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Career and Education Opportunities for Epidemiologists in Durham, North Carolina

For those living in the Durham, North Carolina area, there are many career and education opportunities for epidemiologists. About 130 people are currently employed as epidemiologists in North Carolina. By 2016, this is expected to grow 23% to 160 people employed. 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.

Epidemiologists earn about $32 hourly or $67,590 annually on average in North Carolina and about $29 hourly or $61,360 annually on average nationally. Epidemiologists earn more than people working in the category of Life Sciences generally in North Carolina and less than people in the Life Sciences category nationally. Epidemiologists work in a variety of jobs, including: epidemiologist advanced, communicable disease specialist, and research epidemiologist.

There are twenty-six schools of higher education in the Durham area, including two within twenty-five miles of Durham where you can get a degree to start your career as an epidemiologist. The most common level of education for epidemiologists is a Master's degree. 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 Durham 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 North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Chapel Hill, NC

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 103 South Bldg Cb 9100, Chapel Hill, NC 27599. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a large university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 28,567 students and an admission rate of 35%. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has 3 areas of study related to Epidemiologist. They are:

  • Cell/Cellular Biology and Histology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated zero and eight students respectively in 2008.
  • Epidemiology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated twenty and twenty-five students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical Scientist, master's degree.

Duke University - Durham, NC

Duke University, 103 Allen Bldg, Durham, NC 27708. Duke University is a large university located in Durham, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 13,871 students and an admission rate of 23%. Duke University has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Cell/Cellular Biology and Histology which graduated three and four students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Durham, North Carolina

Durham, North Carolina
Durham, North Carolina photo by Specious

Durham is situated in Durham County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 223,284, which has grown by 19.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Durham, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Durham are valued at $187,200 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, 1,082 new homes were built in Durham, down from 1,574 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Durham are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and health care. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 41.8% of Durham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 18.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Durham is 7.3%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Durham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.3%, is less than both the national and state average. Laymans Church, Holy Infant Church and Homestead Heights Church are among the churches located in Durham. The most prominent religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Durham is home to the Hope Valley Country Club and the Union Building as well as Durham County Stadium and Northgate Park. Shopping centers in the area include South Square Mall, Lakewood Shopping Center and Kings Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Durham can choose from Brownestone Inn, Durham-Days Inn ) and Hilton Durham for temporary stays in the area.