How to Become an Epidemiologist

An epidemiologist’s job is very important in medical science and there are several opportunities for people wishing to take it up as a profession. Epidemiology can be classified into two categories: clinical and research. If you are thinking of joining the research side, you should be aware that it requires a lot of study. Learning to control infectious diseases is the core task for those who are into the research side and you must get necessary education and degrees before jumping in. People who are into the clinical side often operate in medical facilities, helping to stave off infectious outbreaks. Both research and clinical sides require almost the same education and courses, but at later stages you will be required to specialize in one of these two fields.


  • 1

    Start early for an epidemiology career, take up courses in high school which will help you in the field

    In order to start a successful career as an epidemiologist, you should focus on the subjects that will help you in the field afterwards. If you are in high school, you can take up science and advanced level mathematics, honing your analytical skills at an early stage. Subjects in high school will not make much difference when you apply for a college level epidemiology program, but you will be expected to have a solid understanding of basic physiology, anatomy and chemistry.

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    Get in touch with college or high school counselors

    Career counselors can be a great help in your search for the right options. You can consult college counselors and ask them what options will be suitable for you, keeping in mind your aptitude and academic capabilities.

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    Get a Master’s degree

    A Master’s degree is a must for getting your foot in at any medical facility and start working as a trainee epidemiologist. Check with an accredited university or college in your state and enroll in a degree program that concentrates on epidemiology. Not every employer demands a Master’s degree in epidemiology, but there are some who may even demand a Doctorate.

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    Work as an internee

    Before you complete your Master’s degree or Doctorate and apply for a permanent job, you can gain basic a understanding of epidemiology by becoming an internee. For an internship, you can join local laboratories or medical centers. Working as an internee at a health organization or a medical facility will give you hands-on experience, which will be a plus point on your profile.

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    Talk to university professors

    Once you are done with your degree program and have gained enough hands-on experience as an internee, you can now talk to your university professors who are associated with the same field. This way you can boost your networking and job prospects, and your professors might refer you to a good organization where you can begin working.

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