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Genetic Epidemiologist



Epidemiology is the study of the causes and spread of diseases among human populations. Genetic epidemiologists are specifically concerned with the genetic factors involved in diseases. They analyze DNA sequences to determine the relationship between genetic makeup and environmental factors. The goal is to minimize the likelihood of genetic illnesses among populations by figuring out what in the environment may be triggering them.

Career Outlook

An increased focus on genetic science has created a greater demand for qualified individuals who can interpret genetic information and apply it to public health.

Working Conditions & Context

Genetic epidemiologists typically work in laboratories and offices, usually as part of a research team. They are most commonly employed by universities, hospitals, government agencies, and pharmaceutical companies. Some teach professionally in universities and medical schools.

Genetic epidemiology is an exacting science, and close adherence to scientific standards is a must. Individuals in this field are often expected to share their findings with their colleagues, either at conferences or in scientific journals. Communication skills are very important.

Salary Information

A typical Salary Range for this career is $35,620 - $101,030 annually.

The Median Income for this career is about $65,080 annually.

Education Information


A Master's degree is the minimum an epidemiologist can expect to obtain, and even then it will take higher degrees to secure positions of significant responsibility or authority. Most positions require a Ph.D.

Some colleges offer a major in genetic epidemiology distinct from traditional epidemiology. Students pursuing such a major should also study biology, chemistry, mathematics, and related disciplines.

Certification & Licensing:


Other Resources

Related Careers

Comparative Genomicist/Geneticist, Evolutionary Geneticist, Population Geneticist

More Information

The American College of Epidemiology

The International Epidemiological Association

The Society for Epidemiologic Research

The International Genetic Epidemiology Society

* Information regarding income is cited from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
** More than a minimum degree may be required for some careers.