Pursuing a career in epidemiology can be an exciting and fulfilling journey. Epidemiology is important in public health and safety. Those who wish to work in this sector are educated on the causes and spread of diseases in populations. Their work is extremely important to society.


An epidemiologist is a public health specialist who examines the trends, causes, and effects of diseases and other health-related situations in communities. Epidemiologists can work in a range of specialities, including social, environmental, genetic, psychiatric, and other fields of study.


This piece will give you a detailed overview of the steps to take in pursuing a career in epidemiology.


How to Become an Epidemiologist

  1. Write and Obtain an O’level certificate:

    You need to have a minimum of credit pass in science subjects such as Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, Physics and English.

  2. Write the JAMB Exam:

    The following subjects are essential for JAMB registration: English Language Chemistry, Biology, and Mathematics. The cut-off point for studying journalism is 200. This may differ based on the university. Universities also administer the POST-UME exam, which is also a factor in admission.

  3. Obtain a Bachelor’s degree:

    Apply to a university and study public health or biostatistics to earn a bachelor’s degree. This four-year programme provides a foundation in basic epidemiology principles and research methods.

  4. Gain Experience in Public Health:

    To get experience in public health settings, apply for internships, volunteer work, or research initiatives connected to public health or epidemiology. This will improve your understanding of epidemiology’s practical applications.

  5. Gain Research Experience:

    Participate in epidemiological research efforts. Conducting studies, collecting and analysing data, and interpreting research findings are all examples of this. To obtain hands-on experience in epidemiological research, work with academic institutions, research centres, or public health authorities.

  6. Develop Analytical Skills:

    Epidemiologists must be analytically strong to collect, interpret, and analyse health data. Familiarise yourself with generally used statistical software packages in epidemiological research, such as SPSS, STATA, or R. Improve your understanding of statistical analysis methodologies and study design.

  7. Complete a Master’s degree:

    This will expand your knowledge and make you more competitive in the employment market.

  8. Gain Field Experience:

    Collaborate with public health organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and international organisations engaging in public health projects. This will allow you to obtain hands-on experience with disease surveillance, outbreak response, and epidemiologic investigations.

  9. Explore Job Opportunities:

    Explore employment openings in government health agencies, research institutions, academic institutions, non-governmental organisations, and international organisations. Look for opportunities that match your interests and talents in epidemiology, public health monitoring, disease control, or health research.

  10. Continuously Learn and Develop Yourself:

    Epidemiology is a dynamic science, and staying current on developments is critical. Engage in ongoing education, professional development activities, and look for possibilities for advanced training or specialisation to broaden your knowledge.


Types of Epidemiologists

  1. Infectious Disease Epidemiologist: They focus on studying infectious illness trends, causation, and transmission. They research epidemics, track disease patterns, and devise disease preventive and control techniques.
  2. Cancer Epidemiologist: They research the causes, prevention, and treatment of cancer. They look at cancer incidence, prevalence, and survival rates, as well as risk factors and screening methods for various cancers.
  3. Genetic Epidemiologist: They concentrate on comprehending the genetic underpinnings of illnesses and how they interact with environmental circumstances. They research gene-environment interactions, heredity, and genetic elements that affect illness susceptibility.
  4. Chronic Disease Epidemiologists: They are experts in researching the prevalence, causes, and prevention of chronic illnesses like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory conditions. To lessen the burden of chronic diseases, they undertake population surveys, examine risk factors, and create solutions.
  5. Occupational Epidemiologist: They concentrate on researching the connection between workplace conditions and health consequences. To safeguard the health of employees, they evaluate occupational health risks, look into illnesses and accidents related to the workplace, and create preventive measures.
  6. Environmental Epidemiologist: They focus on researching how environmental elements affect people’s health. They examine environmental health risks, look into the link between environmental exposures and health outcomes, and come up with plans to lessen environmental risks.


Universities to Study Epidemiology in Nigeria

  1. University of Ibadan
  2. Obafemi Awolowo University
  3. University of Nigeria
  4. Babcock University
  5. University of Ilorin
  6. Madonna University
  7. University of Lagos
  8. Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
  9. University of Benin
  10. Abia State University
  11. University of Maiduguri
  12. Covenant University
  13. University of Calabar
  14. Lagos State University
  15. University of Jos


Places to Work as an Epidemiologist

With a degree in epidemiology, you can find employment in numerous locations in Nigeria. These locations include banks, manufacturing organisations, educational institutions, research organisations, etc. Along with these organisations, you may work with NGOs, government organisations, medical facilities, educational institutions, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and other health organisations.


Salary of Epidemiologist in Nigeria

An epidemiologist’s salary is based on their level of expertise and place of work. The average monthly salary is between N100,000 and N700,000 in Nigeria.



There are numerous employment prospects in this field, therefore pursuing a career in epidemiology has many benefits. Epidemiology can be financially rewarding. It depends on a person’s ability to take advantage of opportunities. With a degree in epidemiology, you can find employment in a variety of settings, such as businesses, banks, and healthcare facilities.



Good luck.

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