Epidemiologist Job Description, Duties, and Responsibilities

By | May 20, 2017
Epidemiologist job description, duties, tasks, and responsibilities

Epidemiologist work tirelessly to control diseases.

Epidemiologist Job Description, Duties, and Responsibilities

What Does an Epidemiologist Do?

Epidemiologists are scientists who specialize in the study and control of communicable diseases.

Their job description entails carrying out research to investigate the transmission of diseases in order to develop a means for prevention and control.

Epidemiologists usually work in a research or clinical setting where they study the patterns, causes, and effect of disease in humans.

They liaise with physicians and other healthcare professionals to analyze the outbreak of an epidemic.

Their role also involves providing data which is useful in making public health decisions.

As part of their responsibilities, epidemiologists keep track of rapidly mutating diseases such as HIV or influenza in order to identify new viral strains and keep them from spreading.

They conduct disease surveillance to detect newly emerged diseases and evaluate their impact on public health.

They also review disinfection and sterilization techniques to ensure they are effective against disease pathogens.

In performing their duties, epidemiologists prepare cultures for individual and environmental studies.

They work in an industrial setting to assess the effect of commercial and industrial chemicals/wastes on human health, and also function in a veterinary capacity to study and treat animal diseases especially those which can negatively impact human life.

Epidemiologists usually educate medical staff on infectious diseases and ways to minimize transmission.

Their work description also entails contributing to the design of standards for the prevention of contagious disease in a health establishment.

They also travel to parts of the world where there are epidemic outbreaks to find disease cure or prevent further spread.

In fulfilling their role, epidemiologists direct and supervise medical personnel during research and study of infectious disease.

They maintain concise records of investigative findings and present reports to appropriate authority for implementation.

Studying the effect of drugs, pesticides or microbes on human health is also part of the description of an epidemiologist.

To get into the epidemiologist career requires a Master’s degree in epidemiology or related public health discipline.

Some qualities required to be effective on the job include analytical skill, statistical, and communication skills.

Epidemiologist Job Description Example/Template

Epidemiologists perform various functions as they work to control diseases.

Here is an example of the kind of job description epidemiologists commonly work with; it consists of typical duties, tasks, and responsibilities of the role:

  • Oversee the planning for the study of public health problems such as disease outbreak
  • Collect and analyze data obtained from interview, surveys, and sample tests to determine the cause of a health problem
  • Collaborate with physicians and other public health experts to identify the cause and treatment for disease
  • Proffer recommendations useful in the design, management and assessment of study protocols and sample analysis
  • Carry out research to develop instrumentation and methodologies for analyzing data and presenting findings
  • Advice government health officials, physicians and researchers on epidemiology topics
  • Analyze public health issues as a result of foodborne microbes to produce information useful in making public policies
  • Organize programs to educate the public on ways to prevent disease contamination and spread
  • Analyze and interpret epidemiological statistics and data to produce results useful in developing cure for diseases
  • Assess the impact of industrial chemicals and toxic wastes on the environment
  • Propose preventive or corrective solutions to address public health problems based on research results
  • Utilize specialized statistical computer software in analyzing and interpreting epidemiological data
  • Prepare and present reports of findings to appropriate public health authority
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of techniques for research and disease analysis.

Requirements – Skills, Abilities, and Knowledge – for Epidemiologist Job

If you are thinking of working as an epidemiologist, the following are common requirements you may be expected to satisfy by most employers before being invited for an interview:

  • Education and Training: To become an epidemiologist, you require a Bachelor’s degree in epidemiology and subsequently a Master’s degree in epidemiology or related public health discipline. Some employers often require epidemiologists to have a Ph.D. in their field. Prior to graduation, epidemiology students usually embark on a year training program under the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Experience Applied Epidemiology Fellowship to gain useful work experience
  • Analytical skill: Epidemiologists are able to collect, analyze, and interpret data when assessing a public health issue
  • Statistical skill: They are proficient in the use of statistical tools and techniques when carrying out surveys and studies
  • Communication skill: They are able to relay research information to appropriate authorities using proper language and expression.


Are you an employer looking to hire a new epidemiologist? If you are and need a good description for the role for use in the hiring process, you can easily and conveniently make one by applying the sample work description and information provided in this post.

With a detailed job description that you can create, you will be able to attract the best candidates to apply for the position in your company.

The information about the duties and responsibilities of epidemiologists presented in this post is also helpful to individuals aspiring to work in the position, to improve their knowledge of the career.

Did this post increase your knowledge of what epidemiologists do? Please, leave your thought about this article in the box below. We will also be pleased to learn about what you do if you work as an epidemiologist.

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