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Competencies for Applied Epidemiologists in Governmental Public Health Agencies (AECs)

The Competencies for Applied Epidemiologists in Governmental Public Health Agencies (Applied Epidemiology Competencies, or AECs) were created in collaboration with the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE).


To improve the practice of epidemiology in public health agencies.


To create a comprehensive list of competencies that

  • Defines the discipline of applied epidemiology
  • Describes the skills of four different levels of practicing epidemiologists working in government public health agencies

Tiers of Practicing Epidemiologists

  • Tier 1: Entry-Level or Basic Epidemiologist
  • Tier 2: Mid-Level Epidemiologist
  • Tier 3a: Senior-Level Epidemiologist, Supervisor, or Manager
  • Tier 3b: Senior Epidemiologist, Senior Scientist/Subject Area Expert

Intended Uses

Epidemiology practitioners can use the AECs to assess current skill level, identify areas for training, and as a career-development plan.

Employers can use the AECs to create career ladders for epidemiology positions, write job descriptions aligned with the competencies, and assess overall epidemiologic capacity.

Educators can use the AECs to design competency-based education and training, and enhance existing coursework.

National organizations can use the AECs to further develop the epidemiology workforce by mapping the AECs to curricula.


Applied Epidemiology Competencies

An introduction to the new standards of practice for epidemiologists working within the U.S. public health system.

AECs PDF (42 pages)
Competencies for 4 levels of epidemiologists organized into eight skill domains.
AEC Executive Summary and Preface PDF (13 pages)
An overview of AECs and how they were developed.

Short Summaries

Two-page summaries of the competencies for each tier.

Sample Position Descriptions

Brief job descriptions for each tier, based on the competencies.

Competency Assessment Forms

Assess your status on selected AEC competencies.


Related Materials

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