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What They Do

Epidemiologists Career Video

About This Career

Investigate and describes the determinants and distribution of disease, disability, or health outcomes. May develop the means for prevention and control.

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

A person in this career:

  • Oversees public health programs, including statistical analysis, health care planning, surveillance systems, and public health improvement.
  • 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.
  • Monitors and reports incidents of infectious diseases to local and state health agencies.
  • Investigates diseases or parasites to determine cause and risk factors, progress, life cycle, or mode of transmission.
  • Communicates research findings on various types of diseases to health practitioners, policy makers, and the public.
  • Plans, administers and evaluates health safety standards and programs to improve public health, conferring with health department, industry personnel, physicians, and others.
  • 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, scientific studies, or surveys.

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:

  • Chronic Disease Epidemiologist
  • Communicable Disease Specialist
  • 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 exposure.
  • 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 disease.
  • Infection Control Practitioner (ICP)
  • Nurse Epidemiologist
  • Public Health Epidemiologist
  • Research Epidemiologist
  • State Epidemiologist


  • Email Support
  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900
  • North Dakota Career Resource Network
    ndcrn@nd.gov | (701) 328-9733