but often hold government related jobs as well.
An average day could come with a wide range of different responsibilities or duties, ranging from developing a research proposal to conducting interviews to collecting samples. In many cases, attending conferences and meetings will be a major part of the job as well.
Education and Training
To become a clinical epidemiologist you’ll need to earn a master’s degree in the field. A number of different schools now offer epidemiology degrees, and in most cases earning a Master’s in public health with a concentration in epidemiology is the best way to enter the field. However, it isn’t the only path to the position. Generally, experience in the field of epidemiology is also needed prior to becoming a clinical epidemiologist. During this time, completing on the job experience in lab settings is important.
Studies during school will include subjects like public health, math, statistics, causal analysis, medical informatics, biometrics, and more. Advanced studies in areas like pathology, anatomy, and medical ethics are important as well.
The ideal candidate for the job will be detail oriented, have strong communication skills, have strong critical thinking skills, be good at advanced math, and more. These are all skills that will be honed during the period of time one works in the field, but having natural strengths in these areas is important as well.
The job demand for clinical epidemiologists is expected to increase by about 10 percent over the next ten years, a rate that is on par with the national average for all occupations. However, the salaries earned by these professionals is much higher. Those working as a clinical epidemiologist can expect to earn an average of about $62,000 to $71,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The specific pay you earn will vary based on your training, experience, and your specific employer.