Career Overview

Epidemiologists conduct research into the patterns and causes of diseases in humans. They work to educate the community and lawmakers on their findings in order to reduce the risks of these problems in the future.


A master’s degree in public health or a related field is generally required to obtain this position. A master's degree typically takes about two-three years to earn after earning a four-year bachelor's degree. For those who conduct research, a doctorate or a medical degree (MD) is likely required. A doctorate or medical degree may take an additional four-five years of work after a bachelor’s degree is earned, depending on the specific program.

Salary Expectations

Low End:
High End:
$46,000 /yr
$70,000 /yr
$114,000 /yr

Recommended Courses

  • English - as much as possible!
  • Communication
  • Math - as much as possible, including statistics!
  • Science - as much as possible, including biology and psychology!
Work Environment

Epidemiologists typically work for the government, universities, or research organizations. They generally work in offices and laboratories, but some may do fieldwork to conduct interviews and collect samples for analyses. Fieldwork may bring epidemiologists into contact with infectious diseases, so they take extensive precautions before interacting with samples or patients.

Future Outlook

The job outlook for this position looks good over the next 10 years, keeping in mind that geographical differences may exist.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook
Explore Careers, Labour Market Information, Government of Canada