Environmental Epidemiologist

Find the link between diseases and unhealthy surroundings.
picture of Environmental Epidemiologist

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$42,000 – $98,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Environmental Epidemiologists do?

Epidemiology is the study of diseases, and environmental epidemiology is a specialized branch of this. As an Environmental Epidemiologist, you study diseases caused by environmental or workplace factors.

There’s a strong link between diseases and the stuff people breathe or live around. Your job as an Environmental Epidemiologist is to study this link. Think of yourself as a Detective — you take clues, do an investigation, and then solve the case.

The clues you handle include outbreaks of the same disease in one group or area. And your investigations involve medical testing, and studying diseases and patient charts. You solve your case by finding direct links between a disease and an external factor.

An example of this is lead paint in old houses. At one point, people didn’t know that lead caused illness. But thanks to Environmental Epidemiologists, houses are no longer painted with this dangerous substance.

Other examples of the substances that you handle include asbestos, mercury, and pesticides. Even meth labs or weather can come under your scrutiny. You also help solve medical issues like cancer, reproductive diseases, respiratory diseases, and childhood illnesses.

Another big responsibility of your job involves data handling and research. You plan and carry out trials or studies, write reports, analyze information that already exists on a subject, and respond to calls about disease outbreaks. Once you figure out a new health problem or a new way to solve a health issue, you work to educate the public through things like reports, news articles, or public service announcements.

Should I be an Environmental Epidemiologist?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.

  • How to Become an
    Environmental Epidemiologist

    Most Environmental 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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