Epidemiologists typically have an interest in the Thinker and Helper interest areas, according to the Holland Code framework. The Thinking interest area indicates a focus on researching, investigating, and increasing the understanding of natural laws. The Helping interest area indicates a focus on assisting, serving, counselling, or teaching other people.
If you are not sure whether you have a Thinking or Helping interest which might fit with a career as an epidemiologist, you can take a career test to measure your interests.
Epidemiologists should also possess the following specific qualities:
Communication skills. Epidemiologists must use their speaking and writing skills to inform the public and community leaders of public health risks. Clear communication is also required to work effectively with other health professionals.
Critical-thinking skills. Epidemiologists analyze data to determine how best to respond to a public health problem or an urgent health-related emergency.
Detail oriented. Epidemiologists must be precise and accurate in moving from observation and interview to conclusions.
Math and statistical skills. Epidemiologists may need advanced statistical skills when designing and administering studies and surveys. Skill in using large databases and statistical computer programs may also be important.
Teaching skills. Epidemiologists may be involved in community outreach activities that educate the public about health risks and healthy living.