Epidemiologist  What They Do

Just the Facts


Epidemiologist Career Video



Investigates and describes the determinants and distribution of disease, disability, and other health outcomes and develop the means for prevention and control.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Diagnostic Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Monitors and reports incidents of infectious diseases to local and state health agencies.
  • Communicates research findings on various types of diseases to health practitioners, policy makers, and the public.
  • Plans and directs studies to investigate human or animal disease, preventive methods, and treatments for disease.
  • Provides expertise in the design, management and evaluation of study protocols and health status questionnaires, sample selection and analysis.
  • Oversees public health programs, including statistical analysis, health care planning, surveillance systems, and public health improvement.
  • Investigates diseases or parasites to determine cause and risk factors, progress, life cycle, or mode of transmission.
  • Educates healthcare workers, patients, and the public about infectious and communicable diseases, including disease transmission and prevention.
  • Conducts research to develop methodologies, instrumentation and procedures for medical application, analyzing data and presenting findings.
  • Identifies and analyzes public health issues related to foodborne parasitic diseases and their impact on public policies or scientific studies or surveys.
  • Supervises professional, technical and clerical personnel.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Environmental Epidemiologist -- Studies the environmental exposures that contribute to or protect against injuries, illnesses, developmental conditions, disabilities, and deaths; and identification of public health and health care actions to manage the risks associated with harmful expo
  • Epidemiology Investigator -- Performs field investigations of endemic or epidemic situations of infectious or chronic diseases and other health conditions and related environmental public health problems in order to make determinations regarding causes, spread and prevention of disea
  • Histopathologist -- Studies human or animal tissue to provide data to delineate cause and progress of disease that impairs body function.
  • Malariologist -- Specializes in the study, treatment, or prevention of malaria.
  • Pharmacoepidemiologist -- Studies of the use and effects of drugs in large groups of people.
  • Veterinary Epidemiologist -- Studies factors influencing existence and spread of diseases among humans and animals, particularly those diseases transmissible from animals to humans.