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Career and Education Opportunities for Epidemiologists in Chicago, Illinois

Epidemiologists can find many career and educational opportunities in the Chicago, Illinois area. The national trend for epidemiologists sees this job pool growing by about 15.1% over the next eight years. In general, epidemiologists investigate and describe the determinants and distribution of disease, disability, and other health outcomes and develop the means for prevention and control.

The income of an epidemiologist is about $32 hourly or $68,450 annually on average in Illinois. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $29 hourly or $61,360 per year on average. Incomes for epidemiologists are better than in the overall category of Life Sciences in Illinois, and not quite as good as the overall Life Sciences category nationally. People working as epidemiologists can fill a number of jobs, such as: malariologist, research epidemiologist, and chronic disease epidemiologist.

The Chicago area is home to 180 schools of higher education, including five within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree as an epidemiologist. Given that the most common education level for epidemiologists is a Master's degree, you can expect to spend about six years studying to be an epidemiologist if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years if you have a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Epidemiologist

Epidemiologist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, epidemiologists investigate and describe the determinants and distribution of disease, disability, and other health outcomes and develop the means for prevention and control.

Epidemiologists formulate and direct studies to investigate human or animal disease, preventive methods, and treatments for disease. They also communicate research findings on various types of diseases to health practitioners and the public. Equally important, epidemiologists have to furnish expertise in the layout, management and evaluation of study protocols and health status questionnaires, sample selection and analysis. They are often called upon to oversee public health programs, including statistical analysis, health care planning and public health improvement. They are expected to investigate diseases or parasites to establish cause and risk factors, progress or mode of transmission. Finally, epidemiologists educate healthcare staff and the public about infectious and communicable diseases, including disease transmission and prevention.

Every day, epidemiologists are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to read and understand documents and reports. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for epidemiologists to monitor and report incidents of infectious diseases to local and state health agencies. They are often called upon to confer with and advise physicians, educators, researchers, government health officials and others regarding medical applications of sciences, such as physics and chemistry. They also standardize drug dosages, methods of immunization, and processes for manufacture of drugs and medicinal compounds. They are sometimes expected to teach principles of medicine and medical and laboratory procedures to physicians and technicians. Somewhat less frequently, epidemiologists are also expected to supervise professional, technical and clerical personnel.

Epidemiologists sometimes are asked to ready and analyze samples to study effects of drugs or microorganisms on cell structure and tissue. They also have to be able to formulate, administer and evaluate health safety standards and programs to further optimize public health, conferring with health department, industry personnel, physicians and others And finally, they sometimes have to teach principles of medicine and medical and laboratory procedures to physicians and technicians.

Like many other jobs, epidemiologists must be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Biologist. Research or study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, and functions.
  • Food Technologist. Use chemistry, microbiology, and other sciences to study the principles underlying the processing and deterioration of foods; analyze food content to determine levels of vitamins, fat, and protein; discover new food sources; research ways to make processed foods safe, palatable, and healthful; and apply food science knowledge to determine best ways to process, package, and distribute food.
  • Forester. Manage forested lands for economic, recreational, and conservation purposes. May inventory the type, amount, and location of standing timber, appraise the timber's worth, negotiate the purchase, and draw up contracts for procurement. May determine how to conserve wildlife habitats, creek beds, and soil stability, and how best to comply with environmental regulations. May devise plans for planting and growing new trees, monitor trees for healthy growth, and determine the best time for harvesting. Develop forest management plans for public and privately-owned forested lands.
  • Medical Scientist. Conduct research dealing with the understanding of human diseases and the improvement of human health. Engage in clinical investigation or other research, production, or related activities.
  • Microbiologist. Investigate the growth, structure, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, algae, or fungi. Includes medical microbiologists who study the relationship between organisms and disease or the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.
  • Natural Resource Manager. Research or study range land management practices to provide sustained production of forage, livestock, and wildlife.
  • Scientist. Study the chemical composition and physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.
  • Soil Conservation Technician. Plan and develop coordinated practices for soil erosion control, soil and water conservation, and sound land use.
  • Zoologist. Study the origins, behavior, and life processes of animals and wildlife. May specialize in wildlife research and management, including the collection and analysis of biological data to determine the environmental effects of present and potential use of land and water areas.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Epidemiologist Training

Loyola University Chicago - Chicago, IL

Loyola University Chicago, 820 N. Michigan, Chicago, IL 60611-9810. Loyola University Chicago is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,670 students and an admission rate of 74%. Loyola University Chicago has a master's degree program in Medical Scientist.

University of Chicago - Chicago, IL

University of Chicago, 5801 S Ellis Ave, Chicago, IL 60637. University of Chicago is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,620 students and an admission rate of 28%. University of Chicago has a doctor's degree program in Biophysics which graduated four students in 2008.

Rush University - Chicago, IL

Rush University, 600 S. Paulina St. STE 440, Chicago, IL 60612. Rush University is a small university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,764 students. Rush University has 2 areas of study related to Epidemiologist. They are:

  • Biophysics, master's degree and doctor's degree.
  • Medical Scientist, master's degree which graduated 6 students in 2008.

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science - North Chicago, IL

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, 3333 Green Bay Rd, North Chicago, IL 60064. Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is a small university located in North Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,741 students. Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Biophysics.

Northwestern University - Evanston, IL

Northwestern University, 633 Clark St, Evanston, IL 60208. Northwestern University is a large university located in Evanston, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,128 students and an admission rate of 27%. Northwestern University has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Medical Scientist.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.