Epidemiology is one brand of public health that offers many career possibilities, and these careers are showing no signs of slowing even due to a rough economy. Those holding a PhD in epidemiology are able to enjoy a vast number of different types of careers, from administration and teaching to working out in the field, and these jobs will typically come with high pay and many different job vacancies to choose from.
Choosing to get a PhD in epidemiology may be a difficult education path to go on, but it is one that has proven to be very rewarding in the long run. The exciting selection of public health careers allowed to those holding a PhD in the field of epidemiology is varied enough to suit any individual taste, and this is one degree path that many are finding worthy of their consideration.
What Is A PhD Epidemiologist?
PhD Epidemiologists are epidemiologists who hold a doctorate or PhD in their field. These public health professionals work with infectious diseases and how they may affect a population, and they will typically develop plans and solutions to help a population to avoid contracting diseases in order to accomplish a better level of overall public health. A person holding a PhD in epidemiology may work in many fields doing many different tasks, and some of these fields will include:
- Statistician – A person with a PhD in epidemiology may work as a statistician analyzing data and statistics related to infectious diseases and how they may relate to a population
- Research scientist – Research scientists holding a PhD in epidemiology will research new and existing infectious diseases to develop solutions and help a population to avoid contamination
- Senior Project Manager – A senior project manager will be in charge of developing new epidemiology related projects and overseeing their management in terms of meeting goals, adhering to budgets, and ensuring effectiveness.
- Assistant professor – A person with a doctorate in epidemiology may also decide to teach future epidemiology or public health students just entering the field in a variety of educational institutions
PhD Epidemiologists have many different options to choose from in terms of where they can effectively work during the course of their career. From more hands on jobs such as that of a research scientist, to administrative roles like a senior project manager, to teaching roles, holding a PhD in a field such as epidemiology opens a person to many rewarding possibilities.
Education And Training
A PhD Epidemiologist will first need to take some educational degree steps before reaching a PhD level in the field. The first of these steps is to achieve an undergraduate bachelor’s degree from a 4 year institution. The major for this bachelor’s degree program will typically be that of public health, with the specialty field of epidemiology coming at the master’s level. The bachelor’s degree program will focus on topics mainly in the general public health field, although courses may be taken that focus on epidemiology and infectious diseases.
After a bachelor’s degree has been earned, a person can then go on to earn their master’s degree through a 2 year program focusing on epidemiology. This master’s degree program will often include both classroom study as well as an internship that allows prospective professionals to experience working with real epidemiologists, and specialized fields of epidemiology may also be explored during this time.
Once a master’s degree is earned, a person can then begin a PhD program that will allow them to earn a doctorate in epidemiology. This program will also last around 2 years and be comprised of course work and hands on learning, and many may choose to further explore their own specialized areas of interest during this time.
Depending on the career choice, post-graduate certification courses are also available to allow a professional to become certified in their career. These certificates may be earned through the passing of exams or programs related to a particular career or field of interest, and many certificates will need to be periodically renewed to ensure continued certification.
A PhD level epidemiologist may make around $104,000 per year, particularly if they decide to work in the pharmaceutical or healthcare industries, however salary will vary depending on the working location and level of experience. The demand for trained epidemiologists is expected to rise around 10% by the year 2022.