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Career and Education Opportunities for Epidemiologists in Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for epidemiologists. Currently, 180 people work as epidemiologists in Massachusetts. This is expected to grow by 6% to about 190 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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 $30 per hour or $63,460 per year on average in Massachusetts. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $29 per hour or $61,360 yearly on average. Incomes for epidemiologists are not quite as good as in the overall category of Life Sciences in Massachusetts, and not quite as good as the overall Life Sciences category nationally. Jobs in this field include: veterinary epidemiologist, injury epidemiologist, and clinical laboratory scientist.

There are 151 schools of higher education in the Boston area, including six within twenty-five miles of Boston where you can get a degree to start your career as an epidemiologist. Epidemiologists usually hold a Master's degree, so it will take about six years to learn 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 Boston include:

  • Biologist. Research or study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, and functions.
  • 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

Suffolk University - Boston, MA

Suffolk University, 8 Ashburton Pl Beacon Hill, Boston, MA 02108-2770. Suffolk University is a medium sized university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,783 students and an admission rate of 82%. Suffolk University has a bachelor's degree program in Biophysics.

Harvard University - Cambridge, MA

Harvard University, Massachusetts Hall, Cambridge, MA 02138. Harvard University is a large university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 22,800 students and an admission rate of 8%. Harvard University has 2 areas of study related to Epidemiologist. They are:

  • Biophysics, doctor's degree which graduated 10 students in 2008.
  • Cell/Cellular Biology and Histology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated two and twenty-four students respectively in 2008.

Tufts University - Medford, MA

Tufts University, , Medford, MA 02155-5555. Tufts University is a large university located in Medford, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,821 students and an admission rate of 25%. Tufts University has 2 areas of study related to Epidemiologist. They are:

  • Cell/Cellular Biology and Histology, doctor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Medical Scientist, master's degree which graduated 8 students in 2008.

Brandeis University - Waltham, MA

Brandeis University, 415 South St, Waltham, MA 02454-9110. Brandeis University is a medium sized university located in Waltham, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,347 students and an admission rate of 34%. Brandeis University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Biophysics which graduated zero, zero, and two students respectively in 2008.

Boston University - Boston, MA

Boston University, One Silber Way, Boston, MA 02215. Boston University is a large university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 31,669 students and an admission rate of 59%. Boston University has 3 areas of study related to Epidemiologist. They are:

  • Biophysics, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated two and five students respectively in 2008.
  • Epidemiology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated fifty-four and four students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical Scientist, master's degree, post-master's certificate, and doctor's degree which graduated four, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Northeastern University - Boston, MA

Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115-5000. Northeastern University is a large university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,368 students and an admission rate of 35%. Northeastern University has a bachelor's degree program in Biophysics.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts
Boston, Massachusetts photo by Ahonc

Boston is situated in Suffolk County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 609,023, which has grown by 3.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Boston, 136, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Boston are valued at $216,200 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, twenty-three new homes were constructed in Boston, down from forty-eight the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Boston are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 29 minutes. More than 35.6% of Boston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Boston is 8.2%, which is less than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Boston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Brighton Congregational Church, Leslie Lindsay Chapel and Universalist Meeting House are some of the churches located in Boston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Episcopal Church.

Boston is home to the Metropolitan Water Works Pumping Stations and the Mystic Pier 1 as well as Schoolboy Stadium and Liberty Square. Shopping centers in the area include Legion Shopping Center, Longwood Galleria Shopping Center and Neponset Circle Shopping Center. Visitors to Boston can choose from Federalist Restaurant, Eco-Logical Solutions and Omni Parker Hotel for temporary stays in the area.