The average annual epidemiologist salary working in the United States is roughly $84,000. This is equal to $40 an hour. Epidemiologists in the top 10th percentile will make even more, about $102,000 or $49 per hour. This information proves that six figure salaries are possible in this profession. Those working in the lowest 10th percentile will make up to $65,000 annually, which is $31 an hour. To round off the numbers, those working in the middle 50% will make between $73,000 and $94,000 annually, or $35 to $45 per hour.
Many factors determine the annual salary of an epidemiologist. Region and educational level will play a role in the annual income. Furthermore, research-based projects that require funding will often accrue lower wages. The highest paying epidemiologists are in the scientific research and development fields, rather than those working at state or local government levels.
As with other professions, benefits can add to the salary of an epidemiologist. Social security, health care benefits, pension, and paid time off are included in some of these benefits. A total compensation package could boost a an epidemiologist salary to $116,000 annually on average.
Job Description of an Epidemiologist
What does an epidemiologist do? There are many duties involved in being an epidemiologist. Some will include having to oversee public health programs, both for statistical analyses and to improve public health. Epidemiologists also research various diseases and parasites to determine more information about them, as well as figure out factors, causes, and risks to the public. Treatments for diseases can also be researched by these professionals. Epidemiologists also work in the drug industry, researching the proper dosages for patients, as well as different immunization practices.
How to Become an Epidemiologist
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The profession of epidemiology requires at least a master’s degree from a post-secondary institution accredited by medical boards. The degree is usually in public health with a focus or minor in epidemiology. Some epidemiologists have a Ph.D., but it is not required.
Many other epidemiologists will have dual degrees in the medical sciences. One will be in epidemiology or public health, while the other may be in a medical field of the student’s choosing. The dual degree offers greater benefits to the epidemiologist, and also a back-up plan.
While an epidemiologist does not require nearly as much schooling as many other health professionals, there are still strict requirements to meet. A master’s is absolutely necessary, meaning schooling will have to last for at least six years, possibly more.
Epidemiologist Salary in Other Countries (UK, Canada and Australia)
The average epidemiologist working in Canada will receive about C$72,000 annually in income. Australian epidemiologists will see roughly the same, with their annual income being AU$80,000 on average.
Epidemiologists will be paid slightly less in the United Kingdom. There, professionals can expect an average of about £40,000 every year. This equates to roughly $60,000 in the United States. Compared to the $84,000 for the average American epidemiologist, this is certainly a lower pay-grade.
Verdict on Epidemiologist Salary
Epidemiologists certainly do not get paid as much as many other medical and health care professions. Granted, the schooling requirements are much less in the field of epidemiology as well. A master’s degree versus a Ph.D. and at least five years in residency certainly costs less money. This usually means a lower salary. However, the epidemiologist salary is still in a high-range for experienced professionals. It is well worth the schooling, and epidemiologists are sure to enjoy a higher standard of living, at least in the U.S.