Chronic Disease Epidemiologist

Research the causes and prevention of chronic diseases.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
$42,000 – $98,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Chronic Disease Epidemiologists do?

The best way to deal with diabetes is to avoid getting it in the first place. The same can be said for many other chronic conditions, such as heart disease, asthma, and AIDS. Chronic Disease Epidemiologists study chronic diseases, and put together plans to help communities prevent and treat them.

If you’re a Chronic Disease Epidemiologist, you start by surveying a group of people who have a particular disease. You ask them what they eat, how much exercise they get, where they live, and whether or not they smoke. You also study the air they breathe or the water they drink, and look over their medical information and test results. Then you try to figure out what connects all of these people, and how that link can be broken.

You may go on television shows or be interviewed in the newspaper so you can talk about what you’ve found. You also put together programs to teach Doctors how the diseases work and how they can be stopped. Additionally, you make recommendations that Doctors can follow when they’re treating their patients.

While, as a Chronic Disease Epidemiologist, you certainly do a lot of research, you spend a lot of your time talking to people, too. So you won’t have the opportunity to hide behind your microscope all day long.

The information you gather must be distributed to people who can use it, and you must be persuasive so they’ll listen to you and take your advice. You develop one set of talking points for Doctors and another set for people who don’t understand medicine at all. You float between these two worlds with ease, saving lives as you go along.

Should I be a Chronic Disease Epidemiologist?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • Also known as: Communicable Disease Specialist, Infectious Disease Epidemiology Director

    How to Become a
    Chronic Disease Epidemiologist

    Most Chronic Disease Epidemiologists have a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaac9b&chl=|||bachelor%27s+%283%25%29|master%27s+%2867%25%29|doctorate+%2830%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,67
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