Becoming a Veterinary Epidemiologist

Veterinary Epidemiologists primarily take proactive measures to reduce and prevent animal-borne diseases. They are specialized in the discovery, diagnosis, monitoring, and prevention of diseases in animal population. They ensure that the global community is protected against animal diseases and its impact on humans and environment.

Their responsibilities include studying disease transmission in animal species and patterns of occurrence, collecting and analyzing vital data of animals, finding the  causes of diseases or other health problems, developing and monitoring effective vaccination, evaluating public health concerns connected to animal-based food products so on and so forth. These professionals also provide technical support to local, state and federal health department during the outbreak of health problems of animals through research, community education and adequate health policy.

Work Environment

Veterinary Epidemiologists may get employment in different kind of environments such as veterinary hospitals, government organizations, research laboratories, educational institutions, pharmaceutical companies etc. These professionals usually work regular office hours, unless an outbreak of disease requires immediate attention. Occasionally, they may have to travel for field work.

Veterinary Epidemiologists who explore working in government organizations usually get employment first with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is designed to monitor disease transmissions in livestock animal species that impact the global food supply.

Educational Requirement

To become a Veterinary Epidemiologist, the aspiring candidates must hold a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from at an accredited college of veterinary medicine. It takes four years to complete the DVM degree. The course work of the DVM covers both large and small animal education. The syllabus includes animal anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment, statistical methods, causal analysis, and survey design.

Apart from holding a DVM degree, the Veterinary Epidemiologists require to pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam. The board certification exam for these professionals is administered by the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine (ACVPM).

Job Outlook and Salary

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities for the Veterinary Epidemiologists may rise 9% from 2014 to 2024. The average annual salary of a Veterinary Epidemiologist was $87,590 in May 2014.