Supervisory Epidemiologist

Finding a job in the medical field is something that many people decide is right for them, and with good reason. No other job field can offer you the chance to earn an above average salary, great professional benefits, and solid job growth while knowing that you’re helping improve the lives of others. But working directly with patients isn’t for everyone, and it’s important to realize that there are numerous jobs within the medical industry that don’t require you to provide regular care to a patient. One example is to become a supervisory epidemiologist.

This management level position offers great wages and numerous other benefits, and the demand for it is steadily increasing. And since it offers all the benefits of a job in the medical field without having to provide direct patient care on a regular basis, it’s a great choice for those who don’t want to focus on that side of the career field. If you think that becoming a supervisory epidemiologist may be for you, keep reading to learn more about it.

What Is a Supervisory Epidemiologist?

As its name would suggest, a supervisory epidemiologist is simply an epidemiologist who has entered a supervisory role. They’ll be responsible for overseeing teams of epidemiologists, for managing research efforts, and for coordinating with others in the industry as needed. The overall goal of any epidemiologist is to improve the public health through research, and to that end a supervisory epidemiologist will simply spend their time making sure that the entire research process goes smoothly.

Here’s a closer look at just what some of the job duties a supervisory epidemiologist will need to fulfill are.

  •   Develop, plan, and coordinate research studies into specific diseases or health issues
  •   Manage a team of epidemiologists as they proceed through the research process
  •   Gather and compile data, then analyze it in an effort to learn more about the source of disease and how to prevent it
  •   Ensure all compliance regulations are followed closely
  •   Manage personnel
  •   Balance budgets
  •   Meet with superiors or with others in the medical or public health field
  •   Develop programs to reduce or eliminate disease and health issues

Supervisory epidemiologists may focus on a variety of specific areas within the health field including things like substance abuse, pharmaceutical development, communicable or infectious disease, and more.

Nature of the Work

The nature of the work will depend largely upon where one is employed. For instance, those who work for a pharmaceutical company will spend most of their time overseeing the development of new drugs. Those in government positions may spend time tracking down the source of an outbreak and how to stop it.

Most of the work is done in a lab and office setting, with research being completed in the lab while managerial issues like budgeting and analyzation of data is handled in an office. There will also be occasions when fieldwork is needed or when an epidemiologist must attend conferences or meetings. The job is varied, and it often remains exciting and fresh for those who work in the field.

Employers will vary greatly, and likely include pharmaceutical companies, government branches, hospitals, universities, research centers, and more. There are numerous locations throughout the country that need these professionals.

Education and Training

Becoming an epidemiologist will require a master’s degree. The most common path is to earn a master’s degree in public health with a specialization in epidemiology, though there are other methods of entering the field as well – but a graduate level degree will be required in nearly any case. Areas of study within the coursework will include statistics, health sciences, biometrics, math, and more.

In order to reach the level of a supervisory epidemiologist, experience is the key. Most employers prefer to hire those who have several years of on the job experience in a supervisory position. While earning additional certification in areas like business management may help, the real focus should be on working and learning during the course of your career.

Pay will vary based on employer and experience, but in general the average salary for supervisory epidemiologists is about $70,000 annually. The demand for these professionals will increase by about 10% over the next decade according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


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