Epidemiologists: Salary Overview
Epidemiologists are public health professionals who typically investigate the causes of disease in humans.
Their job responsibilities vary depending on the industry of employment but they usually plan and direct public health studies, collect and analyze data to find the causes of disease, and communicate their discoveries to other health professionals.
They may also manage public health programs and supervise other professionals who are involved in collecting and analyzing data about diseases and other health problems.
Epidemiologists usually specialize in one or several of the following areas: chronic diseases, maternal and child health, infectious diseases, injury, occupational health, oral health, substance abuse, mental health, environmental health, chronic diseases, and public health preparedness and emergency response.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for epidemiologists in the United States was $70,990 in May 2019 which means that half earned less than this while half earned more.
Salaries vary widely, based on the industry and the region of employment.
The lowest 10 percent earned less than $44,000 a year while the highest 10 percent made more than $119,290 a year.
Epidemiologist Salary by Industry
Most epidemiologists work in offices and laboratories at state or local health departments, in hospitals, or at colleges and universities.
The federal government also employs epidemiologists at agencies such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Depending on their specialty, epidemiologists may work in clinical settings or in the field and they may have to travel to remote areas and developing nations in order to study infectious diseases.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, epidemiologists held about 7,600 jobs in 2018.
About 38% of them worked for state governments while 18% worked for the local governments.
Colleges, universities, and professional schools hired approximately 15% of all epidemiologists, while 14% of them worked in hospitals.
Salaries vary widely depending on the industry of employment.
According to the report published by BLS, in May 2019 the median annual salary was $99,770 for epidemiologists who worked in scientific research and $62,440 for those who worked for colleges or universities.
Epidemiologists who worked for hospitals earned, a median annual wage of $81,810 while those who work for local governments earned $68,410.
The median annual wage for epidemiologists who worked for state governments was $64,380 a year.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest median annual salary was reported by epidemiologists who worked in the industry of grantmaking and giving services.
This field employed approximately 60 epidemiologists and offered a median annual wage of $123,780 per year.
According to payscale.com, the average salary for epidemiologists who work at the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention was $85,299 a year.
Epidemiologist Salary by Compensation Structure
Epidemiologists typically receive a fixed salary and they may also receive bonuses and profit sharing.
According to payscale.com, on average, epidemiologists earn around $1,500 a year in bonuses and can make up to $1,000 in profit sharing.
Benefits vary depending on the industry of employment but also based on the epidemiologist’s education and level of experience.
Most epidemiologists also receive health benefits, including medical, dental, and vision.
Employment for epidemiologists is projected to grow 5 percent from 2018 to 2028.
The public health capacity has increased over the past years and its capacity is expected to increase over the next years.
However, epidemiological and public health programs depend on the level of public funding and local budgets.
The demand for epidemiologists is expected to also increase in hospitals as more join programs such as the National Healthcare Safety Network.
On the other hand, the number of master’s degree programs in this field has also increased as well as the number of graduates from these programs and competition in some areas may be strong, especially for better-paid positions.
* Based on information from the May 2021 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Epidemiologists. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.