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Career and Education Opportunities for Epidemiologists in Columbia, Maryland

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for epidemiologists in the Columbia, Maryland area. There are currently 150 working epidemiologists in Maryland; this should grow by 20% to 180 working epidemiologists in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for epidemiologists are expected to grow by about 15.1%. 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 $28 per hour or $60,090 yearly on average in Maryland. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $29 per hour or $61,360 annually on average. Epidemiologists earn less than people working in the category of Life Sciences generally in Maryland and less than people in the Life Sciences category nationally. People working as epidemiologists can fill a number of jobs, such as: trauma epidemiologist, clinical epidemiologist, and nurse epidemiologist.

There are seven schools within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can study to be an epidemiologist, among 109 schools of higher education total in the Columbia area. Epidemiologists usually hold a Master's degree, so you can expect to spend about six years training to become an epidemiologist if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years starting with 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 Columbia 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.
  • Park Ranger. Plan, develop, and conduct programs to inform public of historical, natural, and scientific features of national, state, or local park.
  • 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.
  • Soil Scientist. Conduct research in breeding, physiology, and management of crops and agricultural plants, their growth in soils, and control of pests; or study the chemical, physical, and mineralogical composition of soils as they relate to plant or crop growth. May classify and map soils and investigate effects of alternative practices on soil and crop productivity.
  • 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

University of Maryland-Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

University of Maryland-Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250. University of Maryland-Baltimore County is a large university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,268 students and an admission rate of 72%. University of Maryland-Baltimore County has a doctor's degree program in Cell/Cellular Biology and Histology which graduated five students in 2008.

Georgetown University - Washington, DC

Georgetown University, 37th and O St NW, Washington, DC 20057. Georgetown University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,318 students and an admission rate of 19%. Georgetown University has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Cell/Cellular Biology and Histology which graduated one and three students respectively in 2008.

George Washington University - Washington, DC

George Washington University, 2121 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052. George Washington University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,027 students and an admission rate of 37%. George Washington University has 2 areas of study related to Epidemiologist. They are:

  • Biophysics, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Epidemiology, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated two, one, and two students respectively in 2008.

Johns Hopkins University - Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N Charles St, Mason Hall, Baltimore, MD 21218-2688. Johns Hopkins University is a large university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,049 students and an admission rate of 26%. Johns Hopkins University has 4 areas of study related to Epidemiologist. They are:

  • Biophysics, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated nine, two, and nine students respectively in 2008.
  • Cell/Cellular Biology and Histology, doctor's degree which graduated 15 students in 2008.
  • Epidemiology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated forty-five and thirty-two students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical Scientist, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated eight and eight students respectively in 2008.

Catholic University of America - Washington, DC

Catholic University of America, 620 Michigan Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20064. Catholic University of America is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,705 students and an admission rate of 81%. Catholic University of America has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Cell/Cellular Biology and Histology which graduated one and two students respectively in 2008.

George Mason University - Fairfax, VA

George Mason University, 4400 University Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444. George Mason University is a large university located in Fairfax, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,800 students and an admission rate of 63%. George Mason University has a postbaccalaureate certificate and a master's degree program in Epidemiology which graduated two and one students respectively in 2008.

University of Maryland-Baltimore - Baltimore, MD

University of Maryland-Baltimore, 520 West Lombard Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1627. University of Maryland-Baltimore is a medium sized university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 6,156 students. University of Maryland-Baltimore has a doctor's degree program in Epidemiology which graduated three students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.